Nikki Haley’s campaign strategy includes fewer events than many competitors

Nov. 27, 2023, 11:16 PM UTC / Updated Nov. 28, 2023, 5:31 PM UTC

By Lindsey Pipia

Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley has been climbing in the polls of the GOP presidential primary, especially in the early-voting states, where she has pulled into second place in many surveys. But it’s not due to blanketing the states in campaign appearances.

NBC News looked at the number of public campaign events each GOP presidential candidate has held so far since starting comprehensive tracking on May 23, looking at where in the U.S. they’ve traveled and how many events they’ve held.

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy leads the pack with a total of 197 events held across 14 states and Washington, D.C., since May 23. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is close behind with a total of 185 events across 17 states and D.C.

Taking the stage in Bluffton, South Carolina Monday, Haley made her case for the presidency at her 72nd campaign event since May 23, per NBC News’ count. (Her campaign notes that since she launched in February, Haley has held over 100 events in Iowa and New Hampshire.)

Over the last six months, her event total puts her near North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who has held 77 to Haley’s 72. Former Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Scott, who have dropped out of the 2024 presidential race in recent months, held more events total than Haley, with 85 and 81 respectively in that six-month period.

It’s clear the raw number of events held don’t necessarily translate into support. After all, former President Donald Trump is enjoying a wide lead in GOP primary polls while holding a total of 58 campaign events across 15 states and D.C. He has other assets built up over his years leading the GOP.

So does Haley, who has turned heads with her debate performances and is now benefitting from campaign and super PAC advertising in Iowa and elsewhere. Campaigning in person is expensive, too, and Haley’s lighter event schedule allowed her to build up more funds this summer.

With less than 50 days until the Iowa caucuses, and less than 60 until the New Hampshire primary, most candidates are also continuing a push in those crucial states.

While DeSantis currently leads the number of events in Iowa at 108, Ramaswamy is likely to surpass him by the end of the week, with numerous events scheduled across the Hawkeye State over the next few days. DeSantis is slated to complete a full tour of all 99 Iowa counties this weekend.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is currently the only GOP presidential candidate who has not held any events in Iowa.

Ramaswamy leads the most events held in New Hampshire, with 59 total. Christie follows with 36 events, and DeSantis with 34.

Lindsey Pipia

Lindsey Pipia is an Associate Producer for the 2024 Political Desk.

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