Haley Campaign Doubles Down With Seven-Figure Super Tuesday Ad Buy

February 23, 2024 by Dan McCue
Haley Campaign Doubles Down With Seven-Figure Super Tuesday Ad Buy
Nikki Haley for President campaign manager Betsy Ankney during a conference call with reporters Friday.

CHARLESTON, S.C — Despite predictions of a potential double-digit loss in her home state, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is showing no signs of throwing in the towel on her quest for the Republican presidential nomination anytime soon.

On Friday, one day before South Carolinians go to polls to vote in the state’s GOP primary, the Haley campaign announced a seven-figure ad buy across the 15 states that will hold primaries on Super Tuesday.

The ad buy consists of cable TV and digital platforms, and will play in the states in which 874 convention delegates are up for grabs on Tuesday, March 5.

These are Alabama, Alaska,  Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia.

On the same day Utah will hold a Republican Party caucus, American Samoa, a Democratic caucus and Democrats Abroad will vote in a primary.

March 5 is also the day, at long last, that the Iowa Democratic Party will release the results of its mail-in presidential preference caucus.

“As we look at the path ahead, we know this is an uphill battle,” said Nikki Haley for President campaign manager Betsy Ankney during a conference call with reporters Friday.

“We know that the road is difficult. We know that the math is challenging,” Ankney said. “But this has never just been about who can win a Republican primary. This battle is about who can win in November, defeat the Democrats and finally get our country back on track. 

“The reality is no matter what Donald Trump goes on about in his all caps rants on social media, he will not defeat Joe Biden in November and he will drag the entire Republican ticket down with him,” Ankney said.

In recent weeks a number of polls have in fact showed Haley defeating President Joe Biden in November, in some cases handily. The latest Marquette University Law School poll has Haley up by 18 points in such a contest.

Trump constantly loses to Biden in most of those same polls or, at best, “wins,” but well within the respective survey’s margin of error.

“So the polls, time and time again, show that Nikki Haley is the strongest general election candidate for the Republican Party,” Ankney said. “And if you don’t buy the polls, let’s look at history.

“In 2016, Trump won the White House and the Republicans held the House and the Senate. Then the luster wore off. While people were initially willing to give Trump a pass, it became tiring and independents and suburban women grew sick of the name calling, sick of the chaos, and they revolted at the ballot box,” she continued. 

“As a result, Democrats had a net gain of 41 seats in the house in 2018, costing Republicans the majority. In 2020, we all know what happened — Trump lost the White House. And we all know that his antics in the aftermath of that cost Republicans two Senate seats in Georgia and is the reason why Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is the majority leader today,” she said.

Ankney reiterated that regardless of what happens in South Carolina on Saturday, Haley is committed to staying in the race through Super Tuesday and already has staff and infrastructure in place in contests extending through the end of March.

One state the campaign is particularly focused on right now is Michigan, which holds its primary on February 27. Like South Carolina, Michigan has an open primary, meaning independents and Democrats are free to vote in the Republican contest.

Win, lose or draw in South Carolina on Saturday, Haley is already scheduled to begin campaigning in Grand Rapids and other parts of Michigan on Sunday.

Before ending the call, Ankney told reporters on the line with her that there is a reason that Biden and the Democrats actually would prefer to run against Trump rather than Haley.

“They know they can beat him again,” she said. “If Trump is the nominee, the House is gone. If Trump is the nominee, the Senate map automatically shrinks from eight or nine seats to three. And keep in mind, this is the best Senate electoral map in decades.

“If Trump is the nominee, the Republican National Committee will continue to be in shambles, and they will continue to fund his legal bills and we will continue to lose. We think a whole lot of Republicans across the country realize that, and we are placing our faith in the American people.”

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and @DanMcCue

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