Nikki Haley Is Running for President, but Does She Have a Chance?

Nikki Haley announced her bid for the presidency on Feb. 14, but she has a hard fight ahead of her.

Nikki Haleys presidential campaign remains a question of compromises.


Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign remains a question of compromises.

Canon Grant, Political Analyst

With the 2024 presidential election inching closer, the race for the White House is heating up. ABC News reports thus far that six people have announced a presidential bid, including five Republicans and one Democrat. One particularly interesting candidate is Nikki Haley, former ambassador to the United Nations and governor of South Carolina. Haley announced her bid for the presidency on Tuesday, Feb. 14.

According to Politico and BBC, Haley was the daughter of two Indian Sikhs from the Punjab region of India who emigrated to the United States and was born Nimarata Nikki Randhawa. She entered politics in 2004 in the South Carolina Legislature, serving three terms before serving as governor from 2011 to 2017. She then accepted an offer from Donald Trump to become an ambassador to the UN under the Trump administration.

In Haley’s announcement video, she touched upon several themes: her love of the United States and her belief that it was a fundamentally good place, a need for a “new generation” of politicians, and her response to the Charleston church shooting. She touched upon her childhood growing up Indian, in a community that saw her differently, and “called out” the established politicians.

In an article written by the BBC, Haley’s strengths as a campaigner are shown; Nikki Haley has never lost an election since her entry into politics in 2004. She also has a good political track record, spearheading the charge to remove the Confederate flag from the state capital. However, since then the issue has been muddled in controversy after she talked on a conservative podcast about how the flag had been “hijacked” by the gunman. Haley also faces some intense competition from Donald Trump, who is again running for president. Haley has a large advantage in a general election given that she is intensely Trumpist, which many voters are looking for according to the Brookings Institute. Haley is also under fire for whitewashing America’s racist history.” In her campaign ad she spoke on the greatness of America and how it was still a good place. It may be that Haley is stuck between a rock and a hard place, as she does not fit into either camp of extreme Trumpism or current Democratic ideology, making her potentially unappealing to both groups.

It is clear that Haley has a long road ahead of her if she has any chance of becoming president. The election is still a long way away and a lot can happen before then. As the fight to replace President Biden kicks off, the growing tensions between both parties will make for a very interesting, if not discouraging, election season.