May 24, 2024

Donald Trump is still facing some lingering opposition in his Republican primaries around the nation, all stemming from holdouts for a candidate who threw in the towel months ago: Nikki Haley.

Three states saw diversions away from Trump’s name on the primary ticket Tuesday. In Maryland, Haley still managed to pull 20 percent—a fifth of the GOP vote in the Old Line State. She also garnered 18 percent of the vote in Nebraska, and 9.4 percent of the vote in West Virginia. And the numbers aren’t just a fluke; they’re a trend. Earlier this month, Haley nabbed 21 percent of the Republican vote in Indiana, as well as 16.6 percent in Pennsylvania’s GOP presidential primary.

Ultimately, the staunch holdouts are a warning sign for Trump’s campaign. Haley has yet to endorse Trump for president. On her exit from the race on March 6, Haley skirted endorsing the former reality TV star like his other contenders did. Instead, the former U.N. ambassador said it’s up to Trump to “earn” the support of all Republican and independent voters—a critical task that he has not yet seemed to accomplish.

Haley’s brand of politics has formed an intraparty buttress against a growing wave of Trumpism in the Republican Party. Now those holdouts are being courted by an unlikely source: the Democratic Party. When Haley pulled out of the race, President Joe Biden extended an olive branch to her stranded voters, pushing a message of unity with the moderate conservative demographic.

“Donald Trump made it clear he doesn’t want Nikki Haley’s supporters. I want to be clear: There is a place for them in my campaign,” Biden said in a statement in March. “I know there is a lot we won’t agree on. But on the fundamental issues of preserving American democracy, on standing up for the rule of law, on treating each other with decency and dignity and respect, on preserving NATO and standing up to America’s adversaries, I hope and believe we can find common ground.”