Nov 1, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Nikki Haley to campaign in PA, GA and WI in final midterms swing

Nikki Haley poses with supporters after an event with Republican Pennsylvania Senate nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz)

Nikki Haley poses with supporters after an event with GOP Senate nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Former South Carolina governor and U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley will travel to Georgia, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania in the coming days to campaign for the GOP Senate candidates in the country's most high-profile races, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The final stops on her campaign tour this cycle are targeted to some of the country's top battlegrounds as she ramps up her efforts to shore up goodwill within the Republican Party ahead of an expected 2024 presidential run.

  • The races featuring each of these candidates — Georgia's Herschel Walker, New Hampshire's Don Bolduc, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and Pennsylvania's Mehmet Oz — will play a decisive role in which party holds control of the Senate majority next year.
  • It's another deliberate attempt by Haley and her PAC, Stand for America, to woo large swathes of the Trump base while also navigating her rocky relationship with the former president.

Driving the news: Haley will campaign for Walker and Bolduc in their respective states this Sunday, then travel to Wisconsin and Pennsylvania on Monday to stomp for Johnson and Oz on the eve of Election Day.

  • To date, Haley and her Stand America PAC have endorsed more than 60 conservatives in the 2022 cycle.
  • She's held more than 70 in-person events for candidates, committees and state parties across the country, raking in nearly $6 million for their campaigns.

What we're watching: The range of candidates Haley has backed, from mainstream GOP establishment figures to 2020 election deniers, underscores a question many of her Republican critics have raised: How is Haley defining herself ahead of a likely presidential bid?

  • She faced criticism for falsely stating on the "Today Show" last month that all of the Republicans she's endorsing acknowledge the election was legitimate and fair.
  • "The contradiction reflects how thoroughly election deniers dominate this cycle’s Republican nominees, with a majority of Republicans on the ballot having denied or questioned the 2020 results," the Washington Post wrote in its coverage of her interview last month.
  • "It also illustrates the challenge of presenting an alternative to Trump in a presidential primary when he continues to command overwhelming support with the party’s base."

The big picture: Like Haley, other 2024 presidential hopefuls like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Trump himself have all ramped up their campaign stops ahead of next Tuesday's midterms.

  • Their final stops, similar to Haley's, paint a clear picture of both their desire for the Senate to regain GOP control and serve as a launchpad for their personal political ambitions.
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