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Nikki Haley leads – at least in terms of spending – in the most expensive election campaign ever

Nikki Haley leads – at least in terms of spending – in the most expensive election campaign ever

With Ron DeSantis out, all eyes are on Nikki Haley: Thanks to deep-pocketed sponsors, she can do her best in the upcoming Republican primary. But if you don't score in New Hampshire, that money will disappear quickly.

In South Carolina, Nikki Haley began her campaign a year ago. The former governor of the state has financially powerful sponsors behind her.

Win McNamee/Getty

About twice as much money was spent on the Republican primary in the US state of Iowa than on the National and State Assembly elections in Switzerland. It exceeded $120 million — or $1,000 per person who attended the caucuses. Donald Trump won Iowa by a wide margin, ahead of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley, who was the UN ambassador under Trump. The caravan's next stop is New Hampshire in the northeastern United States on Tuesday.

DeSantis focused his energies and his entire campaign team on Iowa. But he feels like a long-distance runner collapsing in the last few kilometers. In recent months, he has been unable to raise enough money to advance the campaign. On Sunday, DeSantis reached conclusions and announced the end of his campaign.

Haley may have finished only third in Iowa, just behind DeSantis, but unlike him, she has steadily gained voters' support in recent months. The 51-year-old has invested a lot of money and effort in New Hampshire. While 6,400 commercials had aired on television there by mid-January, DeSantis had managed to produce only 1,900. A good result in New Hampshire should give her campaign a boost. The primary elections are scheduled to be held at the end of next February in the state of South Carolina, where Haley was the country's governor from 2011 to 2017.

The world of super PACs

Why do Americans spend so much more on election campaigns than Europeans? The First Amendment to the US Constitution supports freedom of expression. Congress in Washington is not allowed to restrict it. This principle applies not only to individuals, but also to companies, non-profit organizations, associations or unions. They should have substantially the same opportunities as individuals to make their voices heard politically.

This is the essence of the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that went down in history as Citizens United. Supporters of this decision see the judge's ruling as a victory for freedom of expression, while opponents warn that the election campaign is increasingly corrupted by money.

Haley has significant support from the PAC

Spending in million dollars (from 1/1/2023 to 1/14/2024)

In any case, the judge's ruling marks the birth of the so-called Super PAC. These are political action committees that can raise any amount of money from individuals or corporations (hence the “super”). However, they are not allowed to fund candidates or parties directly nor are they allowed to coordinate with a candidate's campaign.

Play the Super PAC game now According to the “Open Secrets” platform. She played a decisive role in the recent election campaign. Already, $318 million has flowed into the campaign from these sources.

Nikki Haley can count on the support of two super PACs that have spent a combined $115 million. Behind one of the super PACs is famed hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller and co-founder of the do-it-yourself Home Depot chain, Ken Langone. Langone is now tightening the bolts. After the Iowa caucuses, he revealed Financial times: “If Haley’s candidacy doesn’t gain traction in New Hampshire, you can’t throw money down a rat hole.”

Haley was Donald Trump's first internal rival.  After a slow start, she has caught up with Ron DeSantis, but is still behind Donald Trump.

Haley was Donald Trump's first internal rival. After a slow start, she has caught up with Ron DeSantis, but is still behind Donald Trump.

Win McNamee/Getty

The second major PAC supporting Haley is sponsored, on the one hand, by industrialist Charles Koch, and on the other hand by members of the Walton family, which owns the supermarket chain Wal-Mart. Even now, the person who feeds on them has Super PAC Americans for Prosperity Spent $45 million.

It turns out that super PACs often do the “dirty work” that politicians’ campaigns avoid doing. Americans for Prosperity spent $9 million each on “negative ads,” meaning sites attacking Donald Trump or Democratic President Joe Biden.

$30 per resident

On the other hand, Trump can approach the Republican primary in a comfortable manner. According to opinion polls, they want him 65 percent Of Republicans voting in the primaries, a year ago the percentage was only 45%. Even in Nikki Haley's home turf of South Carolina, he currently has a comfortable 30 percentage point lead.

What's striking is that Trump is there too Smaller donors can score. Contributions over $200 must be reported to the Election Commission. So far, 103,000 people have donated more than $60 million to the Trump campaign. Nikki Haley managed to raise $19 million from about 50,000 people. For Ron DeSantis, there are only 16,800 people, but the 31 million who contributed far more than Healey did.

However, this year's elections in the United States may be more expensive than ever Ad Impact Analysis Company Estimates It is worth $10.2 billion and also includes contests for congressional seats and local elections. This would be 13 percent more than in the last election cycle, but adjusted for inflation it would be slightly lower. This equates to $30 per resident, which doesn't sound like a lot.

However, money is important in an election campaign. An unknown competitor has no chance of recommending himself to voters without the appropriate resources. At the same time, it has been shown time and again that elections cannot be bought. Four years ago, businessman and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried to win the Democratic primary with a crowbar. But the $586 million invested was wasted without any trace.

The 2016 presidential election is also a good example. At the time, Democrat Hillary Clinton allocated $1 billion to the campaign, while Donald Trump's camp managed to raise only $600 million. However, the foreigner managed to pull off a surprise.

In the GOP primaries, Haley, Trump's latest challenger, not only needs money, but given the huge gap, it's almost a miracle: Despite an indictment for allegedly inciting an ouster and talk of a so-called 2020 election, his popularity with Republicans is a base. The High Republic was not broken.

A phone call from fake Biden raises new concern about fake AI operations on the campaign trail

(dpa) US President Joe Biden's false election campaign calls are fueling fears of artificial intelligence manipulation in the race for the White House. In automated calls, a voice that sounded confusingly similar to Biden's called on Democrats in New Hampshire not to participate in the primary elections in the US state. Such robocalls are a common campaign tool in the United States. The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office said Monday that the sender information for the calls was also spoofed so that they appeared to be coming from a political committee affiliated with Biden's Democratic Party. AI-based programs can be trained to pronounce random sentences using the voices of specific people using audio recordings. American political expert Ian Bremmer told the American channel CNBC on Monday that robocalls are an attractive target for such manipulation because they are difficult to monitor.

The baby in your arms is always good.  Nikki Haley at a campaign rally in New Hampshire.

The baby in your arms is always good. Nikki Haley at a campaign rally in New Hampshire.

Robert F. BUKATI/AP