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Third Time’s The Charm? Will #NeverTrump GOP Billionaires Give Nikki Haley The Big Push?

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

She'll Let DeSantis & Ramaswamy Take On Woke-- She's The Austerity Candidate



No one told them DeSantis would come across as barely human. At of the end of the second quarter (July) his campaign had raised $20.1 (not counting the SuperPACs). Trump beat him with $32.2 million. Ramaswamy is next with $19.1 million (80% self-funded), then Nikki Haley with $10.5 million. Burgum’s the only other candidate up above $10 million too, but 87% is self-funded, not actual contributions. DeSantis’ loot in coming mostly from wealthy donors, not from any kind of grassroots support. Unless you count JFK, Jr (who’s running to be Trump’s VP or Trump's something), 5 other Republicans raised over a million dollars so far:

  • Perry Johnson- $8.8 million (96% self-funded)

  • Tim Scott- $7.6 million

  • Ryan Binkley- $2.1 million (76% self-funded)

  • Christie- $1.7 million

  • Pence- $1.2 million

Right after the debate, Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal editorial board signaled the conservative donor class ought to give Haley another look. Scott had been the chosen one after DeSantis but he turned out to be a complete dud. They contrasted his— and Pence’s— unrealistic approach to abortion. “If Nikki Haley gets a bump in the polls from Wednesday’s presidential debate, one reason will be that she respected viewers by telling them the truth. Haley said, accurately, that passing a national abortion ban at 15 weeks is politically off the table, since it would require 60 votes in the Senate. She has argued this before, but many Republicans might be hearing it for the first time. The former South Carolina Governor instead suggested— brace yourself— consensus policy-making. ‘Can’t we all agree that we should ban late-term abortions?’ she asked. ‘Can’t we all agree that contraception should be available?’ At the same time, Haley called herself ‘unapologetically pro-life.’… Haley’s honesty didn’t stop there. ‘Donald Trump added $8 trillion to our debt,’ she said. ‘You look at the 2024 budget: Republicans asked for $7.4 billion in earmarks. Democrats asked for $2.8 billion. So you tell me who are the big spenders.’ Those figures are backed by a Roll Call story last month: ‘House Republicans have so thoroughly stacked the earmarking deck in their favor in appropriations bills for the upcoming fiscal year that the top Democratic recipient doesn’t even appear in the top 60.’ Then there was the elephant not in the room, as Fox News host Bret Baier put it, meaning former President Trump. ‘Three-quarters of Americans don’t want a rematch between Trump and Biden,’ Haley said. ‘And we have to face the fact that Trump is the most disliked politician in America. We can’t win a general election that way.’ This drew some disapproval from the audience in Milwaukee. But saying true things in the face of booing? Sometimes that’s what leadership looks like, too.”


After the debate 538.com pretty much proclaimed that Meatball Ron (29%, with lots of negative views), Ramaswamy (26% with even more negative views) and Haley (15% with virtually no negative views) were the winners.



They also looked at who gained and lost support, in terms of people considering voting for them, among likely Republican primary voters who watched the debate. Trump lost support— from 66.2% to 61.4%. DeSantis gained— from 63.0% to 67.5%. Haley was the biggest winner— from 30.2% into the big leagues at 46.7%. Ramaswamy also had a good night: from 40.8% to 46.3%.


Yesterday, MSNBC noted that “in the eyes of a significant chunk of Republican voters,” Haley won the debate… and then screwed the pooch the next day talking about Austerity and cutting Social Security, hated by voters… but beloved by billionaires like nothing else. “As an example of the kind of reform she favored,” wrote Zeesham Aleem, “she suggested raising the retirement age for receiving Social Security benefits ‘to reflect life expectancy.’ Then came the big swing and a miss: Asked to specify a new retirement age, Haley declined to get specific but said ’65 is way too low.’” This is the position of the GOP donor class, much more important to them than abortion or wokeism.


“Fortunately for those of us who don’t thrill at the idea of working until we die,” wrote Aleem, “Haley’s suggestion is so politically unpopular that it has little chance to become policy. Maybe that’s why most of her competitors haven’t joined her in arguing for a higher retirement age. They know arguing for it doesn’t make sense. Poll after poll shows that, across the political spectrum, the overwhelming majority of Americans don’t want the government to raise the retirement age. A Quinnipiac University survey released in March found that 77% of Republicans, 81% of Democrats and 75% of independents objected to raising the retirement age. Privatizing Social Security— another way of reducing Social Security benefits— was a hobbyhorse for Republicans in the neoliberal era. But they couldn’t sell it. George W. Bush’s 2005 push to partially privatize Social Security was unpopular, and polling revealed that the more he lobbied for it, the more the public disapproved.”


Yep, unpopular with voters, ecstasy-creating withGOP billionaires. The Pittsburgh Press-Republican made the case for her on Sunday: Hands down, Nikki Haley won the GOP debate… She was simply smarter (even smarter than you, Vivek), more sensible and more experienced— and it showed… poised, precise and prepared. And, I would add, brave.” Her SuperPAC (Stand For America) has been secretly funded by right-wing billionaires like Paul Singer, Stanley Druckenmiller, Joe Ricketts and Miriam Adelson, as well as by probable Pennsylvania Senate candidate David McCormick, Glenn Youngkin’s wife... plus a cool million bucks from New Jersey Democrats Vivek and Lakshmi Garipalli.


The State noted on Monday that Haley’s campaign received more online donations in the first 24 hours after the debate than in any other single day since she jumped into the race in February. “Haley’s campaign,” wrote Jeff Bustos, “said traffic to the campaign website has increased tenfold, viewership on the campaign’s YouTube and other social media surged, and the former ambassador to the United Nations was the second-most Googled candidate following the debate… After the debate, commentators on Fox News said Haley did well. ‘I think Nikki is going to get a second look from some people,’ said Kellyanne Conway, a commentator and former Trump White House staffer.”


They better not look too closely or they’ll find another right-wing liar. Most of the public statement of hers that they've checked are false. That might not bother GOP primary voters, let alone the Republican Party donor class, but it could be a problem in a general election. This post-election poll by Kaplan shows breakouts by Ramaswamy and Haley. She's now closer to overtaking DeSantis than Pence or Tim Scott is to overtaking her.



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3 Comments


Guest
Aug 29, 2023

The big money, interested in ROI (some of the big money is interested in a hate-based reich, apparently), seems to have started to push for ramasmarmy or haley. The problem is that an electorate made up of white male racist misogynist homophobes are unlikely to go against their hate to nominate a brown guy or a woman. With that debate, haley has flushed her chance to be trump's vice fuhrer. One can only conclude that she is running for the big money's support. Or maybe she thinks there will be an election in 2028.

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Guest
Aug 29, 2023
Replying to

All very good points, but all hypotheticals. Can you really imagine that voting electorate ever nominating a woman? Over proven nazi fuhrer types like trump and meathead?

After a year of taking his older and feebler act on the road, biden will have all he can handle with any of them.

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