Sources say Nikki Haley will suspend her campaign

NEW YORK (AP) — Nikki Haley He will suspend his presidential campaign on Wednesday after being defeated nationwide on Super Tuesday, leaving people familiar with his decision. Donald Trump As the last major contender for the 2024 Republican nomination.

Three people with direct knowledge, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, confirmed Haley's decision ahead of her announcement, scheduled for Wednesday morning.

People familiar with Haley's plans say she doesn't want to back Trump in her announcement. Instead, he is expected to shore up support from a coalition of moderate Republicans and independent voters who backed him.

Former South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador Haley was Trump's first significant challenger. Jumped into the race In February 2023, he spent the final stretch of his campaign aggressively warning the GOP against embracing Trump, who he argued was too confused and personal grudges to defeat President Joe Biden in the general election.

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His departure clears Trump up to focus solely on a rematch with Biden in November. The former president is on track to do just that Reach the required 1,215 delegates The Republican nomination should be up for grabs later this month.

Haley's defeat was a painful blow to voters, donors and Republican officials who opposed Trump and his “Make America Great Again” politics. He was particularly popular among moderates and college-educated voters, constituencies that play a key role in general elections. It's unclear whether Trump, who recently announced that Haley donors will be permanently banned from his movement, can ultimately unite the deeply divided party.

Trump announced Tuesday night that the GOP was united behind him, but shortly afterward, Haley's spokeswoman Olivia Perez-Cubaz said, “Unity is not achieved by simply saying, 'We are united.'

“Today, state after state, there is a large segment of Republican primary voters who express deep concerns about Donald Trump,” Perez-Cubaz said. “That is not the unity needed for our party to win. Addressing those voters' concerns will make the Republican Party and America better.

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Haley will run for president in 2024 having made history by becoming the first woman to win the Republican primary. He defeated Trump in the District of Columbia on Sunday and Vermont on Tuesday.

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at a campaign event in Forth Worth, Texas, Monday, March 4, 2024. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

she He insisted on staying in the race He campaigned in Republican primary states across the country through Super Tuesday. In the end, she couldn't knock Trump off his skid for a third straight nomination.

Haley's allies note that she has done more than most of the political world expected.

She had Initially rejected Running against Trump in 2024. But he changed his mind and launched his bid three months after he did, citing among other things the country's economic problems and the need for a “generational change.” Haley, 52, later called for qualifications for politicians over 75 — tapping both Trump, 77, and Biden, 81.

Republican Nikki Haley is suspending her campaign. AP reporter Julie Walker reports.

His candidacy was slow to attract donors and support, but he eventually outlasted all other GOP contenders, including the Florida governor. Ron DeSantisFormer Vice President Mike Pence And Sen. Tim Scott, his fellow South Carolinian who was appointed to the Senate in 2012. And the money flowed to the end. His campaign said it raised more than $12 million in February alone.

He has become popular among many Republican donors, independent voters and the so-called “Never Trump” crowd, who have criticized the criminal charges against him as politically motivated and have promised to pardon him if he is convicted federally if he becomes president. Court.

As the field consolidated, she and DeSantis battled it out with states voting a second ahead of Trump. The two went after each other in debates, ads and interviews, often more directly than they went after Trump.

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Following Hamas's surprise attack on Israel in October, the campaign's focus on foreign policy shifted In Haley's wheelhouseGiving her an opportunity to draw on her experience from the UN, she linked the war to her conservative domestic priorities, arguing that both Israel and the United States could be vulnerable.

Haley was slow to criticize his former boss directly. While campaigning in early states, Haley often praised some of Trump's foreign policy achievements, but gradually Added more reviews In his campaign speeches. He argued that Trump's increased focus on trade with China had led him to ignore security threats posed by America's main rival. He warned that weak support for Ukraine would “encourage” China to invade Taiwan, a sentiment shared by many of his GOP rivals, with many Republican voters questioning whether the U.S. should send aid to Ukraine.

In November, Haley — an accountant who has consistently promoted her lean campaign — won the endorsement of the political arm of the powerful Koch Network. AFP Action bombarded early-state voters with mailers and door-knockers, helped Haley defeat Trump with its nationwide pool of activists and unlimited funding.

As Trump refused to participate in the primary debates, Haley went head-to-head with DeSantis in a debate, Shows a fighting style That seemed to sit poorly even with those committed to supporting him in the Iowa caucuses. She will get third place.

Haley's name has surfaced as a potential running mate for Trump, with the former president reportedly asking allies what they think about including her on his potential ticket. As Haley appeared to gain ground, some of Trump's supporters worked to defuse that notion.

While Haley initially refused to rule out the possibility, she said during a campaign rally in New Hampshire in January that serving as “anyone's vice president” was “off the table.”

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After DeSantis dropped out of the campaign following Trump's record victory in the Iowa caucuses, he believed New Hampshire voters would feel more strongly about keeping the former president out of the White House.

“America doesn't do coronations,” Haley said at a veterans hall in Franklin ahead of the New Hampshire primary. “Let's show the media class and the political class that we have a different plan in mind and show the country what we can do.”

But he risked losing New Hampshire and later declined to participate in Nevada's caucuses, arguing the state's rules strongly favored Trump. He instead ran in the state's primary, which counted no delegates for the nomination. She finished just over a second away “None of these candidates” Nevada gives voters who are dissatisfied with their options an option and many Trump supporters are using it against him.

He had long vowed to win South Carolina, but backtracked on that pledge as the primary approached. He criss-crossed the state that twice elected its governor on a bus tour, holding smaller events than Trump's less frequent rallies and suggesting he is better prepared than him to defeat Biden.

He lost South Carolina by 20 percentage points and Michigan three days later by 40 points. The Koch brothers' AFP action announced after their South Carolina loss It will stop organizing For her.

But stay on the campaign trail, Haley received adequate support Suburbanites and college-educated voters highlight Trump's obvious weaknesses with those groups.

Haley has made it clear that she does not want to serve as Trump's vice president or run on a third-party ticket organized by the No Labels group. He leaves the race with a heightened national profile that could help him in a future presidential run.

In recent days, she Backtracked on the pledge Anyone who participates in the party debates is required to ultimately endorse the Republican nominee.

“I think I have to make a decision,” he said on NBC's “Meet the Press.”

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People from New York report. Reach out to Meg Kinnard http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAPand reach out to Steve Peoples http://twitter.com/sppeoples.

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