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Haley gets momentum

Haley gets momentum

For months, the race for the Republican presidential nomination has been frozen with President Trump ahead and the challengers lumped together, jockeying with each other for a distant second place.  According to the most recent CNN Poll, however, there appears to be a significant shift.

The Poll shows two significant changes in the status quo.  Trump drops down from 51 percent to 42 percent.  That means that the majority of GOP primary voters prefer someone other than Trump.  And who voters are leaning toward is the second significant change.

Former South Carolina Governor and one time UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has taken a solid second place with 20 percent of the voters.  That is the strongest showing against Trump since Florida Governor Ron DeSantis opened his campaign with 20 percent support.

Since then, DeSantis has been maintaining a second spot position with between 10 and 13 percent of the vote. But that has also changed dramatically.  In the CNN Poll, DeSantis plunges to fourth place with only 9 percent of the vote.  Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie passes him with an impressive 14 percent.  DeSantis is just one percent ahead of businessman Vivek Ramaswamy’s 8 percent.

As in 2016, Trump’s best chances rely on his opponents continuing to divide up the vote.  That is apparent in every poll for the past year.  Contrary to the analyses of most pundits and media types, Trump does not have a lock on his vote.  There is no army of zombie cultists as they suggest.   Most Republican voters want to beat Biden based on a range of issues … period.  And Haley beats Biden by the widest margins of any of the other GOP contenders.

If it is not an outlier, the CNN Poll represents a sea change in voter preferences.  It suggests that if DeSantis, Christie and Ramaswamy withdraw – as they should — it would be a real contest between Trump and Haley – and I believe Haley would ultimately win it.  Virtually all the support held by DeSantis and Christie would go to Haley.  Trump would do marginally better with Ramaswamy voters.

Haley could cobble together a winning coalition by taking away GOP women voters from Trump.  In the recent Rasmussen Poll, Trump is actually winning the majority of women against Biden.  Haley would also bring in a number of GOP voters who left the reservation over Trump.

This momentum for Haley could not have come at a better time.  We are weeks away from both the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.  If Haley comes in second in Iowa, she has a reasonable chance of actually winning in New Hampshire – thanks to the strong endorsement of the state’s popular Governor Chris Sununu.  If that happens, it’s a horse race – and DeSantis, Christie and Ramaswamy should then pack it up for sure. 

Christie calls Trump unfit to be president, but ironically he may be the reason Trump wins the nomination.  The only thing that keeps Christie, DeSantis or Ramaswamy in the race is hubris.  If Trump is to be denied the GOP nomination, Haley is the only one who has any chance of overtaking  him.

If Haley emerges as a competitive rival to Trump, what happens with Biden?  His mantra is that he has beaten Trump before, so he can do it again.  With Haley beating Biden by 17 points in recent polls his winnability argument  weakens.  Unless Biden improves his numbers – and gains upward momentum – can he remain in the race?

Most agree that Biden would have to voluntarily withdraw or have a significant health event to derail his ambition for a second term.   If it turns out to be a Biden/Haley race in the 2024 November election, that is not a nightmare for Democrats.  It is a reality.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Wallis

    Haley would be a good president. Somehow I expect that to happen

  2. Dan tyree

    It would be great if our first female president was a conservative. Talk about blowing their top. The democrats have already shown their antisemitism. They would show us what sexism is


    I agree with totally on this one except for one statement which, of course, while about Trump, is meant to malign Democrats. It’s not necessarily a lie, but most certainly a spin.

    For Halley, I have said that between Biden and her, I might choose her. To clarify, that depends on whether she can moderate a few pieces of red meat sent to the MAGArat crowd that I hope she might pivot on post primary. Time will tell how far to the middle she may end up. Of course, me being me, I like her words on the money —- but need to check her record against her words still.

    As to the statement I take umbrage with: “There is no army of zombie cultists as they suggest. Most Republican voters want to beat Biden based on a range of issues … period.”

    I think we are living in a time with walking dead zombies of many kinds starting with:

    BLM/Antifa riots, burnings, etc. When does burning a strip mall or taking over a government building help your cause? There is some question whether outside elements were involved, and an overwhelming number of these protests were peaceful, but —– certainly some zombies. Here’s a definitive piece on the troubles of that summer:

    ** It’s a long read but covers the waterfront.

    In August of 2020, self-styled “patriots”, anti-vaccination groups and other protesting zombies halted a special legislative session in Idaho called to help with pandemic-related election issues. The Idaho Statehouse looks like the DC Capitol building and zombies like anti-vaccination and anti-government slow walkers ended a special legislative session as they forced their way past police and into an Idaho House gallery. The glass door was shattered as Republican House Speaker Scott Bedke gave the order to allow them inside.

    Later that summer, zombies forced their way into the state Capitol in Salem, Oregon, to protest closures during a special legislative session on coronavirus measures. Some carried AR-15’s, the mass murder zombie tool of choice. Some zombies used pepper spray against state troopers. One of the zombies said: “There’s been very little cost to be very aggressive, the police are not opponents, they will do our bidding and let us in as good white men.”

    In Michigan, zombies brought signs that compared Whitmer to Adolf Hitler, showed nooses and Confederate flags just like the 1.6.2021 zombie attack in DC. They entered the Capitol, took over the Senate gallery, armed and dangerous. Zombies.

    There are a good number other examples from both sides, it continues in 2023, but suffice it to say, the 88lb gorilla on the table that Horist WILL NEVER see is the 1.6.2021 Republican Violent Insurrection at the Nation’s Capital where:

    – 20,000 Republicans, mostly white, festooned with gallows, confederate flags, etc. swarmed the Capitol after being pumped full with lies from the President, his family, and his minions.
    – 2,000 smashed their way in to take over the Capitol shutting down the voting process for over six hours as Mike Pence is hidden away from potential dangers; the gallows are for him.
    – 1,146 arrested to date, more coming.
    – Over 650 pled guilty, over 620 have sentences, over 380 in jail, the zombie section…..

    There is one civil suit charging Donald J. Trump as causing the violence. It has been heard, accepted, and is awaiting the next steps to trial, but has been backburnered without a trial date since Spring for some strange reason as the plethora of other Trumpian legal problems get priority by the DC court.

    Here’s what the Trumping Dead have did on 1.6.2021: ** Hundreds upon hundreds of crimes all detailed, all adjudicated GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY.

    I don’t know, Mr. Hoirst, but I feel The Walking Dead is among us from both sides of the aisle. They plod along, can’t hear anything, don’t say much that makes sense, and explode into violent acts as if that will support their cause. As the Israeli response to the Hamas horrors unfolded, it appears that zombies from all sides are active again. May you be born in interesting times. As my last exhibit, here’s a wiki page timeline of that day. I think of special interest are the communications flying about. Chilling in some cases in that it seems the zombies come loaded for bear —– literally —- and are clearly talking about intentions before they marched on that fateful day.


  4. Tom

    Nice to see things starting to stir in the GOP. I do not think the slice of women that Haley would get is as bit as you might think Larry. But again, we are a year out and anything can still happen. Which is why the others are still in the race.

  5. MikefromTexas

    Shes another back stabber as she told Trump she would not run against him. That makes her a lying back stabber.

    • Frank stetson

      Mike, so Halley just like Trump? Ask bankrupt Rudy who Trump supported by throwing fundraisers instead of bankrolling his friend. Or his old fixer, Cohen. Oh yeah, full bromance there. His cfo feels the love too, unfortunately he went with Don, so it’s jailhouse love….