Representative Nancy Mace has clung to her seat, but barely, following a contentious primary battle that former President Donald Trump was heavily invested in. The South Carolina Republican has walked a thin line in opposing Trump while still courting his supporters. Trump was not conflicted about Mace, actively supporting her primary opponent and declaring that the representative is “despised by almost everyone.”
Nancy Mace defeats challenger
Despite those strong words, Trump has already congratulated Mace and stated that he expects to see her win an easy victory in the general election.
Opponent Katie Arrington also conceded to Mace. Trump congratulated Arrington on her campaign as well, emphasizing that she had very nearly defeated an incumbent.
Once considered a Trump ally, Mace earned the former president’s ire by denouncing him after January 6 and stating that he had destroyed his own legacy.
She stopped short, however, of voting to impeach him. That proved to be a wise decision, as a simultaneous race in South Carolina showed.
Representative Tom Rice, one of the few Republicans who voted to impeach Trump and then sought reelection, was defeated handily by a Trump-backed challenger.
Rice is one of a handful of representatives who has earned special ire from Trump for supporting impeachment. In celebrating the outcome, the former president proudly declared that Liz Cheney would be next.
Backed by Nikki Haley
Nancy Mace would have met the same fate had she not been cautious. Mace turned on Trump after January 6 but tried to avoid being known primarily as an anti-Trump Republican.
She still says that she intends to vote for Trump if he runs again in 2024, but her primary served as a proxy battle between Trump and another Republican with presidential ambitions.
Mace was backed in her race against Arrington by former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, whose relationship with Trump has been even more chaotic than Mace’s.
Poll numbers have consistently shown very little interest among Republican voters in a Haley 2024 campaign, but all signs indicate that she still intends to run.
Mace has given her hopes a major boost and dealt another blow to Trump’s aura of invincibility within the GOP.
Haley has no realistic chance of defeating Trump or Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, but her support for Nancy Mace shows that she still has some sway in the party.