Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley took the stage Saturday night inside a packed Sheraton Hotel ballroom in Needham, Mass., as her campaign continues searching for something — anything — that will make a dent in frontrunner Donald Trump’s lead in the GOP presidential race.

Even before she spoke, the former president was busy adding three more states to his string of wins following victorious caucuses in Idaho, Michigan, and Missouri on Saturday.

For a rally held in Massachusetts, there was a notable lack of Bay State Republicans on stage. Instead, Haley’s New Hampshire surrogates, Gov. Chris Sununu and retired Gen. Donald Bolduc, were brought in to fire up the crowd.

“It looks like New Hampshire out there,” Sununu told the standing-room-only audience.

Haley thanked former Massachusetts Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Nassour, who is chairing her Bay State campaign, but she was the only GOP figure from the commonwealth to get a mention. One Massachusetts notable who did make an appearance: Trump’s 2020 GOP primary challenger, former Gov. Bill Weld.

The setting was the wealthy Boston suburb of Needham, where, just before her rally, Haley attended a fundraiser hosted by New Balance owner Jim Davis. Attendees forked over upwards of $3,000 to co-host or $1,000 just to be in the same room.

Sununu took a few shots at his blue-state neighbor to the south, catching his tongue after saying, “All governors find a way to get stuff done. Yes, governors know what they’re doing.

“Although I say that in Massachusetts, I don’t know about governors,” Sununu clarified, a reference to Democratic Gov. Maura Healey. “And don’t get me started on the mayor of Boston. I don’t know what the hell is going on there.

“It’s understandable why we’ve got a packed room here. You guys look north to the 603, and it’s like being in jail looking up at the blue sky.”

Sununu also offered some optimism ahead of Tuesday, when Massachusetts will join 14 other states in voting on nominees for president.

“No one is thinking it’s going to happen. But Massachusetts is a key state, one at the top, where all of the sudden come Wednesday morning, the media is going to go, ‘Oh wait, we thought we knew what the hell was going on,’” Sununu said. “Lord knows that they think this thing is wrapped up, and it’s yesterday’s news. But the voters decide.”

Republican voters, meanwhile, have been increasingly deciding for Trump. After beating her by 11 points in New Hampshire, Trump thumped Haley in her home Palmetto State by more than 20 points. In Michigan’s primary last week, Haley earned less than 27 percent of the vote.

An upset Haley win in Massachusetts is viewed as highly unlikely. Trump handily won the GOP primaries there in 2016 and 2020, and Haley has spent virtually no money in the state. Saturday was her only Bay State campaign stop.

Last month’s Suffolk University poll put Trump ahead in Massachusetts with support from 55 percent of likely GOP primary voters.

Haley made sure to take some shots at Trump and blamed him for the inability of Congress to pass a bill addressing the ongoing illegal immigration crisis.

“Donald Trump told Congress not to pass anything until after the general election because it would hurt him,” Haley said. “We can’t wait one more day. Congress needs to get in a room and figure it out and Donald Trump needs to stay out of it.”

She also touched on abortion, a sore subject for Massachusetts Republicans in an overwhelmingly pro-choice state.

“I think a wrong was made right when justices put it back in the hands of the people,” Haley said, referencing the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 Dobbs decision. “Can’t we all agree to ban late-stage abortions? How do we save as many babies as possible and support as many moms as possible?”

Haley later pivoted back to hammering Trump, this time over his threat that anyone donating to her will be “permanently barred from MAGA camp.” Her campaign was quick to put the comment on pro-Haley t-shirts. Haley said t-shirt sales have topped 25,000.

“If you’re a candidate running for president, your job is to bring people in and not push people out of your club,” she said.

A voter from Brockton told NHJournal she will never vote for Trump, although she declined to say whether she will vote for Haley.

“Curiosity is what brought me here,” said Donna Puliafico. “I know who I am not voting for. I just wanted to come and see what Nikki has to say.”

Puliafico added that she “(doesn’t) care if it’s Republican, Democrat, or independent. If you do positive things for the majority of the country, fine. If you’re going to stand and cheer on war crimes and (Vladimir) Putin, then no, I’m sorry, there are enough places that have authoritarians and dictatorships. They can pack up and move there. Don’t try to bring that to the United States of America.”

“This is the greatest country on earth,” Puliafico added. “Why are we going to let knuckleheads try and change it?”

On Sunday, Haley made history by winning the GOP primary in Washington, D.C., making her the first woman to ever when a Republican presidential primary.

The Trump campaign responded to Haley’s victory with a statement from national spokesperson (and Atkinson native) Karoline Leavitt:

“The swamp has claimed their queen.”