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South Carolina’s Republican primary: 4 things to watch

Nikki Haley’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination faces a pivotal moment as the South Carolina primary approaches. Despite earlier setbacks, including defeats to Donald Trump, Haley’s campaign is reaching a critical juncture.

Donald Trump has maintained a commanding lead in South Carolina, with polls consistently favoring him. Moreover, the majority of prominent GOP figures in the state have thrown their support behind Trump, indicating a significant advantage.

However, Haley’s campaign remains undeterred by the challenging circumstances. Campaign manager Betsy Ankney acknowledges the obstacles but emphasizes their determination to persevere.

Haley herself has expressed unwavering resolve, vowing to continue her campaign regardless of the outcome in South Carolina. Yet, Trump’s campaign appears unconcerned about providing an exit strategy for Haley, suggesting confidence in their prospects of victory.

The margin of victory in the primary will be a crucial factor. A substantial gap between Trump and Haley could prompt a reassessment of her candidacy, despite her insistence on pressing forward.

Despite the formidable odds, there are faint glimmers of hope for Haley. The primary is open, allowing Democrats and independents to participate, presenting an opportunity for Haley to rally support from these groups.

Additionally, Trump’s ability to broaden his appeal, particularly among independents, will be closely watched. Areas like Charleston and Richland counties, historically less favorable to Trump, could offer insights into his broader electoral prospects.

Ultimately, the delegate count will determine the trajectory of the race. With Trump currently leading, Haley will need a strong showing in South Carolina to remain competitive as the primary season progresses.

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