Nikki Haley, a candidate of the Republican Party, commented on abortion in the third Republican National Committee Debate and has not only supported the GOP voters and candidates but has also moved a way forward on an issue that has continuously hampered the success of the Republicans.
The latest loss for the Republicans came just a day before the debate where the Ohio Residents voted for enshrining abortion rights into the state constitution. Governor Andy Beshear won the re-election after attacking Republican Daniel Cameroon over his stance on abortion rights.
Moreover, the Virginia voters handed control of the state Assembly to the Democrats in a stinging fight with Governor Glenn Youngkin. Haley’s comments on abortion could be a path forward on how the party campaigns about abortion. Still, it might also come at the cost of the evangelical voters, who comprise some of the conservative base.
While it might be suitable for the forward GOP messaging strategy, it won’t be enough to defeat the Republican nomination for Former President Donald Trump. Over the last four months, Nikki Haley has constantly polled third or fourth behind Former President Donald Trump and Governor Ron DeSantis.
As Haley’s campaign gained prominence after the first two debates, it has only threatened the position of Ron DeSantis and caused little to no effect on the part of Donald Trump. While Haley’s abortion stance could put off the evangelical voters in Iowa, New Hampshire voters might be more amendable to the pragmatic approach of Nikki Haley.
The former South Carolina governor has constantly stated that a federal ban is unrealistic given the Democratic control of the White House and the Senate. Instead, she has called for a consensus on abortion. She stated that as long as she is Pro-life, she does not want to judge anyone for being pro-choice. Neither does she want anyone to think of her for being pro-life.
She further said that when it comes to federal law, it just requires 60 senate votes, a majority of the house, and a signature from the President. Haley continued by saying that no Republican president can ban abortions any more than a Democratic President can ban these state laws. Therefore, it’s better to find a consensus.
She also said that everyone should ensure that there are adoptions and, in fact, good quality adoptions. Also, the country needs to make sure that contraception is available. Additionally, everyone needs to ensure that no state law can put a woman in jail or the death penalty for getting an abortion. Haley also commented that the country should take precautions to save as many babies as possible, support as many moms as possible, and stop the judgment.
Yet, some of the competitors of Nikki Haley, like Tim Scott, have challenged her to endorse a 15-week ban on abortion during the debate. Answering this statement, she said she would support everything that would pass because it would save more babies and help more moms.
DeSantis, who has emerged as the main competitor of Nikki Haley, signed a six-week abortion ban in April. He has gone further than Haley and Trump in enforcing the abortion limits. Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, pushed back against Haley’s sidestepping questions about how many weeks she supports before a federal abortion ban is enacted.
Dannenfelser said that he admires Nikki Haley and her ability to communicate. But he said that he very much disagrees with the idea of ignoring a consensus of the country and waiting for peace inside the Beltway.
In April, Nikki Haley gave a major policy speech at the northern Virginia headquarters of SBA. There, she first talked about her consensus on abortion ideas being a Presidential candidate. During that time, Dannenfelser felt very receptive to Haley’s stance on abortion.
Mary Ziegler, who studies reproduction politics at California University, said that both Trump and Haley have been vague on abortion to avoid explaining what they would do if elected as a President. He further said that Congress won’t pass the ban, but that does not align with what Nikki Haley would do if given powers.
Donald Trump has often spoken about appointing the three Supreme Court Justices, Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett, and Brett Kavanaugh, who had helped overturn Roe. Yet, the GOP does not have any easy solution for abortion while moving forward. Amid the conversations of the federal abortion restrictions, there have also been discussions regarding access to contraceptives and the sale of abortion pills.
Zieglar said that when the Republicans wanted to sound more like Nikki Haley, what Youngkin was trying to do with the Republicans in Virginia didn’t work. Haley’s campaign stated in a statement that the former South Carolina governor is more focused on being honest with the voters to achieve something with abortion.
Olivia Perez-Cubas, a spokeswoman, said that leadership is about bringing the best in people. Nikki had also confidently signed pro-life legislation at the Supreme Court. At the federal level, it is about being loyal and honest towards the American people and finding a consensus to save more babies and help more mothers.
The executive director of Faith and Freedom Coalition, Timothy Head, praised Haley’s comments on abortions. The head also said that Nikki Haley’s consensus-building process might take time. He said that there are two things for which politicians are not known.
Head also stated that despite Trump’s complicated views on abortion, he is still ahead of other GOP voters. He further said that Trump has a ton of kind of credibility among the pro-life Republican voters.
Before Nikki Haley can build a consensus on abortion, she would have to find ways to move ahead of Trump, whose supporters have grown and supported him throughout the primary. The best thing Haley can do is to overtake DeSantis as the top alternative to Trump and consolidate the Republicans who want a new standard bearer. If she is proven successful, Haley would become a formidable foe of Joe Biden.
A recent poll from the New York Times stated that Haley has beaten Donald Trump in all six battleground states- Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Nevada. At the same time, Trump has also beaten Biden in all the battleground states except Wisconsin.