Biden intensifies efforts to win over supporters of Nikki Haley

President Biden’s campaign is making a concerted effort to attract the support of former Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s followers. This strategic move aims to exploit a potential vulnerability for former President Trump as he heads into the general election.

Haley’s supporters and critics of Trump have highlighted her impressive achievement of winning 40 percent of the vote in the South Carolina primary. This is seen as a sign of potential divisions within Trump’s loyal Republican base of support.

The Biden campaign has actively engaged in targeting this group of voters through ads and statements. While it remains uncertain whether the president will succeed in convincing the majority of them, Republicans acknowledge the possibility of Haley supporters being persuaded or opting not to participate in the election.

“A smart move on the part of the Biden campaign right now is to actively court those voters,” commented Dave Wilson, a GOP strategist based in South Carolina. He further adds, “The question remains whether they will successfully convey their entire message to this audience and convince them to switch parties.”

After Haley withdrew from the GOP primary, the Biden campaign swiftly implemented their strategy to attract her supporters and bring them into Biden’s camp.

In a statement last month, Joe Biden emphasized that he welcomes Nikki Haley’s supporters into his campaign, in stark contrast to Donald Trump who made it evident that he does not want them. Biden expressed his desire to be inclusive and assured that there is a place for Haley’s supporters in his campaign.

The Biden campaign recently unveiled a 30-second ad that showcases snippets of Trump’s criticism towards Haley during the GOP primary. The ad sends a clear message: “If you supported Nikki Haley, Donald Trump does not seek your vote.”

The campaign made a statement, asserting that Trump has explicitly stated that voters who are not part of MAGA are not welcome in his camp.

According to Sarafina Chitika, a senior spokesperson for the Biden campaign, Donald Trump has shown no interest in appealing to independent voters, moderates, or supporters of Nikki Haley. Chitika claims that Trump’s extreme and unpopular agenda, as well as his promise to act as a dictator from day one, have driven these groups away. In contrast, President Biden is actively engaging with voters and emphasizing that everyone is welcome in his coalition to safeguard freedoms and democracy in the upcoming November election.

John LaBombard, who previously served as the communications director for Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), believes that President Biden has an opportunity to connect with moderate Republicans, particularly by embracing his own moderate background.

According to LaBombard, the White House’s initial inclination to lean towards the left and its occasional use of hostile language towards moderate members of the president’s own party may hinder the authenticity of their efforts. However, the chaos surrounding former President Trump and his campaign has provided President Biden with a significant opportunity to appeal to the voters who support Nikki Haley.

According to LaBombard, a senior vice president at ROKK Solutions, President Biden may not win every election, but he has the potential to make a significant impact if he channels his pre-White House persona as a consensus-builder who avoids demonizing his opponents. By staying focused on issues that resonate with a broad range of voters, rather than solely catering to the progressive base, Biden could attract enough Republican voters to secure victory in key states that will ultimately determine the outcome of the election.

The Biden campaign has emphasized that Trump has not reached out to Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, since she withdrew from the race. In contrast, Haley did not endorse the former president when she exited the race the day after Super Tuesday and has not provided any indications about her involvement as November approaches.

Some Republicans are trying to challenge the notion that Trump relies on the support of Haley’s followers. They claim that a significant number of them had actually supported Biden during the 2020 election.

According to a recent Emerson College poll, a majority of Haley supporters, 52 percent to be precise, voted for Biden in the 2020 election. The survey also revealed that 63 percent of Haley supporters continued to support Biden after she ended her presidential bid, while only 27 percent stated that they would vote for Trump.

Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist, emphasizes that regaining the support of Haley’s followers is of greater significance for Biden than it is for Trump. He believes this is a crucial aspect that many people fail to recognize.

According to O’Connell, those who previously supported Haley but did not support Biden are more inclined to switch their allegiance back to Trump.

According to O’Connell, those who do not identify as Democrats or Never Trumpers are likely to support Trump due to their worries about the economy and the border.

Some Republicans are uncertain about the level of influence that Haley’s supporters will have on either candidate.

Doug Heye, a Republican strategist, expressed uncertainty about what would be considered a success regarding the number of supporters permanently banned from the MAGA camp. He questioned whether those who proudly wore “permanently banned” T-shirts would still feel the same way come November. Heye’s remarks highlight the potential impact of Haley’s strategy in leveraging Trump’s threats against her own supporters.

Trump’s allies also highlighted the fact that he secured the Republican nomination by March, capturing an impressive 72 percent of the GOP primary electorate. In comparison, Haley managed to secure 24 percent of the total votes.

In response to Biden’s efforts to court Haley voters, the former president’s campaign issued a statement claiming that Biden is losing support from crucial segments of his base.

Steven Cheung, Trump’s communications director, asserts that the Biden campaign’s attempts to gaslight voters cannot make them forget the bloodbath that Biden has brought upon America. Cheung points to various issues, including the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal that resulted in the loss of American lives, the record number of illegal immigrants crossing the border and causing harm to Americans, the weakening of America’s safety through a ineffective foreign policy, and the alarming rise in crime in cities.

“Biden’s support among Black voters, Hispanic voters, and other key segments of his base is dwindling due to the negative impact of his policies and his unsuccessful tenure as president.”

In the meantime, officials from the Biden administration have emphasized their concerns about Trump’s rhetoric, which they believe alienates voters who support Haley. They point to instances when Trump referred to Haley as a “birdbrain” and stated that she is “not presidential material.”

In a recent podcast episode, former Trump adviser Steve Bannon expressed his disregard for Nikki Haley by stating, “Screw Nikki Haley — we don’t need her endorsement.”

Biden’s campaign has made significant investments in battleground states, recognizing the crucial role swing-state voters and independents played in his 2020 victory. Over a span of six weeks, the campaign allocated a staggering $30 million towards advertisements in key states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Georgia.

According to Michael LaRosa, who previously served as the spokesperson for first lady Jill Biden and as a special assistant to the president, President Biden’s financial advantage allows his campaign to strategically reach out to voters who support Haley.

According to LaRosa, it is logical for them to target these voters as they have a significant amount of money at their disposal. They wouldn’t want to miss out on any potential votes. In states where the margins are tight and candidates like Kennedy or Stein are also gaining support, every vote will count.

In February, Biden’s campaign operation successfully raised approximately $53 million, bringing their total cash on hand to $155 million entering March. An impressive $26 million was also raised in a single night during a fundraiser in New York City at the end of March.

During the previous month, Trump’s campaign successfully generated $10.9 million, with an additional nearly $11 million being raised by his joint fundraising committee. Currently, the campaign has an impressive cash on hand amounting to approximately $42 million.

Strategists argue that Haley and other Republicans who are critical of Trump would be most effective in persuading their followers to support Biden, rather than trying to convince the president himself.

According to Heye, the argument will be presented more effectively by them rather than Biden.

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