Biden campaign launches ad targeting Haley voters

Nikki Haley announces March 6 that she is suspending her presidential campaign. MUST CREDIT: Melina Mara/The Washington Post

President Biden’s reelection campaign launched a digital ad Friday aimed at supporters of Nikki Haley, who dropped out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination this month. The ad is part of an effort by the president’s team to win over Republicans who may be disinclined to vote for Donald Trump.

The Biden campaign, which is spending more than $1 million on the ad across digital platforms, will run the spot for three weeks in battleground states, campaign officials said. It is part of a six-week, $30 million ad buy the campaign launched after the State of the Union.

The ad features clips of Trump denigrating Haley during campaign rallies and telling reporters that he does not need her supporters to win.

“If you voted for Nikki Haley, Donald Trump doesn’t want your vote,” the ad says. “Save America. Join us.”

Since Haley’s exit, the Biden campaign has regularly made overtures to her supporters and donors.

“Nikki Haley was willing to speak the truth about Trump: about the chaos that always follows him, about his inability to see right from wrong, about his cowering before Vladimir Putin,” Biden said in a statement when Haley ended her campaign. “Donald Trump made it clear he doesn’t want Nikki Haley’s supporters. I want to be clear: There is a place for them in my campaign.”

A Biden campaign official said Jeffrey Katzenberg and Rufus Gifford, who oversee fundraising for the president’s campaign, have held meetings with people in Haley’s orbit to try to recruit them. There is discussion about a fundraiser specifically for Haley supporters in the coming weeks or months, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal strategy.

The ad will run across digital platforms, including Meta, YouTube, connected TV and online video. The Biden campaign’s analytics department has used election results in specific states to find likely Haley voters. Using Zip codes where Haley overperformed against Trump relative to her statewide total, the campaign will target voters who are slightly older, college-educated and more suburban.

Haley has not yet endorsed a candidate in the presidential race. But toward the end of her campaign, she became increasingly critical of Trump, whose administration she worked in as ambassador to the United Nations.

During the GOP primary campaign, Trump wrote on his social media platform that Haley supporters “will be permanently banned from the MAGA camp.” After Haley dropped out, Trump wrote on Truth Social that he wanted “to invite all of the Haley supporters to join the greatest movement in the history of our Nation.” But in subsequent comments, when asked how he would win over Haley voters, Trump said, “I’m not sure we need too many.”

Trump won commanding victories in most of the Republican primary contests, but Haley still won hundreds of thousands of voters across the battleground states. Those voters could be crucial, given that in 2020, Biden defeated Trump by only narrow margins in states such as Wisconsin, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada.

The new ad comes during a massive fundraising stretch for Biden, who has built a sizable financial advantage over Trump. On Thursday night, Biden was joined by former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton for a fundraiser at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, where they raised more than $25 million. At the end of February, Biden’s campaign had $155 million in the bank.



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