It has been several weeks since the last primary contests, and despite much external news surrounding Donald Trump's ongoing legal and financial problems, the dynamics of the race remain the same. Donald Trump is the overwhelming favorite, and on paper, the logic for Nikki Haley's candidacy seem far-fetched. But each race has a wrinkle in it: South Carolina is one of the more conservative states (whatever the denotations of that word are), which would favor Trump, but also is the home state of Nikki Haley, who was a two-term governor there. Would this race have the ability to change the status quo?

The answer is, as it has been for all the other contests, no. Donald Trump won 60% of the vote, while Nikki Haley won 40% of the vote. Because of the way that the state assigns delegates, Trump got 47 delegates and Nikki Haley got 3 delegates. Despite her poor showing, Haley has promised to stay in the race, at least until Super Tuesday, nine days from now.

I said that the race did not change the status quo---but what I am not sure of is what that status quo is. Given the normally campaign ending legal and financial problems that Trump faces, the fact that he is getting a clear majority seem to show him as the "presumptive nominee". But as the de facto "incumbent candidate", a showing in the low 60s shows a candidate with serious problems. Both of those are coherent ways to look at the ongoing primary.

Haley's motivation at this point is also unclear. One thing to consider, though, is that as someone who was in Trump's cabinet, Haley might have a better insight into Trump's state of health and activity than we do---or at the very least, she might believe she does. Haley's plan may be to wait for the great Trump implosion and be the next in line after the pieces have settled. While I don't know if that is the case, it would seem to be one of her few viable paths as a candidate.