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Haley insists it is ‘not the end of our story’ despite South Carolina defeat

The Republican candidate warned rival Donald Trump he would not receive the support of her backers by ‘calling them names’.

Republican presidential candidate and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at a campaign event in Troy, Michigan (Carlos Osorio/AP)
Election 2024 Haley Republican presidential candidate and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at a campaign event in Troy, Michigan (Carlos Osorio/AP) (Carlos Osorio/AP)

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley says it is not “the end of our story” despite Donald Trump’s easy primary victory in South Carolina.

And Mrs Haley, who had long suggested her competitiveness with the former president would show in her home state, warned Mr Trump will not receive the backing of her supporters if he wins the nomination.

Defying calls from South Carolina Republicans to exit the race, the former US ambassador traveled to Michigan, which holds its primary on Tuesday, speaking to a hotel ballroom packed with hundreds of supporters on Sunday.

Her campaign said that she had raised one million dollars (£790,000) “from grassroots supporters alone” in the 24 hours since here latest primary defeat, a bump they argued “demonstrates Mrs Haley’s staying power and her appeal to broad swaths of the American public.

Addressing the rally in vote-rich Oakland County, northwest of Detroit on Sunday evening, Mrs Haley reiterated her comments from Saturday that she nearly notched 40% in South Carolina shows.

She says the percentage of voters who do not favour Mr Trump would make it hard for him to win the general election.

“He’s not going to get that 40% if he’s going and calling out my supporters and saying they’re ‘barred permanently from MAGA’,” she said, referencing Mr Trump’s comments directed at anyone who funded her campaign. “He’s not going to get the 40% by calling them names.”

Tailoring her speech to a Michigan audience, she called President Joe Biden’s incentivising of electric vehicle programmes “corporate welfare,” asking attendees in a state where the auto industry is a major economic driver about the unfairness of any requirement to switch to electric.

Former president Donald Trump attends a primary election night party at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds in Columbia (Andrew Harnik/AP)
Election 2024 Trump Former president Donald Trump attends a primary election night party at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds in Columbia (Andrew Harnik/AP) (Andrew Harnik/AP)

“What about the fact that maybe we all don’t want to drive an electric car?” she said. “Have you seen how expensive they are?”

Mrs Haley has pledged to keep going through at least the batch of primaries on March 5, known as Super Tuesday.

Asa Hutchinson, a critic Mr Trump and former Arkansas governor who dropped out of the Republican presidential race after Iowa’s lead-off caucuses in January, said he thought Mrs Haley should stay in.

“The challenge is that she did everything she could in South Carolina,” he told CNN. “But it’s got to accelerate because you run into the delegate wall. And the delegate wall is March 5. So she’s got to prove herself.”

Mr Trump has now every primary or caucus on the Republican early-season calendar that awards delegates.

“I have never seen the Republican Party so unified as it is right now,” he said in a victory night celebration in Columbia on Saturday.