Haley’s “active retail campaigning… makes her a force to be reckoned with,” says her campaign
Nikki Haley, the first Indian American to serve in a presidential cabinet as US ambassador to the UN, raised more than $11 million in the first six weeks of her presidential run, to outpace her one time boss, Donald Trump.
Born Nimrata “Nikki” Randhawa Haley, the daughter of Sikh immigrants from India, received 70,000 donations, from all 50 states, the vast majority of which were under $200, her campaign said in a news release Wednesday that described the contributions as a sign of her broad appeal and effective fund-raising efforts.
Read: Nikki Haley joins 2024 US presidential race (February 14, 2023)
The former South Carolina governor was the first major Republican candidate to enter the race with Trump, who announced his third bid for the White House shortly after the midterm elections in November.
He raised only $9.5 million in his first six weeks, his campaign said in February, a relatively weak showing, according to the New York Times.
But the announcement of criminal charges against him in a hush-money case appears to be helping him make up for the sluggish start: He has pulled in more than $12 million since his indictment on Friday, the Times said citing his campaign.
Early polling has shown Haley trailing significantly behind Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, who has not yet formally entered the race, the newspaper noted.
She has sought, in her early and energetic campaign stops, to position herself as a “tough-as-nails woman” who could offer a seasoned, reasonable alternative, the Times said.
The fund-raising sum reflects the six-week period between Feb. 14, when Haley formally entered the race, and the end of March.
An official figure will be released in the coming weeks as part of the campaign’s required quarterly filing. She had about $7.8 million cash on hand at the end of the quarter, her campaign said.
The Times cited Eric J. Tanenblatt, a Georgia-based Republican strategist and fund-raiser who has supported Haley since her state campaigns, as saying the numbers “solidify” her as a serious candidate and give her “a good foundation to build on.”
Read: Nikki Haley poised to enter 2024 presidential race (February 1, 2023)
“It is a robust number,” Tanenblatt, who hosted a fund-raiser for Haley last month, was quoted as saying. “I don’t think anyone should underestimate her.”
The numbers released Wednesday do not include money raised by Stand for America PAC, the political action committee she created in 2021 and which is aligned with her campaign.
Such groups can raise unlimited funds from donors, while funds raised by the campaign committees are held to strict caps for individual donors.
Her super PAC had raised $17 million and reported $2 million on hand at the end of 2022, filings show. The next round of figures is due in July.
A super PAC supporting Trump reported having $54.1 million on hand at the end of 2022. As for DeSantis, a super PAC aligned with him said Tuesday it had raised $30 million since March 9. He also had at least $80 million in a state committee at the end of February, Florida records show.
“In just six weeks, Nikki Haley’s massive fund-raising and active retail campaigning in early voting states makes her a force to be reckoned with,” Haley’s campaign manager, Betsy Ankney, said in a statement Wednesday.
“Voters and donors are clearly responding to Nikki’s conservative message and her call for a new generation of leadership to make America strong and proud.”
Read: Nikki Haley Raises Over $11 Million to Start Her 2024 Campaign (April 5, 2023)
Haley has made a big ground-level push in early primary states, the Times said noting in February and March, she made several trips to Iowa and New Hampshire for town halls, meetings with local lawmakers, and other voter events
Trump was a prolific fundraiser in his 2016 and 2020 campaigns and raised more than $100 million since he has been out of office. USA Today noted.
Trump’s campaign raised $3.8 million in 2022, after announcing the campaign Nov. 15, according to Federal Election Commission records. Most of that was transferred from his political action committee Save America, his primary fundraising vehicle since losing the 2020 election, it said.