Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign announced Monday it will be booking $10 million worth of television, radio and digital ads in Iowa and New Hampshire. The ad campaign is set to launch beginning in the first week of December and will run through Iowa’s Republican caucuses on Jan. 15 and the New Hampshire primary.
The advertisement reservation marks the biggest investment the Haley campaign has made to date, as she attempts to solidify her lead against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in New Hampshire and improve her standing in Iowa.
“Nikki Haley’s momentum and path to victory are clear,” said Haley’s campaign manager Betsy Ankney. “The same can’t be said for Ron DeSantis, who, even with a decent showing in Iowa, can’t afford a cup of coffee at the Red Arrow Diner in New Hampshire and is a mere tourist in South Carolina.”
The $10 million ad booking in the two states through January is nearly five times larger than the DeSantis campaign’s $2 million TV ad reservation in Iowa for the same time period.
“We have plenty of money that we’re going to be on TV with,” Haley said on Fox News Sunday prior to the ad booking announcement. “We’re going to be strong in Iowa. We’re going to be strong in New Hampshire. We’re going to be strong in South Carolina because we spent our money well.”
The DeSantis campaign currently has no ad reservations in New Hampshire or South Carolina, though the super PAC backing him does. He has anchored his bid in Iowa, and his campaign equated Haley’s investment in Iowa ads to “lighting millions of dollars on fire” and said she has “no mathematical pathway to victory” in the state.
The DeSantis campaign argued Haley can’t cut into Trump’s base to pull off a victory in Iowa, and pointed to Des Moines-Register polling showing that 41% of Trump voters have DeSantis as their second choice, while only 16% say they’d choose Haley.
“It’s clear there is no way Nikki Haley can beat Donald Trump, and every dollar spent on her candidacy is an in-kind to the Trump campaign,” DeSantis campaign communications director Andrew Romeo said Monday.
On top of the $10 million booking, the main super PAC funding Haley’s presidential campaign has reserved nearly $4.9 million in advertising running through January.
DeSantis’ super PAC, Never Back Down, has about $6.4 million in Iowa and New Hampshire ads reserved from Nov. 1 through January 2024, according to data from advertisement tracking firm AdImpact.
Never Back Down recently shifted over $1 million in ad reservations in Iowa and New Hampshire from November to January 2024 instead. The group reserved a total of $2.4 million in ads to run the week before the Iowa caucuses and the week before the New Hampshire primary, according to AdImpact. The PAC contends no advertising dollars in November were “cut,” and that they were “optimized and placed to complement the campaign and get January started.”
The Haley advertisement reservation announcement comes a day after South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott dropped out of the presidential race Sunday night. Sources close to the Haley campaign said they expect this to translate into more support for Haley, Scott’s fellow South Carolinian.
“It certainly helps Nikki for people in South Carolina who were like, okay, who do I choose from among my native daughter and son?” said Dave Wilson, the former president of the Palmetto Family Council, a conservative Christian group based in South Carolina.
Meanwhile, DeSantis’ campaign argues he is “making headway” with the evangelical voter base Scott and former Vice President Mike Pence, who dropped out of the presidential race in October, were angling for in Iowa.
Both DeSantis and Haley talked with Scott Monday, but the conversations were described as “cordial” and did not include talk of an endorsement, according to a source close to Scott and multiple people with knowledge of the calls.
Fin Gomez contributed reporting.