Trump, Haley go head-to-head in South Carolina primary

Kelly Missel speaks to CNN's Alayna Treene.
Kelly Missel speaks to CNN’s Alayna Treene. CNN

South Carolina primary voters flocked to Jennie Moore Elementary School in Mount Pleasant on Saturday, with several participants waiting for close to an hour to cast their votes.

The town is part of Charleston County, one of the counties in South Carolina that supported the Democratic candidate in both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. 

That dynamic was reflected in interviews CNN conducted with a series of voters on Saturday, some of whom were Democrats who said they were proud to take advantage of the state’s primary registration rules, which allow members of any party to participate.

Kelly Missel, 53, is once such registered Democrat who voted for Haley: “Her campaign has been texting me three times a day, sometimes for weeks now, saying that you can vote. I didn’t know that we could vote in the Republican primary, so it educated me. I think it’s pretty smart.”

Missel said she believes Haley is hoping Democrats will “save her from Trump.”

“I don’t think enough will, because I don’t like her either, but I just want him to lose,” she told CNN.

More from voters: Roy Layman, a 78-year-old registered Republican who voted for Trump in both the 2016 and 2020 elections, told CNN he voted for Haley because he was impressed with her performance as the state’s former governor. He added that he believed Trump has been “a mess” over the past two years, and that he wasn’t sure if he would support him over President Joe Biden in a general election.

Dave Alfred, 70, told CNN he voted for the former president because “he’s the only guy in my lifetime that’s put the country on the right path, period.” He named energy independence and border security as top issues.

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