With Haley Expected to Drop Out, What Will Her Voters Do in November?


Many Americans are dreading a Trump-Biden rematch, but no one feels the anguish quite like a Nikki Haley voter.

“She would make a great president, and the alternatives are not appealing,” said Patti Gramling, 72, before voting in the South Carolina Republican primary in February in an upscale suburb of Charleston, S.C. “Biden is too old. And I think Donald Trump is horrible.”

With Ms. Haley expected to end her 2024 campaign, a crucial new equation is emerging in the electoral math: Where will her voters — and voters like them in key battlegrounds across the country — go in a general election contest between Mr. Trump and President Biden?

“The million-dollar question is, will they vote, will they sit it out — or will they vote for Joe Biden?” former Gov. Jim Hodges, a South Carolina Democrat, said of Ms. Haley’s centrist supporters in the state. “A moderate Republican voter in Charleston is not all that different than a moderate Republican voter in the Milwaukee suburbs.”

In recent interviews with nearly 40 Haley supporters across South Carolina’s Lowcountry, primarily conducted in historically more moderate enclaves of the state, many fell into what pollsters call the “double haters” camp — voters who don’t like either expected nominee. But some of them gave a sense of what her voters could do in November.

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