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Nikki Haley comes in third in Iowa

Haley placed third in the Jan. 15 Iowa caucuses, but is getting the attention of Democrats and Independents as she heads to New Hampshire.

Republican presidential contender Nikki Haley meets with voters in Iowa ahead of the Jan. 15 caucus here. / X/@NikkiHaley

In the first race of the 2024 presidential election cycle, Republican Nikki Haley finished third in the Iowa Caucus on January 15, behind former president Donald Trump, who received over 51 percent of the vote.

Despite freezing temperatures, Iowa Caucus goers reliably poured in to their polling places, listening to final stump speeches before placing their votes. Iowa traditionally is seen as the harbinger of primary results in presidential elections, winnowing the field of contenders.

With 95 percent of the votes counted, Haley captured 19 percent of the vote, with DeSantis ahead by less than 1,500 votes as of 9 pm that evening. The Associated Press, which called the race for Trump, predicted DeSantis would come in second after all votes are counted.

As the results were announced, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy decided to end his campaign, receiving only 7.7 percent of the vote. (Read More)

“We're getting to see democracy in action tonight. Thanks to everyone who's participating. We have a country to save,” Haley posted to X — formerly Twitter — as poll results started pouring in. 



The race now moves to New Hampshire Jan. 23, where Haley will enjoy the support of the state’s 1 million independent voters. The former South Carolina governor has polled well with Independents, and has also attracted some crossover support from Democrats.

DeSantis is heading straight to Haley’s home state of South Carolina. In an earlier interview, Shekar Narasimhan, democrat and founder of the AAPI Victory Fund told New India Abroad that Haley must come in at least second in South Carolina to stay in the race, which he believes is a foregone conclusion in favor of Trump. 

A growing chorus of non-Trump Republicans believe Haley is their best shot at getting back the White House. A YouGov poll released Jan. 14 showed Haley beating President Joe Biden by 8 points — 53 percent to 45 percent — if the two were pitted against each other in the November general election. Trump narrowly beats Biden in the same YouGov poll, while DeSantis also holds a slight edge over the sitting president.

On the Sunday morning news show “Meet the Press” on Jan. 14, moderator Kristin Welker asked Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa: “If Republicans want to win back the White House, is Nikki Haley your best bet?”

Ernst said she was not endorsing anyone, but added, “I think she is a great candidate. If you look at national security, protecting our borders and pushing back against our adversaries worldwide, Nikki Haley does have the experience there. So that may be one of the tipping points that resonate with so many different voters.”

Haley has garnered some major endorsements, and has also made inroads into support from Indian Americans. One of her biggest donors is Vivek Garipalli, founder and CEO of Clover Health, who poured $1 million into Haley’s campaign last March through her Super Pac, the SFA Fund. Garipalli is also the owner CarePoint, a New Jersey hospital chain that has been under investigation for years, as it turned a midsized medical center in a blue-collar city into the most expensive hospital in America — reportedly billing a teacher nearly $9,000 for a single bandage, according to the New York Post.

23 out of 146 entries to the SFA Fund are from Indian American donors, who have given a mean average of  $7,000, according to an NIA investigation of Haley’s campaign finance data.

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