As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to falter in the polls, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley is starting to look good — at least by comparison — to the minority of GOP primary voters who are not planning to support former President Donald Trump.
📊 2024 Texas Republican Primary
• Trump — 58% (+47)
• Haley — 11%
• DeSantis — 9%
• Ramaswamy — 5%
• Christie — 1%
• Scott — 1%
• Trump — 59% (+35)
• DeSantis — 24%
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) November 12, 2023
In an apparent effort to build on her muted momentum, reports indicate that the Haley campaign has dropped about $10 million on advertising in the early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire. The first campaign ads are expected to begin airing on TV and radio, as well as appearing on digital platforms, next month and continue throughout the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary election in early 2024.
The DeSantis camp has also paid for some campaign advertising in Iowa, though it amounts to a relatively paltry $2 million for spots expected to start airing later this month.
Both long-shot candidates are clearly hoping to make much-needed gains now that former Vice President and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) are out of the race. In addition to trading some barbs directly during last week’s debate, the two campaigns have taken aim at each other via surrogates in recent days.
DeSantis spokesperson Andrew Romeo has touted an endorsement by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and denounced the “pro-China, pro-Gaza aid, pro-gas tax and pro-Hillary record” he claimed Haley brings to the GOP primary race.
“It’s clear there is no way Nikki Haley can beat Donald Trump, and every dollar spent on her candidacy is an in-kind [donation] to the Trump campaign,” he asserted.
In contrast, Romeo said that DeSantis “has the best combination of endorsements, ground game and message in the early states, which is why the former president continues to attack only him,” expressing confidence that “Iowa voters will see who will best represent them and their values.”
Haley campaign manager Betsy Ankney, on the other hand, declared that the former South Carolina governor’s “momentum and path to victory are clear.”
In reality, of course, neither candidate seems to be making even the slightest dent in
Trump’s huge lead.
The latest RealClearPolitics polling average puts support for Trump at 58.5%, compared to 14.4% for DeSantis and 9% for Haley.