Nikki Haley’s campaign had cash left over as her primary run ended

Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign had $11.5 million in the bank at the end of February, just days before the former U.N. ambassador dropped out of the Republican primary, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission late Wednesday.

The total suggests that Haley, who exited the race on March 6 after losing most Super Tuesday contests, could have stayed in the race against Donald Trump even longer. But after losing decisively to the former president in the early nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, she did not spend heavily on TV or digital ads in the states that voted in early March, according to data from AdImpact.

Haley’s decision to leave her coffers relatively full, raises questions about how her team was processing the primary. Candidates usually end their runs for office because they run out of cash. But that was not Haley’s problem. In fact, cash was one of her biggest assets.

Haley’s campaign reported raising $8.6 million in February — a robust total that allowed it to spend just over $10 million that same month. Her donors in her last month included a mix of anti-Trump Republicans and Democratic donors, according to a POLITICO analysis of fundraising data. Among the 46,000 itemized donors her campaign reported in February, just over 2,200 had made an itemized donation to Trump’s 2020 campaign, while a bit shy of 1,400 had made a donation to President Joe Biden.

A super PAC supporting Haley, SFA Fund, also raked in donations of more than $7 million in February after Haley became effectively the only non-Trump Republican standing. That included contributions of $1.1 million each from David and Nicole Tepper, owners of the Carolina Panthers, and $1 million from James Davis, chair of New Balance.

Exactly how much money was left in Haley’s campaign account when she formally dropped out won’t be clear until her next filing. But leftover campaign funds could be put toward a future federal campaign if Haley runs for office again. The former ambassador could also opt to convert her campaign into a PAC.

Zach Montellaro contributed to this report.


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