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Nikki Haley rises in polls, voters react

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley rises in popularity among "anit-Trump Republicans". Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Former South Carolina governor and current Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley continues to gain support among the Republican Party, especially those labeling themselves anti-Trump Republicans.

According to Project FiveThirtyEight, a national bipartisan polling system owned by ABC News, Haley gained about three points after her performance in the third Republican primary debate held on Nov. 8. Fellow candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, lost about three points, putting Haley about even with DeSantis in the polls, making them second behind frontrunner Donald Trump.

According to the Haley campaign website, her biggest goal is to hold on to and keep gaining the anti-Trump Republican voters.

Senior Jack Parkos, a self-described moderate conservative, thinks Haley is the most moderate of all the candidates. However, he said this may not work in her favor.

“I don’t think America is in a position to be united right now,” Parkos said. “This isn’t a knock on [Haley], but the divide is so deep [that] I don’t think just one candidate will [unite everyone].”

Parkos went on to say that Haley’s biggest obstacle is her neoconservatism — a traditional form of conservatism with an emphasis on pro-American ideals — and her view on foreign policy.

“I think many Republican voters would be concerned about her more hawkish tendencies and want to vote for a more ‘America First’ candidate,” Parkos said.

Sophomore Joelle Webb, a registered Republican, thinks Haley stands the best chance to go up against former President Trump.

“I’m going to say it as it is: We’ve only had men [in office, and Haley] is arguably the best female candidate we’ve ever had,” Webb said.

Webb said she got tired of Trump and DeSantis and turned her attention to Haley. One of Webb’s top issues is abortion and she agrees with Haley’s stance on the issue.

Haley has said she would support a national ban on abortion after 20 weeks but does not support the harsh punishment of women who receive abortions and doctors who perform them. She has been publicly critical of her Republican colleagues who propose harsh punishments like long prison time or the death penalty. 

Haley has also said abortions should be looked at on a case-by-case basis, as they all are different.

“I think Republicans need to put their money where their mouth is,” Webb said. “They need to be willing to help support these women who are faced with the choice of getting an abortion, putting their child up for adoption or going through with the pregnancy and needing financial and emotional support.”

While Webb disagrees with Haley’s stance on continuing aid to Ukraine and other nations, she said Haley is her top candidate and stands the best chance against current President Joe Biden in next year’s election.

As the Republican race continues to heat up, Trump leads with almost 60 points in the polls. However, Haley continues to pick up steam and prove herself to be a worthy adversary to the former president.

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