Republican donors are paying closer attention to Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and U.S. ambassador to the UN, as a strong alternative to front-runner Donald Trump.
Due to numerous campaign failures and ongoing attacks from Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, formerly seen as Trump’s top rival, has had trouble keeping momentum.
Five significant Republican donors were polled recently by Reuters and expressed increased support for Haley, especially in the wake of her impressive performance in the GOP presidential debate in August.
These funders are paying close attention to Haley’s development and plan as the candidates get ready for the second debate, which will take place on Wednesday night in California.
Despite his campaign troubles, DeSantis still has the support of some large donors, but the growing focus on Haley shows how difficult it is for him to position himself as Trump’s top rival.
One supporter of Haley, who had previously given more than $1 million to DeSantis’ campaign, now views Haley’s knowledge of global policy and relative youth as strengths against the seasoned Trump.
The unidentified contributor hinted at potential future support for Haley’s campaign by praising her assertiveness during the debate. According to information from a source close to him, Ronald Lauder, the cosmetics tycoon, is also thought to be considering Haley as a possible candidate to support.
The end of the summer campaign season and increasing attention on the GOP contest, according to some, could mean that the renewed fervor for Haley is fleeting. The DeSantis campaign’s spokesman, Andrew Romeo, stressed his campaign’s tremendous grassroots support, while the Haley team chose to remain silent.
According to the most recent Reuters/Ipsos survey, Trump has a sizable advantage over DeSantis—nearly 40 points. But in areas like New Hampshire, where recent polls indicate she might defeat DeSantis, Haley appears to be gaining ground.
Haley’s trip does encounter some difficulties, though. Additionally, she is running against South Carolina Senator Tim Scott in an effort to win over the party’s moderate wing.
Many watch to see if the heightened donor interest in Haley signals true momentum or is just a brief moment in the political spotlight as the GOP’s campaign to win the White House in 2024 heats up.