In the Nevada primary on Tuesday, Ms. Haley finished behind a “None of These Candidates” option on the ballot. She will technically win the contest anyway, as state election law says that “only votes cast for the named candidates shall be counted.” But the confounding result has denied her even a symbolic victory. Ms. Haley’s team has long said she did not spend any time or money in the Nevada after the state party changed the rules to favor Mr. Trump, deciding to award all of the state’s 26 delegates to the winner of a caucus scheduled for Thursday.
Ms. Haley has continued to project confidence, saying that she will stay in the race until Super Tuesday, on March 5. But she remains far behind Mr. Trump in most state and national polls. In South Carolina, where she was governor and which will hold its primary on Feb. 24, she trails him by roughly 30 percentage points. In California, a Super Tuesday state, and where she is set to appear for a rally on Wednesday evening, she is down by more than 50.
Both on the campaign trail and in national interviews this week, Ms. Haley has continued to call for a new generation of leadership and criticized Mr. Trump for holding up a border security deal, calling the delays irresponsible and urging Congress to pass the legislation.
“The problem I have is — here you have President Trump telling Congress don’t pass anything until after the election,” she told an audience of 500 in Spartanburg, S.C. “We can’t wait.”