Despite finishing in a distant second and third place, respectively, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley were responsible for an outsized amount of campaign advertising compared to the decisive winner of Monday’s Iowa caucuses.
Haley’s campaign and associated organizations accounted for the most spending — $37 million — with pro-DeSantis spending totaling just $2 million less.
How much did the Republican candidates and associated PACs spend in Iowa?
Haley: $37 million
DeSantis: $35 million
Trump: $18.3 million pic.twitter.com/umnvhSsKbq
— JgaltTweets (@JgaltTweets) January 16, 2024
By comparison, ad spending on behalf of former President Donald Trump, who relied largely on grassroots organization and his continued popularity across the GOP base, amounted to just over $18 million.
In fact, all other candidates in the once-crowded Republican presidential primary spent $33.2 million in the Hawkeye State, which was less than the individual totals for either the Haley or DeSantis campaigns.
The massive infusion of campaign cash ahead of the Iowa caucuses might have swayed some voters, but it was not enough to turn either of Trump’s closest rivals into a threat to his seemingly inevitable nomination.
Now, Haley and DeSantis prepare for the upcoming New Hampshire primary — where Trump is also the heavy favorite to win — without a victory and with a much lighter war chest.
Vivek Ramaswamy, who finished fourth in Iowa, promptly suspended his campaign and endorsed Trump, which pundits predict could boost the former president’s performance in New Hampshire even more.
“We’re going to do our part now going forward to make sure America First lives on, to make sure Donald Trump is successful as the next president of the United States,”
Ramaswamy told supporters as he dropped out of the race. “I’m not going to be changing what I say to any tune other than the one that’s best for this country.”
Another former 2024 Republican presidential hopeful, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, also endorsed Trump and appeared alongside the Iowa caucus winner during Monday night’s victory speech.
“I want to congratulate Ron and Nikki for having a good time together,” Trump said. “We’re all having a good time together.”
He went on to credit his nearest rivals, claiming that they “actually did very well” and noting that, at the time, “we don’t even know what the outcome of second place is.”