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Nikki Haley in New Hampshire
Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign event in Hollis, N.H., on Thursday.Matt Rourke / AP

Eyes on November: Haley hits the trail -- and targets Trump

Haley’s campaign estimated she will make 30 appearances in the final week of the race.

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Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is crisscrossing New Hampshire ahead of Tuesday’s primary, with her campaign pushing back on criticisms that she is not as active in the final stretch

NBC’s Allan Smith and Sarah Dean report from the Granite State that Haley’s campaign estimated she will make 30 appearances in the final week of the race, and on Thursday Haley also took questions from voters and the media for the first time in several days. 

Dean also reports that Haley has stepped up her criticisms of former President Donald Trump after focusing much of her ire in Iowa on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, blaming the former president for recent GOP losses. Haley dodged a question on whether Trump would be qualified to lead the country if he is a convicted felon, saying, “I’m going to beat him, so we don’t have to ever deal with, ‘Are we going to elect a convicted felon?’” 

But one of Haley’s challenges as she takes on Trump in New Hampshire is her reliance on independent voters, as voters not registered with any party can participate in whichever primary they choose. The New York Times explores Haley’s challenge with those voters, writing that they “come in all shapes and stripes, and many of them aren’t open to her.” 

In other campaign news … 

Betting on Trump: After initially signaling he would not take sides in the presidential race, Nevada Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo told the Nevada Independent he would be caucusing for Trump. Lombardo said he was making his choice known because “the race is over.” 

Making his case: Trump’s attorneys filed a brief with the Supreme Court on Thursday making his case to remain on Colorado’s primary ballot, per NBC’s Lawrence Hurley. Nearly 180 Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, signed an amicus brief supporting Trump’s case to the high court, the Washington Post reports. 

More Trump trials: Trump himself wrote in a social media post on Thursday that presidents “must have complete and total presidential immunity.” And writer E. Jean Carroll took the stand on Thursday to testify in her defamation case against Trump, whom a separate jury last year found liable for sexually abusing and defaming her.  

Staying in: Asked if he has the resources to stay in the race after Super Tuesday, DeSantis told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, “yes on that, 100%,” per NBC’s Alec Hernández.

Joining the Yang gang: Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang on Thursday endorsed Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillip’s presidential bid, per NBC’s Nnamdi Egwuonwu. 

Seeking an investigation: No Labels, a non-profit group considering running a third-party presidential ticket if the two major-party nominees are Biden and Trump, announced Thursday that it sent a letter to the Department of Justice alleging a racketeering conspiracy among Democratic groups seeking to stop its 2024 campaign. 

He’s back: Former Rep. Justin Amash, who is best known for leaving the Republican party to become an independent and voting to impeach Trump in 2019, said Thursday that he’s considering running for Senate as a Republican in Michigan’s open seat.

Abortion on the ballot: A coalition of groups in Missouri began collecting signatures on Thursday with an aim to place an amendment on the ballot later this year to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution, NBC’s Adam Edelman reports.