Haley downplays Iowa, says New Hampshire voters will ‘correct’ caucuses


(MILFORD, N.H.) — Nikki Haley is facing backlash for comments she made to a New Hampshire crowd that its primary voters have the opportunity to “correct” the results of the Iowa caucuses set for later this month.

Joined by Gov. Chris Sununu, the Republican candidate and former U.N. ambassador saw large crowds at all three of her events across the state’s southern region. At her event at Milford’s Hampshire Hills Athletic Club on Wednesday, she closed her remarks with a note catered to New Hampshire voters downplaying the significance of Iowa’s caucuses — which takes place Jan. 15, just a few days before New Hampshire’s Jan. 23 primary.

“We have an opportunity to get this right. And I know we’ll get it right and I trust you. I trust every single one of you. You know how to do this. You know, Iowa starts it. You know that you correct it. … And then my sweet state of South Carolina brings it home. That’s what we do,” said Haley, who served as governor of South Carolina.

The campaign of competitor Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis knocked Haley for the comment. In a post on X, the DeSantis campaign wrote, “Nikki Haley belittles Iowa Caucusgoers — claiming their decisions will need to be corrected by New Hampshire voters.”

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds fired back after Haley’s comments.

“I trust Iowans to make their own decisions. No ‘corrections’ needed!” Reynolds, who has endorsed DeSantis, posted to X.

Evangelical leader Bob Vanderplaats, who has also backed DeSantis, posted to X that Haley’s remark “are very telling regarding her status in Iowa” and that it is an “admission of getting beat” there.

The Iowa Democratic Party posted to X that it “seems like Nikki Haley believes Iowa just picks corn while New Hampshire picks presidents.”

“What a disgusting slap in the face to all Iowans and just one of the many reasons she should never be anywhere near the Oval Office,” the post continued.

Haley trails in the Iowa polls behind former President Donald Trump and DeSantis, according to 538’s latest polling averages.

While Haley is not far from DeSantis — 15.7% to 18.4%, respectively — both are far behind Trump, who is polling at an average of 50%.

Haley has been splitting her time on the campaign trail across several early states including New Hampshire and South Carolina, rather than taking on Iowa head-on.

In New Hampshire, Haley is polling about 20 points behind the former president, 25.7% to Trump’s 44.1%, according to 538’s latest polling averages in the state. DeSantis is polling at 7.6% — falling behind former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who is at 11%.

DeSantis and Haley will appear at back-to-back town hall events in Iowa Thursday night.


Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.