(RepublicanPress.org) – Former UN Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley only managed to win 19.1% of the votes in the Iowa Republican presidential caucus on January 15, losing to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis by 2.2 points and former President Donald Trump by 39.1. The following week, she closed the gap and came within 11.1 points of Trump in the New Hampshire primary, largely thanks to DeSantis’ departure from the race.
The Republican caucuses for the Virgin Islands and Nevada are scheduled for February 8, but all eyes are on the February 24 South Carolina GOP primary. Haley is trailing Trump by a whopping 54.8 points nationwide in the latest RealClearPolitics polling average. It’s her home state, and political watchers say she has to score a victory there to stay in the race — at least with any support from large donors.
Nikki Haley Ramps Up Fundraising Efforts
On January 30, Haley’s campaign manager, Betsy Ankney, met with members of the American Opportunity Alliance, a consortium of Republican megadonors led by billionaire hedge fund manager and conservative activist Paul Singer. He created the group in 2014 to bring together conservatives interested in advancing US support for Israel, immigration reform measures, and LGBTQ+ rights.
NBC News reported that a source familiar with the meeting said Ankney told attendees that the Republican race was a battle for America’s future, “a fight for freedom.” Haley’s campaign manager also told potential donors that nominating Trump would not only guarantee a second term for President Joe Biden but would also cost Republicans control of the House and leave Democrats leading the Senate.
Does Haley’s Campaign Have the Resources To Fight Trump?
Haley needs to amass large amounts of cash to have any chance of taking on Trump in South Carolina and beyond. The RealClearPolitics average shows her trailing the former president by 27 points, and FiveThirtyEight shows him leading her by 30.6 points.
Billionaire donor Ken Griffin, another conservative hedge fund manager, gave SFA Fund Inc. $5 million earlier this month. The group is the largest super PAC supporting Haley’s campaign. According to recent news reports, it took in roughly $50.1 million in the last half of 2023.
On February 2, a group of conservative megadonors gathered in Indian Wells, California, to discuss philanthropic topics of interest to the meeting’s host, Charles Koch. Puck reported that they also plan to discuss whether to continue funding Haley’s campaign.
The Koch network already spent tens of millions on Haley’s behalf. A decision to cut off those funds would likely decimate her chances of staying in the race much longer.
It remains unclear if Haley will survive until the end of the primary season, with or without funds from the Koch network or the American Opportunity Alliance.
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