Biden and Trump are already competing for Haley’s voters: from the politics desk

By | March 7, 2024

Welcome to the online version of From the Political Bureauan evening newsletter featuring the latest reporting and analysis from the NBC News Politics team from the campaign trail, the White House and Capitol Hill.

In today’s edition, Allan Smith and Ali Vitali, who extensively covered Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign, dive into the battle to win over her supporters. Plus, Chuck Todd explains why the coming weeks could be a critical stretch as Joe Biden and Donald Trump focus on a general election rematch.

The battle for Haley’s supporters is underway

By Allan Smith and Ali Vitali

Nikki Haley‘s campaign is over, but the battle to win over her supporters is just beginning.

Of Donald Trump And Joe Biden Haley’s voting bloc, essentially set in stone as their parties’ presidential candidates, will now have to come to terms with a choice many wish they didn’t have to make.

And Trump and Biden’s first pitches to these voters couldn’t sound more different.

Do you have a news tip? Let us know

Trump wrote on Truth Social that Haley was “RIPPED OFF in record fashion” on Super Tuesday, adding, “Much of her money came from radical left Democrats, as did many of her voters.” He later said he would “further invite all Haley supporters to join the greatest movement in our nation’s history.”

Meanwhile, Biden said in a statement: “Donald Trump has made it clear that he does not want Nikki Haley’s supporters. I want to be clear: there is a place for them in my campaign.”

Additionally, a Biden campaign official told NBC News that Biden’s finance teams and the Democratic National Committee recently conducted outreach to Haley donors, including led by Hollywood mogul and Biden national co-chair Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Haley’s coalition was strengthened by crossover voters who jumped into open primaries and wanted to stick with Trump. Although in the minority in the Republican primaries, strategists on both sides recognized that some of its supporters could play a key role in close battleground states.

NBC News exit polls on Super Tuesday showed deep divisions between Trump and Haley supporters on key issues. In Virginia and North Carolina, about half of Haley’s supporters said they approved of Biden’s performance as president — higher than that of the public as a whole. On the other hand, virtually none of Trump’s base approved of Biden’s performance.

A New York Times/Siena College poll released Saturday found that nearly half of Haley’s supporters — 48% — voted for Biden in 2020, compared to 31% who then said they supported Trump.

And as NBC News’ Steve Kornacki wrote, Trump’s poor performance with independent voters in the Republican Party’s early primaries may be more a result of “resistance”-oriented independent voters being motivated to participate than a reflection of the views of independent voters in general.

Still, there may be a group of Haley voters now looking for a home that could be crucial to both candidates’ coalition — especially voters who dislike both men or worry about their advanced age.

Read the full story here →

Why the coming weeks could be the critical stretch in a Biden-Trump rematch

Analysis by Chuck Todd

This general election is going to be nasty. It will be personal. And by the time the two campaigns are done battling each other, I suspect Trump supporters will assume Biden is on the brink of death, while Biden supporters will assume the Constitution will be suspended at the day of a second Trump inauguration.

The real question, of course, is which negative attacks will actually stick in the minds of voters who are not die-hard supporters and are not inclined to assume the worst about either candidate. And the next six weeks should tell us a lot about how much a paid anti-Trump media campaign can impact Biden’s numbers.

Given the financial advantage Biden enjoys over Trump, it would be malpractice if the Biden campaign did not immediately attempt to leverage that advantage. Right now, this campaign has the air of a “referendum on Biden,” a fairly natural occurrence at this point in a sitting president’s reelection efforts. The challenger – in this case Trump – is the one who is constantly lurking and in the news, and his victories give him a kind of ‘winner’ halo effect.

But just ask Presidents Dukakis, Romney and Kerry how long that will take. They all had moments when they seemed to have successfully made the campaign over the other man (and their party). That is, until the incumbent’s campaign had its say and started spending its money.

One of the hallmarks of Trump’s campaigns is his ability to project his own weaknesses onto his opponent. One of the more effective hits for Trump is to portray him as an agent of chaos, unable or unwilling to prevent, say, a January 6 protest from turning into a full-blown insurrection. Of course, Trump knows this — which is why he regularly portrays the border or things happening abroad as “chaotic” or “out of control” on Biden’s watch.

I’m curious to see how Biden’s team handles this vaccination attempt. One of the big challenges it faces is convincing the middle of the electorate to vote for Biden for a second time, arguing that this time the chaos that Biden promised to leave behind the nation in 2020 will actually end. Will these voters believe that?

Read the full story here →

That’s all from The Politics Desk for now. If you have any feedback – like it or not – please email us at

And if you’re a fan, share it with everyone and anyone. They can register here.

This article was originally published on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *