Nikki Haley asks for Secret Service protection

 February 6, 2024

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley has asked for Secret Service protection over an alleged rise in threats on the campaign trail.

Haley faces an uphill battle as the last remaining primary challenger to Donald Trump, who appears to have all but secured the Republican nomination for president.

The Wall Street Journal was first to report her request for Secret Service. The outlet cited an incident at a Haley campaign event where security intercepted a woman rushing on stage.

Haley requests Secret Service

Haley's home in South Carolina was also targeted in a swatting incident, in which a person makes a false report of an emergency to prompt a heavily armed police response.

"We’ve had multiple issues,” Haley told The Wall Street Journal. “It’s not going to stop me from doing what I need to do.”

In addition to enhanced personal protection, a Secret Service detail could serve to elevate Haley's campaign in the eyes of voters.

The Secret Service typically protects "major" presidential candidates. The Secretary of Homeland Security decides whether to provide the protection.

Guidelines define a "major" candidate as a formal or "de facto" nominee for president or vice president, or a candidate polling at 15% or more for 30 consecutive days in the RealClearPolitics average of national polls.

Haley does not seem to meet those conditions, despite a recent surge. 

Reckoning in South Carolina

Haley will go head-to-head with Trump in her home state of South Carolina on February 24.

The state's primary likely represents her last opportunity to stop Trump from winning the primary after he trounced his challengers in Iowa and New Hampshire last month.

Faced with a daunting polling deficit, Haley has sharpened her rhetoric against Trump, whom she has blasted as mentally and morally unfit and too burdened with legal baggage to lead. Trump, in turn, has ripped Haley as a globalist "warmonger" and a "birdbrain."

Her candidacy has been embraced by Wall Street donors and liberals eager to stop Trump.

Last weekend, Haley was welcomed onto the set of Saturday Night Live, where she took swipes at Trump, a regular target on the sketch comedy show.

Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has also requested Secret Service protection, but the Biden administration has denied it.

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