Nikki Haley Enters Presidential Election Year with $3.5 Million

Nikki Haley (Credits: Alex Brandon/AP file)

A political action committee (PAC) supporting former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley started the election year in January with $3.5 million in cash, according to recent Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings.

This relatively modest amount has sparked fresh questions about Haley’s ability to finance a competitive presidential primary campaign in the months ahead.

The new report released by SFA Fund Inc. on Wednesday covers the period from July 1 through December 31, 2023. It indicates that the committee raised slightly over $50 million but spent nearly $63 million to support Haley.

While the super PAC began the reporting period in July with around $17 million, it ended with a significantly reduced war chest of $3.5 million.

Nikki Haley – Republican Potential Presidential Candidate (Credits: Megan Varner)

These potentially concerning figures from SFA Fund emerge as some of Haley’s most affluent donors contemplate whether to continue their support, particularly following her defeats to primary front-runner former President Donald Trump in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.

With the next significant primary scheduled in Haley’s home state on February 24, she currently trails Trump by approximately 30 percentage points there, according to a Real Clear Politics polling average.

Meanwhile, the leading pro-Trump super PAC, MAGA Inc., also disclosed its financial status on Wednesday, revealing that it started January with just over $23 million in cash reserves.

Apart from raising doubts about Haley’s competitiveness in upcoming primaries, SFA’s reported $3.5 million raises questions about how the PAC managed to spend $14 million on advertisements supporting Haley since January 1, as per data from the tracking firm AdImpact.

Mark Harris, a representative for SFA Fund, informed that the ad spending in January was not drawn from the previous fall’s totals.

Instead, he stated that the additional minimum of $10.5 million came from “robust” fundraising efforts this month. However, Harris declined to disclose the total amount raised this month or the PAC’s major donors.

Nikki Haley (Credits: Getty Images)

The majority of the $14 million expenditure was directed towards Iowa and New Hampshire, with only $200,000 allocated for TV ads in South Carolina.

Wednesday’s filing revealed that the super PAC’s fundraising success last fall largely stemmed from significant contributions from prominent donors.

Ken Griffin, CEO of Citadel, donated $5 million to the super PAC in December, according to FEC records. Griffin garnered attention earlier this week when his spokesperson informed media outlets that he contributed $5 million to the pro-Haley super PAC in January.

However, it remained unclear whether the $5 million Griffin disclosed late in January was the same $5 million reported by the Haley PAC in December.

Griffin’s spokesperson subsequently confirmed that the $5 million had indeed been donated to SFA Fund in December, contrary to the initial assertion that the donation was made in January.

Ken Langone, co-founder of Home Depot, contributed slightly over $500,000, while David Tepper, a seasoned investor and owner of the Carolina Panthers, donated upwards of $1 million. Oil magnate Harold Hamm contributed approximately $100,000.

Nate O'Hara
Nathan is a seasoned commerce writer with a passion for unraveling the intricacies of the business world and distilling them into engaging narratives. During his academic journey, he delved deep into subjects like economics, marketing, and entrepreneurship, honing his analytical skills and developing a keen understanding of market dynamics.