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Updated January 18th, 2024 at 11:54 IST

New Hampshire Primary 2024: It's Haley vs Trump After Ron DeSantis Shifts Focus to South Carolina

After Florida Governor Ron DeSantis clinched second place in the Iowa caucus, he decided to abandon the caucuses in New Hampshire and head to South Carolina.

Former US President Donald Trump, Former US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Former US President Donald Trump, Former US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis | Image:AP
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New Hampshire - After Florida Governor Ron DeSantis clinched second place in the Iowa caucus, he decided to abandon the caucuses in New Hampshire and shifted his resources to South Carolina. According to senior campaign officials, the GOP Presidential hopeful is moving his campaign staff to South Carolina after recording single digits in the polls conducted in the state, CBS News reported. While DeSantis is shifting his focus from the New Hampshire caucuses, the senior official noted that the Florida governor will still be back in the US state on Friday to attend multiple events hosted by super PAC, Never Back Down, that were added to his schedule. The decision left former US President Donald Trump and Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley as only two Republican candidates competing in the state. While multiple polls have indicated that the former US President is leading by a huge margin, the state of New Hampshire is touted as the strong base for Haley as well.  

While his team mentioned that the Florida governor will attend events in South Carolina on Saturday and Sunday, his exact schedule for next Monday and Tuesday, i.e. on the day of the New Hampshire primary remains unclear. According to CBS News, the official said that DeSantis' campaign is putting pressure on the former South Carolina Governor to win her own home state. With this, the campaign believes that Haley would drop out of the race if she performed worse than DeSantis in her home state. "When Nikki Haley fails to win her home state, she'll be finished and this will be a two-person race – and her donors are starting to come to the same conclusion," a senior DeSantis campaign official told CBS News. 

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Cancelled debates promoted D

eSantis to make the move

DeSantis' move to shift resources to South Carolina comes after the two debates DeSantis had accepted to participate in New Hampshire were cancelled. On Wednesday, the Republican party announced that the GOP presidential debate which was supposed to take place days before the New Hampshire primary was cancelled after Haley refused to participate in a debate without Trump. "Our intent was to host a debate coming out of the Iowa caucuses, but we always knew that would be contingent on the candidates and the outcome of the race. As a result, while our robust election coverage will continue, ABC News and WMUR-TV will not be moving forward with Thursday's Republican presidential primary debate in New Hampshire," an ABC News spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday. Meanwhile, Haley campaign spokesperson Olivia Perez-Cubas went on to take jabs at DeSantis' campaign.  “South Carolina is a great state. We hope they enjoy their vacation time here,” she exclaimed. 

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Published January 18th, 2024 at 11:54 IST

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