According to an NMB Research poll of likely Republican primary voters, presidential candidate Nikki Haley has joined fellow candidate Ron DeSantis in second place in New Hampshire Republican primary support. Two transphobes at the two spot.

Recent campaign efforts for the majority of Republican candidates have continued to shift from New Hampshire to Iowa. According to Steve Peoples of ABC News, the current Republican candidates believe “The Midwestern state’s religious conservatives are most likely to help them stop former President Donald Trump‘s march toward the GOP nomination.”  However, Nikki Haley is one of the few candidates who maintains an equal amount of time and money spent in both states. She is making sure to fill the void left by the other candidates. “No one will outwork Nikki Haley,” said spokesperson Nachama Soloveichik to ABC News.

She has and continues to put a notable amount of time and effort into gaining support in New Hampshire, holding “49 grassroots events across all 10 counties,” according to Lisa Kashinsky from Politico. In the wake of the first Republican primary debate, support for Haley has become more noticeable. Many New Hampshire Republicans identify with the “say it as it is” attitude that Haley brings to the table. Even New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, while not expressing formal support for Haley, said that “she was certainly a fine example of the kind of conservative he wished to see in the White House,” according to Matthew Medsger of the Boston Herald. Considering how she is a vocal bigot actively working to oppress a minority, maybe she shouldn’t be gaining the support of the “Live free or die” state.

In both May and June of this year, Nikki Haley made public statements suggesting that transgender women are the reason for high suicide rates and ideations among teenage girls. 

In May, she spoke at an event hosted by Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH. According to Trudy Ring of Advocate, Haley said, “Make no mistake: [Dylan Mulvaney] is a guy, dressed up like a girl, making fun of women. Women don’t act like that. Yet everybody’s wondering why a third of our teenage girls seriously contemplated suicide last year? What are we doing to them? We’re supposed to be growing strong girls, confident girls, not ones being made fun of.” 

Too many politicians have weighed in on the fact that Dylan Mulvaney, a trans woman, was in an advertisement for Bud Light. It is honestly so frustrating that a trans woman being in an ad for a beer company can cause so much outrage, but that is not the point. Haley uses Mulvaney not as an example of why trans people are icky or have too much public perception like other right-wingers, but instead as an example of why teenage girls kill themselves. Despite literally no evidence, no research and no study to even slightly back up her point, Haley just goes out and says the existence of trans women is why girls want to kill themselves. 

According to Ring, in the same speech, Haley said, “[Transgender women in girl’s sports] is the women’s issue of our time…It’s not ok.” This statement is far less surprising from someone who has been vocal against trans women in sports since 2021, when, according to Ring, she “wrote a National review commentary in which she said that allowing trans girls and women to compete in female sports was “an attack on women’s rights.” South Carolina, the state where she served as governor and state representative, would put into place a law banning all trans women from female sports a year after her 2021 comment.

It was Haley’s speech in June, at a CNN town hall event in Iowa, where she would double down on her statements from May, almost repeating her statement line for line. According to Christopher Wiggins of Advocate, Haley said, “How are we supposed to get our girls used to the fact that biological boys are in their locker rooms? And then we wonder why a third of our teenage girls seriously contemplated suicide last year. We should be growing strong girls, confident girls.” She continues to push this message of hate towards transgender people, trying to stoke fear about an issue that simply does not exist. Again, there are no studies that show trans women in any capacity lead to increased suicidal ideations among women.

While the manner in which Nikki Haley presents herself and her ideas proves to be a major source of attraction for Republican voters in New Hampshire, it should not be more important than the blatant transphobia that she displays time and time again. As a transgender woman, I cannot help but be angry and disgusted with Haley and those who choose to platform her. If an outspoken bigot is a “fine example” of the type of conservative that should be in the White House, then as a country we have failed.  

Harvie Marcotti can be contacted at

Share and Enjoy !