by Mary Lou Masters
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley both brought in over $1 million in the first 24 hours following the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) third GOP primary debate on Wednesday, the Daily Caller News Foundation confirmed Friday.
Haley’s fundraising haul marks the campaign’s best single day of small-dollar donations after she and DeSantis sparred over foreign policy, energy and other issues on stage in Miami, Florida, according to the former ambassador’s team. DeSantis and Haley maintain either the second- or third-place lane in most national and key early state surveys as they vie to take on former President Donald Trump, who’s leading the crowded field of GOP hopefuls by roughly 44 points.
During the third fundraising quarter, DeSantis’ campaign raised $11.2 million and ended the period with $12.3 million cash on hand, and Haley’s campaign brought in $8.2 million during the same time period and has $11.6 million in the bank, according to the Federal Election Commission filings. Of DeSantis’ third-quarter haul, only $5 million can be allocated toward the primary compared to Haley’s $9.1.
Politico first reported DeSantis and Haley’s fundraising hauls post-debate on Friday.
Along with DeSantis and Haley, conservative businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie participated in the RNC’s third debate after meeting its upped donor and polling requirements. Trump skipped the third debate, as he did the previous two, and instead held a rally in Hialeah, Florida, at the same time.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum participated in the first two debates in August and September, but fell short of qualifying for the third, and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson qualified for the first debate, but failed to meet the increased criteria for the second and third. Former Vice President Mike Pence appeared on the first two debate stages, but withdrew his candidacy before the third debate.
The RNC required candidates to meet a 70,000 unique donor threshold, with at least 200 coming from 20 distinct states or territories, to qualify for the third debate. The hopefuls also had to have achieved a minimum of 4% support in two national surveys or 4% in one national and in two key early nominating state polls — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.
The RealClearPolitics average for a 2024 national Republican primary, based on polls conducted between Oct. 17 and Nov. 5, indicates Trump has 58.5% support, followed by DeSantis with 14.4%, Haley with 9%, Ramaswamy with 4.7%, Christie with 2.6% and Scott with 2.5%.
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Mary Lou Masters is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Ron DeSantis” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Photo “Nikki Haley” by Nikki Haley. Background Photo “Debate Stage” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.