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Top Donors Hop on the Nikki Haley Train and Tell Others to Follow

  • As Nikki Haley has risen in the polls, her viability among major political donors has also increased, according to the Times.
  • Some donors describe Haley’s candidacy as one that is generating enthusiasm among party leaders.
  • GOP donor Eric Levine told the Times that Trump’s air of inevitability had “completely dissipated.”

For months, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has been traveling the country hoping to convince GOP primary voters — and major donors — that her presidential bid is best positioned to bring the party back to the White House.

With the Iowa caucuses less than two months away, hesitant donors, many of whom shied away from supporting former President Donald Trump, are increasingly backing Haley’s campaign and pushing others to follow suit despite challenges by the former current commander. -chief, according to the New York Times.

Trump continues to dominate national and state polls among likely Republican primary voters, and he retains the support of party political machines across the country.

But Haley has impressed a wide range of business leaders — including JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon — with her political knowledge, according to the Times.

Dimon, who told The Economist last summer that he would be cautious about President Joe Biden’s “bidenomics” after reacting coolly to the social policy aspect of Biden’s economic agenda. administration, recently encouraged the former South Carolina governor to continue discussing ways to tackle complex issues. problems, according to the Times. In that same interview, Dimon also said he would “worry” about the possibility of Trump taking back the White House in 2024.

Kenneth G. Langone, the billionaire co-founder of Home Depot, told the Times that he remained undecided in the GOP race but was “very impressed” with Haley.

“I think she’s a viable candidate. I would definitely prefer her over Trump,” Langone, who donated to Haley’s campaign, told the newspaper.

Despite continued public enthusiasm for Trump, some Republican institutional leaders and donors remain wary of the former president, pointing to his conduct on January 6, 2021, his negative impact on many Republican candidates during the cycles past elections and the need for a future vote. He is a second-generation leader who can move the party beyond the tumultuous Trump years.

And while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has long been seen as the biggest threat to Trump’s re-nomination given his national support and focus on conservative causes, the governor’s struggles in the polls and his inability to pin down politically the former president has prompted many Republican Party donors to turn to candidates like Haley in recent months.

Jonathan Bush, co-founder of Athenahealth and chief executive of startup Zus Health, told the Times it was “invigorating to be really excited about a candidate again.”

Bush, a relative of former President George W. Bush, hosted an online fundraiser for Haley earlier this month. The health technology executive previously supported former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson’s Libertarian presidential bid in 2016 and Biden’s 2020 candidacy.

But he was won over by Haley’s handle on issues, and what he told the Times was “an electric energy” around her candidacy.

Major donors eyeing the GOP contest are largely in the camp of either resigning themselves to the fact that Trump is likely to be the party’s standard-bearer next year and cutting off funds to his rivals, or those who think that an agile candidate has the potential to overtake the former president. .

Eric Levine, a Republican Party donor who previously supported Sen. Tim Scott’s presidential campaign, will now co-host a fundraiser for Haley next month and told the Times that many people now believe Trump’s nomination “can be stopped”.

“Her aura of invincibility is completely gone,” Levine said, noting Haley’s rise among GOP voters.

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