In interviews with voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, Mr. Haley has often come up organically as a reason for their support. Wives and mothers with spouses or children in the military tend to connect with the tough experience of worrying about and rarely seeing their loved ones. Retired military officers see her as someone who might better understand their plight.
Both Ms. Haley and Mr. Trump share, to some extent, the absence of their spouses on the campaign trail. Melania Trump, the former first lady, has not joined Mr. Trump at events, nor has she been at his side during his court appearances.
Mr. Trump’s attacks on Ms. Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, came as his campaign has for weeks pursued a strategy meant to humiliate her in her home state.
On Saturday, Mr. Trump once again said that he appointed her to become ambassador to the United Nations only in order to clear the way for her successor, Gov. Henry McMaster, who endorsed Mr. Trump shortly after he began his 2024 campaign.
Ms. Haley has also ramped up her criticism of Mr. Trump, particularly as her path toward the Republican nomination has narrowed and she has become his only major competitor. Recently, she has attacked Mr. Trump in light of the special counsel report questioning President Biden’s mental acuity over his handling of classified documents.