Nikki Haley in Tight Re-election Battle

Image: Nikki Haley in Tight Re-election Battle

Tuesday, 14 May 2013 05:45 PM

By John Gizzi

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South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley is facing a tough rematch next year against Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, who lost a close race in 2010 to Haley.

Sheheen has launched attacks against Haley, saying the governor is raising huge sums from out-of-state donors.

"The governor's raising huge sums of money from extreme, out-of-state contributors, giving to an entity running ads attacking me and saying things that aren't true and not reporting to the Ethics Commission," Sheheen said recently. "I want to make sure we're capturing those extremist influences trying to control South Carolina."

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Haley was a heroine to the tea party and endorsed by Sarah Palin in their first match, but has had her ups and downs with her conservative base since.

She is often ranked as the third most vulnerable Republican governor facing voters in 2014, behind Rick Scott of Florida and Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania. A Winthrop University poll from April shows Haley's approval among all voters at 43.5 percent and a negative rating of 36.6 percent.

Haley has healed past rifts with her conservative base, getting high marks from them last year when she named tea party favorite Rep. Tim Scott to a vacancy in the Senate. One advantage for Haley is that she is not likely to face any primary opposition.

John Gizzi is chief political correspondent and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

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