The Democrats Paying for Nikki Haley to Stay in the Race

The Democrats Paying for Nikki Haley to Stay in the Race

Thousands of Nikki Haley’s donors are Democrats doing everything they can to stop Trump and undermine the GOP.

Nikki Haley announced Tuesday that she is staying in the presidential race. “I refuse to quit,” Haley told supporters and members of the media gathered in Greenville, SC. “South Carolina will vote on Saturday, but on Sunday, I’ll still be running for President. I’m not going anywhere. I’m campaigning every day until the last person votes.”

We’ve heard this song and dance before. Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis said his campaign had its “ticket punched” out of Iowa, only to drop out less than a week later. But can Haley really stay in the race until the convention when her campaign has no momentum and no chance at beating Trump?

The American Conservative reached out to the Haley campaign asking about Haley’s commitment to not suspend her campaign and what her plan for the convention would be, but did not receive comment.

The better question, however, is where Haley’s campaign money is coming from. Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings for the month of January suggest that, despite a third-place finish in Iowa, where she captured less than 20 percent of the vote, her loss in New Hampshire, which was her best chance at beating Trump, and her loss in the Nevada primary to “none of these candidates,” Haley will have the cash to keep going.

In January, Haley posted her best fundraising numbers to date—no doubt a consequence of being the only Trump challenger remaining. The Haley campaign raised $11.5 million last month, whereas the Trump campaign raised $8.8 million, making it the first period in which Haley raised more than the former president. Both the Haley and Trump campaigns ran deficits in January; Trump’s $2.6 million to Haley’s $1.6 million. Nevertheless, the Trump campaign had more than $30 million in the bank as of January 31, while Haley’s campaign had $13 million.

Haley’s ties to Democratic donors forking out large sums of cash to keep a Trump alternative in the race is well-known. Now that it is abundantly clear Haley has no route to the nomination, absent Trump dying or being barred from running, it seems the strategy is shifting. Now, Haley’s liberal supporters appear to be giving money to Haley to drain Trump and the GOP’s funds.

A POLITICO analysis of FEC filings by Haley’s campaign found that, in January alone, approximately 1,600 donors to President Joe Biden’s campaign in 2020 also donated to Haley’s campaign. These were not just small-dollar donors; they were responsible for more than $500,000 of donations last month. In total, more than 5,200 donors to Biden’s 2020 campaign have donated to Haley’s primary campaign.

While Haley does not pose a real challenge to Trump electorally, her campaign is delaying the ability for the GOP to unite and get their financial house in order. Biden’s campaign closed out January with a $56 million war chest, $10 million greater than the month prior. Trump’s war chest shrank by $3 million over the same period of time to about $30 million. 

The Republican primary isn’t the only drain on Trump’s coffers. Trump’s campaign apparatus has had to spend millions on the former president’s legal troubles. Save America, a Trump PAC, spent $55 million on legal bills in 2023—85 percent of its total spending. In the first month of 2024, the PAC paid $2.9 million in legal bills, with another $1.9 million in unpaid bills. The money problems have spilled over to the GOP itself. While the Democratic National Committee has over $130 million cash on hand, the Republican National Committee has $8 million.

Haley and her campaign, wittingly or not, have effectively become a Democratic political operation. An overwhelming majority of Republican voters apparently see through it, but they aren’t who Haley answers to.

The post The Democrats Paying for Nikki Haley to Stay in the Race appeared first on The American Conservative.

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