'Never Vote For Him Again': Haley Voters In GOP Strongholds Soured On Trump

Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley

Former President Donald Trump appears to be bleeding out critical support in typically redder suburban areas well outside of major cities, according to a new analysis.

Politico analyzed 2024 GOP presidential primary results across more than 1,000 counties across the US and determined that the former president may lose votes in traditionally Republican territory he carried in both 2016 and 2020. This could prove costly in November — particularly in must-win battleground states.

"You hear a lot of moderate Republicans now who say that they’ll never vote for Trump again," Emmet County, Michigan GOP chair Parker Fairbairn told Politico. Fairbairn added that voters there are longing for "commonsense conservatism," as opposed to Trump's blustery retribution-focused rhetoric and his proposed radical restructuring of the federal government.

Politico reported that unlike suburbs on the outskirts of large, Democratic-leaning cities like Detroit where Republicans have already been losing significant ground to Democrats, jurisdictions like Emmet County — which is on the far northern tip of Michigan's lower peninsula and hours from any major city — have usually been reliable Republican strongholds. Trump won the county with 55 percent of the vote in 2020.

Swing states like Michigan, which voted for Trump in 2016 and President Joe Biden in 2020, could be decided by a relatively small number of votes. And those isolated groups of votes could similarly decide who wins a majority of Electoral College votes and thus the White House. In 2016, for example, Trump carried Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by approximately 77,000 combined votes, with those three states putting him over the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the election. Likewise, Biden won Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin by less than 43,000 combined votes in 2020.

Biden's campaign is hoping to get a competitive edge over Trump by peeling away enough GOP voters in redder areas, or at the very least convince them to stay home in November. Politico reported that Biden is rolling out an ad targeted at GOP voters by showing Trump attacking former UN ambassador Nikki Haley on the campaign trail.

"Nikki Haley voters, Donald Trump doesn’t want your vote," Biden tweeted. "I want to be clear: There is a place for you in my campaign."

Republicans are counting on partisanship to win the day and for disgruntled GOP voters to ultimately vote for Trump anyway by November. But more recent GOP primaries have exposed a chink in the former president's armor. In Georgia, Trump easily won the Peach State's Republican primary, but 77,000 still voted for Haley. And of those voters, roughly 22,000 cast their ballots for the ex-president's former rival even after she suspended her campaign.

Given that Trump lost Georgia by less than 12,000 total votes in 2020, that bloc of anti-Trump Republican voters may help push Biden over the edge in the once-solidly red Southern state.

“There’s still a lot of raw feelings about how Nikki Haley and her family were treated, and about the way that MAGA and Donald Trump are treating Nikki Haley supporters and the whole ‘permanently barred from MAGA,'” said Robert Schwartz, who is a senior adviser to the "Primary Pivot" super PAC.

“As we get closer to the election, those kinds of feelings of resentment are going to fade away... We want to lock in that feeling of resentment and disgust toward the way Trump treated them," he said.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

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