HomePoliticsNikki Haley's supporters take final chance on 'Super Tuesday' despite tough competition.

Nikki Haley’s supporters take final chance on ‘Super Tuesday’ despite tough competition.

Backers Pour Money into Early March States to Keep Nikki Haley’s Candidacy Alive

Efforts to Keep Haley’s Candidacy Alive

Backers of Nikki Haley’s quest for the Republican presidential nomination are pouring money into states that hold early March nominating contests in a bid to keep her candidacy alive, regulatory filings and pro-Haley political operatives said.

Challenges in South Carolina

Those efforts have ramped up in recent days and reflect a growing belief that Haley will not pull off an upset win in her home state of South Carolina, where former President Donald Trump holds a deep well of support.

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Strategic Focus on Early March Contests

Six analysts and people supporting Haley’s nomination now say the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations will have her best – and last – shot to claw back into the race during the first five days of March.

Super Tuesday States

That’s when voters from 21 states and territories go to polls, most of them on March 5 for “Super Tuesday.” Many of those states, like Massachusetts and Virginia, are laced with college-educated suburbanites who turned out for Haley in earlier nominating contests elsewhere.

Optimism Despite Tough Competition

“South Carolina is a really rough state. It’s a very Trump-friendly state,” said Robert Schwartz, the co-founder of Primary Pivot, an outside super PAC supporting Haley’s bid. “Our hope is that Nikki Haley can make it respectable in South Carolina and move on to Super Tuesday.”

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Strategic Alliances and Spending

Primary Pivot, which has raised about $1 million from big- and small-dollar donors, is targeting independent voters and Democrats who opt to vote in Republican primaries. The group recently hired advisers in Michigan and Virginia and is looking to recruit staff in Massachusetts and Minnesota, Schwartz added.

Focus on March Nominating Contests

Americans for Prosperity Action, a super PAC supporting Haley backed by conservative billionaire Charles Koch, has also ramped up its activity in states that vote in March, according to filings submitted to the Federal Election Commission.

Long-Shot Bet on Early March

Even Haley’s supporters concede her chances of pulling off an upset in the Republican nomination battle are exceedingly remote. “I think it’s the only strategy she’s got,” Chip Felkel, a veteran South Carolina Republican operative, said of the decision to focus on March’s nominating contests. “She’ll lose South Carolina by a considerable margin.”

Haley’s Campaign Strategy

Haley has already campaigned in California and Texas, both Super Tuesday states, and her campaign has rolled out leadership teams in at least five states – Alaska, Massachusetts, Idaho, Utah and Washington – that vote in early March.

Public Perception

Matthew Ingham, a 38-year-old truck driver at a Haley event in Sumter on Monday, said he does not think Haley needs to win in South Carolina. But that she needed a “strong push” to win some of the contests down the line, adding, “She can’t keep coming in second.”

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