Nikki Haley’s Bid To Outmaneuver DeSantis In Political Arena

Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley has allocated $10 million for advertising in the initial nominating contests of Iowa and New Hampshire. This move is part of her bid to emerge as the leading alternative candidate to former President Donald Trump, surpassing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

Haley’s advertising campaign, encompassing television, radio and digital platforms, is scheduled to commence during the first week of December. The campaign will extend through the Iowa caucuses on January 15 and New Hampshire’s primary.

In contrast, DeSantis’s campaign has already reserved a $2 million ad buy in Iowa, set to begin this month and continue through the Iowa caucuses.

Trump maintains a commanding lead in the GOP primary, as indicated by both national and state surveys. The RealClearPolitics poll average places Trump at an impressive 58.5% support, significantly ahead of DeSantis at 14.4% and Haley at 9%. Nevertheless, the rivalry between Haley and DeSantis for the position of Trump’s primary opponent continues.

Recent polling data reflects a growing level of support for Haley within the GOP electorate. In a Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom Iowa poll released last month, Haley and DeSantis were tied at 16%, while Trump received 43% support. Additionally, a Suffolk University/Boston Globe/USA Today survey last month demonstrated that among New Hampshire Republican primary voters, Haley garnered 19%, positioning her ahead of DeSantis, who polled at 10%, and second only to Trump at 49%.

Republican strategists have consistently urged lesser-known candidates to exit the race, allowing a single campaign to effectively challenge Trump. On Sunday evening, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) declared his withdrawal from the 2024 race. The previous month, former Vice President Mike Pence set a precedent by suspending his campaign during the Republican Jewish Coalition summit, becoming the first prominent candidate to do so.

Iowa holds a pivotal role in DeSantis’s campaign strategy for securing victory in the GOP primary. He recently secured the influential endorsement of Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) and has committed to visiting all 99 counties in the state.

Nevertheless, Haley’s campaign manager, Betsy Ankney, has scrutinized DeSantis’s financial resources and organizational efforts in two other early-voting states, namely New Hampshire and South Carolina.

DeSantis’s campaign, in contrast, criticized Haley for her foreign policy positions and alleged that she falls short of being sufficiently conservative in a political party that has been significantly influenced by Trump.

The super PAC “Never Back Down,” which backs DeSantis, is contributing to the Florida governor’s efforts with a $25 million investment in an autumn advertising campaign targeting Iowa and New Hampshire.

Trump, on the other hand, maintains a substantial lead over both Haley and DeSantis in fundraising. His campaign amassed $45.5 million during the third quarter of the year and retained $37.5 million in available cash.

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