California Republicans and UC Berkeley professor discuss Trump-Haley battle for GOP

The New Hampshire Republican presidential primary left Donald Trump with another win Tuesday night, but Nikki Haley promised that she was not giving up her bid to offer the Republican Party and independents an alternative to Mr. Trump and Democratic President Joe Biden.  

California Republicans who support Trump were glad to see his victory at the polls.

"I'm really excited as a Trump supporter. We knew he'd do well in New Hampshire," said Jason Clark of San Francisco who worked in the Trump administration.

Clark believes the former President can win again, despite critics from within the Republican Party, who point to the January 6th insurrection, as well as concerns and criminal charges that Trump used his power to try and overturn the 2020 election. 

"Nobody likes to see a group of protestors overstep their bounds, but it's happened, and we need to move forward instead of continuously replaying this," Clark said.  

Nikki Haley, who also served in the Trump administration, has become an outspoken voice for Republicans critical of Trump.

Haley says she plans to stay in the race, with one month to go until the GOP primary in South Carolina, where she was governor from 2011-2017.

"It gives Donald Trump a chance to address the issues that Democrats will bring up in the general election," said John Dennis, the 
chairman of San Francisco's Republican Party.

Dennis says California Republicans are ready to play a role with their votes and their dollars.

"We're part of Super Tuesday, and we're the biggest prize in the country," Dennis said. "I think in 2020 Donald Trump got 20% of his donations from California, so we do play, even the Republican Party in California plays an outsize role in choosing the occupant of the White House."

U.C. Berkeley Political Science Professor Eric Schickler, who is co-director of the Institute for Governmental Studies, says there is one big difference from the 2016 election, when Trump was an unknown factor.


Trump wins New Hampshire primary as rematch with Biden appears increasingly likely

Donald Trump won the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, tightening his grip on the Republican presidential nomination and bolstering the likelihood of a rematch later this year against President Joe Biden. 

"If you look at surveys back then, a lot of voters thought that he was the more moderate candidate than Hillary Clinton," Professor Schickler said. "Trump now has a clearer ideological reputation with the public than he did in 2016."

Professor Schickler says support for Haley and her own actions in the coming weeks will reveal much about whether there's room for Trump critics in the Republican Party and Haley's own future.

"Whether she ratchets up the criticism of former President Trump, or goes back to the more reserved strategy,

 I think that will tell us something about how she sees her long-term political ambitions," Schickler said.

The South Carolina Republican primary is scheduled for February 24th.

Jana Katsuyama is a reporter for KTVU. Email Jana at or call her at 510-326-5529. Or follow her on Twitter @JanaKTVU.