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GOP strategists say Haley needs 'realistic path' to win primaries after New Hampshire loss to Trump

GOP strategists told Fox News Digital that presidential candidate Nikki Haley needs a "realistic path" to win primary elections as she runs for the White House.

Republican strategists told Fox News Digital that GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley needs a "realistic path" to win primary elections in her quest for the White House.

Fox News Digital reached out to several Republican strategists for their takes after Haley's New Hampshire loss to former President Trump on Tuesday.

Targeted Victory Vice President Matt Gorman told Fox News Digital that while the race isn't over, Haley needs a "realistic path" in her campaign to win future primary elections.


"It’s not over yet, but Haley needs to set a realistic path for supporters, donors and the press as to how she’ll start actually winning some of these," Gorman said.

Haley did not win the Iowa caucuses or the New Hampshire primary but is continuing her campaign as the GOP primary race heads to her home state of South Carolina. A win for Haley in South Carolina would be a critical step in her presidential aspirations.

Jimmy Keady, JLK Political Strategies founder and president, told Fox News Digital that "President Trump is dominating these primaries, and he has the benefit of being a sort of pseudo-incumbent."

"Voters across the country remember the positives of his Presidency; a stronger economy, more secure border, and respect abroad — his Presidency is fresh on the minds of voters," Keady said.

"The trick is that candidates and their consultants must capitalize on the momentum and not fizzle out as we have seen in the past," he continued. "What we are going to see in the coming weeks will likely be a coalescing of support from Republican leaders across the country."

"It is up to either campaign to build off the momentum from New Hampshire," he added.

Matt Wolking, Axiom Strategies vice president of communications who previously worked for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' super PAC, Never Back Down, told Fox News Digital that the "numbers in New Hampshire show that Trump is as strong among Republican voters as he is weak among the broader electorate that will determine the outcome of the general election in November."

"Haley cannot win the Republican primary by relying on non-Republican voters, and it’s unlikely she will still be a candidate in March," Wolking said. "The only question is whether she calls it quits before or after South Carolina."

Trump won the New Hampshire primary by a sizable margin, securing 54% of the vote to Haley's 43%. Still, Haley vowed to continue her campaign through the South Carolina primary on Feb. 24.

Haley spokesperson Olivia Perez-Cubas told Fox News Digital that we "don’t do coronations in this country."

"We do elections," Perez-Cubas said. "The political elites can back Donald Trump, but Nikki Haley will continue to fight for the nearly 50% of Republican primary voters and the 70% of all Americans who don’t want a Biden-Trump rematch."

But some GOP strategists still don't see a path forward for the former governor. Aaron Evans, national GOP strategist and president of Winning Republican Strategies, said, "Iowa and New Hampshire reinforced what we have known for months — there’s only one viable candidate in the Republican nomination process and that’s President Trump."

"Despite all efforts otherwise from his competitors, the vast majority of Republican voters remain all-in for Trump. Haley’s loss in New Hampshire was a major blow in a state we were told she could win, and when she loses her home state of South Carolina in a few weeks, the blow will be even bigger. Optimism and hope from a failing campaign is not a strategy."

"It didn’t work for Ron DeSantis, and it won’t work for Nikki Haley. President Trump will decisively be the Republican nominee," Evans added.

GOP strategist with Calvary LLC John Ashbrook told Fox News Digital, "President Trump's team has put on a clinic in every state where they've operated this cycle."

"Nikki's campaign is incredibly talented and President Trump's victories are a testament to the professional machine he's built," Ashbrook said.

Fox News Digital reached out to the Trump campaign for comment.

The strategists' comments come after Haley's loss to Trump in New Hampshire on Tuesday.

Trump is the first Republican candidate to win competitive elections in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary since 1976.

DeSantis ended his campaign two days before the primary, effectively making it a head-to-head race between Trump and Haley.

The results of the Fox News Voter Analysis, a survey of nearly 2,000 New Hampshire Republican primary voters, show the contours of a race that was notably closer than the Iowa caucuses, which Trump won by 30 points.

The Fox News Polling Unit contributed reporting.

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