While former President Donald Trump continues to dominate the run for the Republican 2024 presidential candidate, the battle for second place is heating up between two prominent contenders: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Governor and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley.
Optimism and Momentum in the Haley Campaign
Haley, the two-term South Carolina governor who later served in Trump’s administration, has been steadily climbing the ranks in the race for the GOP nomination.
Trump, maintaining a commanding lead with an impressive 59% in recent polls, has solidified his position as the front-runner.
However, Haley’s strong performances in the first two Republican debates have significantly boosted her national and early-state polling numbers.
Haley shared her optimism, saying, “We can feel the momentum on the ground.”
The Haley-DeSantis Showdown
After a town hall event in Rochester, New Hampshire, she noted that her support had doubled from 5% to 10%. This surge catapulted her into third place, just behind DeSantis at 13%.
While DeSantis currently maintains a grip on second place in Iowa, a critical state due to its early caucuses, Haley has overtaken him in some of the latest surveys in New Hampshire and her home state of South Carolina. “We can feel it in Iowa. We can feel it in New Hampshire. We can feel it in South Carolina,” Haley proudly declared.
Haley has a growing appeal among Republican donors. During an event in Utah, she engaged with top-dollar GOP donors, garnering significant interest and support. “We do have donor interest wanting to help us,” Haley confirmed.
DeSantis’ Iowa Strategy
Until Haley’s recent surge, DeSantis had held a secure second place in the polls. When questioned about his perception in the polls, DeSantis defended his campaign, asserting that they were “doing it right.”
He pointed to his extensive campaign efforts in Iowa, where he’s closing in on visiting all of the state’s 99 counties, positioning himself ahead of previous Iowa caucus winners in terms of organization and support.
DeSantis confidently stated, “I can tell you, for what we’ve been able to do in Iowa, I would not trade places with any other candidate.” The DeSantis campaign further underscored its commitment by reserving $2 million for advertising in Iowa, signaling a robust push ahead of the state’s Jan. 15 caucuses.
DeSantis’ Commitment to Extensive Campaigning
DeSantis reaffirmed his commitment to the campaign trail: “We’re going to be painting this state a lot. We’re going to be doing town halls, house parties, speeches – everything we need to do.”
His recent visit to New Hampshire, where he officially filed for the GOP presidential primary, marked the beginning of an intensified campaign effort.
Former Texas Representative Will Hurd, a lesser-known candidate in the race, recently withdrew from the competition and threw his support behind Nikki Haley.
When asked about the viability of other contenders facing steep uphill battles, DeSantis took a pragmatic approach.
Uniting for a Stronger Campaign
He acknowledged that anyone running for president has the right to do so, but they must have a believable path.
He added that if candidates don’t see a viable route, they should consider uniting, a decision he believes rests with each candidate.
As the race unfolds, DeSantis and Haley’s fierce competition for second place continues to captivate political observers and voters alike, adding an extra layer of intrigue to the evolving 2024 Republican nomination battle.
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