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Haley, who last held public office as former President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, is planning to sweep ad spaces across television, radio, and digital in a sprint to overtake Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the GOP primary, according to the Associated Press. DeSantis currently sits second in national polling.
Both DeSantis and Haley sit far behind former President Trump, who has maintained a double-digit lead nationally throughout the primary.
Haley may have received a boost to her primary campaign with the exit of Sen. Tim Scott, a fellow South Carolinian who failed to gather momentum throughout the Republican primary. Scott announced his exit from the primary race in an interview on Fox News on Sunday night.
Two of Scott’s big money donors have already moved into the Haley camp less than 24 hours after Scott’s decision to walk away, according to The Washington Examiner. Eric LeVine and Andy Sabin have said they will support Haley in the primary, and two other donors, Chad Walldorf and Jeff Burns, have signaled they may do the same.
Haley’s upcoming ad campaign will be her campaign’s first official advertising reservation, and she is investing heavily early in Iowa and New Hampshire as tries to knock DeSantis out of the second-place spot. Haley wants to position herself as the best alternative to Trump by her home-state primary contest in South Carolina.
DeSantis is currently only spending in Iowa after reserving $2 million in ad buys in the state last month. His campaign reported $5 million available in September and has said it has raised millions more since, according to the Des Moines Register.
“As Americans look behind the curtain, they will see [Haley] does not have the extensive record of conservative achievements that Ron DeSantis boasts,” DeSantis spokesman Andrew Romeo said. “It’s clear there is no way Nikki Haley can beat Donald Trump, and every dollar spent on her candidacy is an in-kind to the Trump Campaign. … We are confident the Iowa voters will see who will best represent them and their values.”
Haley campaign manager Betsy Ankney predicted that the DeSantis campaign would flounder in New Hampshire and South Carolina.
“Nikki Haley’s momentum and path to victory are clear,” Ankney said, according to the AP. “The same can’t be said for Ron DeSantis, who, even with a decent showing in Iowa, can’t afford a cup of coffee at the Red Arrow diner in New Hampshire and is a mere tourist in South Carolina.”