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Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley during the third Republican presidential primary debate in Miami, Fla., on Nov. 8, 2023.Shuran Huang for NBC News

Eyes on 2024: Haley rises as race for second heats up

Nikki Haley has started to rise in the GOP primary and an "increasing number of donors" she her as a viable alternative to Donald Trump.


Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Florida Gov Ron DeSantis are continuing to fight it out for second place in the GOP presidential primary, with former President Donald still dominating the Republican contest.

But Haley has started to rise, and “an increasing number of GOP donors who oppose former President Donald Trump see her as the best alternative,” write NBC’s Matt Dixon, Jonathan Allen and CNBC’s Brian Schwartz. They report that some fundraisers who previously supported South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott have shifted their support to Haley since Scott dropped out of the race.

One of those donors, Eric Levine, who is hosting a fundraiser next month for Haley, wrote in a text message that Haley “has serious momentum and folks genuinely believe she can beat Trump and easily win the general against Biden.”

The New York Times also reports that Haley is moving to take on DeSantis in Iowa, where the Florida governor has focused his campaign, ramping up her events and ad spending in the Hawkeye State.  

And in New Hampshire, a pair of polls show Haley rising to second place in the Granite State. A CNN survey finds Haley at 20%, with DeSantis at 9%, while a new Washington Post-Monmouth University Pollfinds Haley at 18% and DeSantis at 7%. But both polls show Trump firmly leading the field with support from more than 40% of those surveyed. 

In other campaign news… 

The Kamala-not-Joe voters: Recent New York Times surveys found voters who say they would support former Vice President Kamala Harris but not President Joe Biden, and the Times spoke to some of those voters to find out why.

Thinking about TikTok: The Biden campaign had previously decided it would not join TikTok, but Axios reports that the campaign is now considering joining the app to better reach young voters. 

Return of the infomercial: The super PAC supporting Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s independent presidential bid is planning to spend “millions” on a 30-minute infomercial about Kennedy, per Politico. 

New Hampshire vandalism: A New Hampshire Democratic Party county office was vandalized with white supremacist and antisemitic symbols. 

He’s running: Retired Army Col. Yevgeny “Eugene” Vindman announced that he is running for Virginia Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger’s House seat, the first Democrat to jump into the race. Vindman played a role in reporting the 2019 phone call between former President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that led to Trump’s first impeachment, and his twin brother Alexander, who worked for the National Security Council at the time, testified in Trump’s impeachment hearings. 

California Dreamin’? Politico explores whether Democrats can hold onto California’s competitive 47th District, an open seat with Democratic Rep. Katie Porter running for Senate. 

New York state of mind: Democrats are making their case before New York’s Court of Appeals that they should be able to redraw the state’s congressional lines, which could shake up the battle for the House, per NBC’s Jane C. Timm.