Republican Nikki Haley will hold at least 17 fundraisers in five states over the next few weeks, as the nation’s eyes turn to an upcoming rematch between her and former President Donald Trump in Haley’s home state of South Carolina.
Fundraisers are scheduled in Columbia, Charleston and Greenville, South Carolina, a few days before the state’s primary elections.
Haley’s other fundraising events, some of which she is expected to attend, will be split between four states — New York, California, Texas and Florida — as she continues to pitch to both voters and wealthy Republican donors about her support. A run against Trump remains viable after an 11-point loss in New Hampshire and a third-place finish in Iowa.
Haley’s rolling fundraising schedule comes on the heels of Trump’s announcement Wednesday night that “from this moment forward,” Haley’s donors are “permanently prohibited from joining the MAGA camp,” an unprecedented move that has drawn the ire of many GOP donors.
Over the months leading up to the Iowa caucuses, major Republican donors showed signs of lining up behind Haley amid her rise and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ collapse in the polls.
That upward trajectory is partially reflected in the latest fundraising by Haley-aligned super PAC SFA Inc., where the group announced Thursday that it has raised a whopping $50 million in the second half of 2023, topping the list of pro-Trump super PACs. Sales of America Great Again Inc. During the same period.
While the strong numbers may allay the concerns of some skittish donors and provide some short-term confidence that Haley’s operation has the money to continue, the campaign is being exposed to new questions about the viability of its path to the Republican nomination.
Donors are holding out…for now
And Haley’s 11-point loss in New Hampshire — a state that was seen by a large swath of Republican voters and moderate independents as fertile ground for her campaign — does not appear to have completely sapped Republicans’ confidence in her ability to defeat Donald Trump in the GOP. Basic.
But the results were not enough to prevent the defection of two major donors, Reid Hoffman and Andy Sabin, who now say they consider the race for the nomination effectively over.
However, some longtime Haley supporters say they are sticking with her while her campaign continues to say she will run at least through South Carolina.
Mounir Lalani, CEO of Dallas Hotel Management who attended the fundraiser on February 15, told ABC News that he is a “steadfast” supporter of Haley and will support her “as long as there is a way, no matter how small.”
“We expect her to do a very good job,” added John Dworkin, a Greenville City Council member who co-hosted Haley’s fundraiser there.
However, ABC News conversations suggest that Haley may need help recruiting new donors who are concerned about spending money on a candidate with such a narrow path to the nomination.
“I wouldn’t say it’s not a concern,” Jiten Agarwal, a Houston-based tech entrepreneur who is raising money for Healey, told ABC News.
“Some people have told me they worry there may not be a path to the Republican nomination,” he said, adding that he encourages those people to donate less money now and monitor how it fares moving forward.
“I tell them: ‘Let’s support it through the last mile,'” Agarwal said.
Fundraising duel in Greenville
The fundraiser will be held in Greenville on February 19, the last before the South Carolina primary just days later, a day before her rival Trump’s fundraiser in the same city.
Top Republicans from the state will host a Trump fundraiser in Greenville. The hosts include Governor Henry McMaster and Governor Pamela Evette, and the list includes those who were previously political opponents of Trump, such as Senator Tim Scott, who was recently Trump’s 2024 rival, and Senator Lindsey Graham, who was once a critic of Trump, but has since pledged to… Then throw all his support behind him.
Elsewhere, Haley’s fundraiser in Greenville is being hosted by a group of old friends and allies, such as former Bush appointee David Wilkins, Greenville City Councilman John Dworkin and businessman Dennis Brash.
Brash, an executive at a South Carolina-based construction company, told ABC News he was a long-time Republican-leaning voter but voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020. He said he would vote for Biden again if it came. To choose between Biden and Trump, although he was looking for an alternative because he believed the current president was “fiscally irresponsible.”
“Trump will not get my vote,” Brash said, adding that he believes Trump is “unethical” and “selfish.”
Brash is optimistic about Haley’s path forward, noting that the fact that Trump held a fundraiser in Greenville the day after Haley’s fundraiser is a sign that they feel “threatened.”
“My vote for Nikki Haley is to continue to support her. We support you, and if it doesn’t work out this time, she will be president next term,” he said.
But former Trump ambassador-appointee Ed McMullen, a longtime Trump fundraiser who is co-hosting a Trump event in Greenville, shot down the idea. McMullen said the Trump team “is not worried about Nikki Haley” because Trump has built a strong support base among Republicans while courting “traditional Democrats.”
“We continue to focus on the president’s goals, and the president’s goal is to win and raise a significant amount of money in the state of South Carolina,” he said.
Haley $2 million
Meanwhile, Haley’s team is touting an influx of $2 million since her loss on Tuesday, half of which the campaign says came after Trump threatened donors to “permanently ban” them from the MAGA world if they continued to support her.
At a rally in North Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday night, Haley continued to promote her grassroots fundraising efforts.
“We have 200,000 donors from all 50 states,” Haley told the crowd. “95% of those donations are $200 or less.” “This is about real Americans.”
Some of Haley’s major donors told ABC News they were not interested in Trump’s threat.
“who cares?” Lalani said. “I’m too old to be intimidated.”
“This doesn’t resonate with me at all, not even a little bit,” DeWorken echoed.
Agarwal called Trump’s comments “empty threats” that wouldn’t sway small donors, but might scare off, he predicted, “big New York donors” with deeper pockets.
But one donor who co-hosted several of Haley’s fundraisers told ABC News that the comments were “hugely counterproductive” and had “motivated more donors” to support Haley.
Haley’s campaign took the opportunity to capitalize on Trump’s remark, posting a link on X encouraging supporters to donate to her campaign and receive a “permanently banned” T-shirt.
“Enough said… get your shirt over here,” Hailey said in the post.
“Donald Trump said if you support me, he will permanently ban you from the MAGA camp,” Haley’s fundraising appeal said. “I will not be intimidated.”
This article originally appeared on abcnews.go.com