Nikki Haley’s Backers Spent Millions Boosting Her Bid In Her Home State. She Still Lost By 20 Points

Nikki Haley as she announces her bid for presidency. Photo/ Nikki Haley/ Twitter

Political action committees and advocacy groups supporting Nikki Haley’s presidential bid spent millions in her home state of South Carolina, only for Haley to lose by 20 points in the state’s Saturday primary.

Groups including the pro-Haley SFA Fund, the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity Action and the liberal dark money-funded Defending Democracy Together collectively pumped over $8 million into supporting Haley in South Carolina between March 2023 and the February primary, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) data. Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s backers only spent roughly $370,000 boosting the former president in South Carolina this election cycle.

Despite outside groups spending significantly more on Haley than Trump, the former South Carolina governor lost her home state by 20.3 points with more than 95% of votes counted, The New York Times reported.

Defending Democracy Together, which spent roughly $33,000 on YouTube ads meant to boost Haley in South Carolina, was co-founded by prominent ex-Republican Bill Kristol and has received more than $10 million in funding from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, one of the nation’s most prolific Democrat-aligned dark money organizations.

The Haley campaign’s New Hampshire state director lobbied for the Sixteen Thirty Fund in 2022, the Washington Examiner reported. SFA Fund, the primary pro-Haley super PAC, also received $250,000 from Democratic megadonor Reid Hoffman.

Pro-Haley groups spent money on canvassing, advertisements, mailers, flyers and voter engagement operations intended to boost her performance in South Carolina, FEC records show.

The deep pockets of Haley’s supporters have yet to win her any states.

Haley received more than twice as much support from outside groups ahead of the New Hampshire primary than Trump did. She went on to lose the state by more than ten points.

Haley’s third-place loss in Iowa, meanwhile, cost her about $442 per vote, according to Newsweek.

In Nevada’s primary, Haley lost to “none of these candidates.” Trump wasn’t on Nevada’s primary ballot as he ran in the state’s caucus, the race that actually determined who would get delegates.

Haley had previously vowed to stay in the presidential race until at least Super Tuesday, The Associated Press reported.

Failed Republican presidential campaigns have cost donors hundreds of millions of dollars so far. If Haley loses the Republican primary, which the Trump campaign expects to happen by March, she would add at least another $113.5 million to the total between her campaign and SFA Fund, according to FEC records.

The Haley campaign, SFA Fund, Americans for Prosperity Action and Defending Democracy Together did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

Robert Schmad on February 25, 2024

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