Suppose that Nikki Haley loses to Donald Trump by 15% in New Hampshire and also loses her home state of South Carolina by a big margin. Will she necessarily drop out of the race? It seems unlikely.
A number of states that will vote on Super Tuesday offer Haley much friendlier territory then do New Hampshire or South Carolina. California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Vermont, and Virginia all vote on Tuesday, March 5th. Haley could very well beat Trump in some or even in all of these states.
Trump, who is 77, might have a sudden health problem or be convicted of one of the 91 felonies he has been charged with. This could totally upend the race.
In the 1980, Republican primaries George H.W. Bush stayed in the race until May 26, 1980 hoping for a lucky break. Haley has every incentive to do the same thing. She has quite rightly promised to pardon Trump of any of the Fake Crimes he has been charged with. Maybe voters will give her the chance to do that.