2024

A Grassroots View Of Nikki Haley’s Big New National Endorsement

Pounding the pavement in “First in the South” Carolina … will it make a difference?

Endorsements matter in presidential campaigns … but they’re clearly not all created equal. And they’re not always accompanied by action. Individuals or organizations saying they support a candidate is one thing, but the concept of an activist army throwing its weight behind a candidate is something else entirely.

Talk is cheap, in other words …

Earlier this week, we reported on former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley landing a big endorsement in her bid for the American presidency. The support Haley is receiving from AFP Action – the political arm of Americans for Prosperity – is a tremendous shot in the arm for her campaign.

I referred to this endorsement as “more than just an imprimatur.”

“It is money,” I noted. “Data. Grassroots engagement.”

All of which is accruing to Haley’s benefit at the precise moment she is surging in the polls in several critical early voting states (although in fairness, Haley still trails presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump by wide margins in each of those states).

Still, she has drawn even with Florida governor Ron DeSantis in Iowa and leapfrogged him in New Hampshire, home of the nation’s first caucus and primary elections, respectively. She has also leapfrogged DeSantis in her home state.

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This week, we saw AFP Action’s grassroots engagement on display in the heart of early-voting South Carolina – a state Haley led for six years prior to being tapped by the former president as his ambassador to the United Nations.

Armed with door hangers extolling Haley’s virtues and touting her electability against incumbent president Joe Biden, AFP Action volunteers selected homes of target voters based on apps loaded onto their smartphones.

“Here in South Carolina our grassroots team is out starting at nine in the morning every day knocking until it gets dark – Monday through Saturday,” said AFP Action senior advisor Candace Carroll. “So six days a week we’re out eight-plus hours a day. That’s the unique opportunity that we bring.”

Carroll said that effort was generating buzz among volunteers – and South Carolina voters.

“People are excited about the endorsement,” Carroll said. “So we’re excited to see how that can help in South Carolina.”

AFP Action staff advisor Jeremiah Mosteller joined Carroll on this particular neighborhood walk – reinforcing the ability of their organization to coordinate such outreach and voter identification in multiple states at the same time.

“Another thing that sets AFP Action apart is we can do this in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina all at the same time,” Mosteller said “Whereas you notice even the candidates are picking and choosing where they’re focusing their firepower, we can do it all simultaneously because we have that local support and that grassroots base in each state.”

(Click to view)

(Via: AFP Action)

Not everyone is sold on the Haley buzz, though. According to Jack Shafer of Politico, the endorsement was less about support for Haley and more “a rejection of Ron DeSantis, who has been sinking during the same interval as if riding a playground slide into the dirt.”

Shafer also slammed the national media for trying to make “Fetch” happen as it relates to Haley’s ascendant candidacy.

“What has the press hyperventilating about Haley is not her relative rise in the national polls over the past month (about two percentage points), or the fact that she’s drawing even with DeSantis in Iowa,” Shafer wrote. “Nor is it the remote possibility that she’ll eclipse former President Trump. No, what’s causing the swoon is her uphill climb to defeat DeSantis for the meaningless position as the second-place finisher in the race.”

Wait … is that really what this is all about? A second-place ribbon?

At the moment, yes. Haley’s comet has about as much a chance of catching Trump as Trump has of catching Halley’s Comet the next time it rolls through (he’d be 115). Still, if Haley finishes ahead of DeSantis in Iowa – and then leverages that momentum to pull within ten percentage points of Trump in New Hampshire, South Carolina could become “high noon” for the GOP nominating fight.

Shafer isn’t sold on those dominos falling into place, though.

“Upsets can happen! The journalistic show must go on! ” he wrote, tongue firmly implanted in cheek. “Because political reporters, like sportswriters, hate blowouts as much as they relish tight contests, they are prepared to spill as much ink on the also-rans as is journalistically defensible.”

Is AFP Action making a winning bet? Or is Shafer’s take on the money?

Keep it tuned to this media outlet to see how the chips fall as we move closer to the first day of decision in the 2024 presidential election …

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Will Folks (Brett Flashnick)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.

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4 comments

Check Your Head, Ron December 1, 2023 at 8:43 pm

“Still, she has drawn even with Florida governor Ron DeSantis in Iowa and leapfrogged him in New Hampshire, home of the nation’s first caucus and primary elections, respectively. She has also leapfrogged DeSantis in her home state.”

Given Nikki’s reputation for spreading herself around, and all that leapfrogging she is doing over DeSantis, Ron may want to check the hair on his head. I bet that white stuff in his hair isn’t bird poop or Brylcreem. Even so, it has legendary holding power in the movie, “There’s Something About Mary”.

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So many lies December 2, 2023 at 5:03 pm

Add grassroots to list of words FitsNews is either ignorant of or twisting its meaning into double talk..

Billionaires dumping huge amounts of money, far far more than any average American ever could, to shape elections is the exact opposite of grassroots.

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CongareeCatfish Top fan December 4, 2023 at 10:53 am

I, who previously voted for Trump twice, can’t help but scratch my head when the ones who want to vote for Trump for a third time rail against federal government debt and the Orwellian Covid lockdown hysteria that caused far more harm than good, and the covid vaccine lies, but when you point out that Trump was responsible for adding 7 TRILLION dollars of federal debt IN ONE YEAR, and stood by and watched as the CDC and its teachers union affiliates ran a propaganda campaign that directly caused the extended lockdown AND forced an EA vaccine on all federal employees and their contractors (or they would lose their job), they just look at you like a deer in headlights. Trump is directly tied to, and greatly (but not exclusively) caused the debt increase spike and inflation problem [yes, which was exacerbated by Biden], the enormous societal and financial damage caused by federal covid policy. Obama, who had amassed more federal debt than all of the presidents before him COMBINED, still never increased it by as much as Trump and Biden’s 8 years. Seriously, when are those who intend on voting for Trump a third time going to look in the mirror and say that bad actions and decisions need to have consequences? If you think he deserves a third term, then you are a complete hypocrite to say that that Faucci and his minions and all the other major player Feds who were integral to the destruction of people’s freedoms and finances need to be fired – because Trump either stood by and watched them do it, or directly played the major hand in causing it. Having the intellectual honesty to see this and look for an alternate candidate does not make someone a “never-Trump” RINO, it makes you someone who stands by their principles and doesn’t resort to hypocrisy due to emotion and undeserved personal loyalty to someone who isn’t all that great about being loyal to those around him. Does that mean I’m rooting for Haley? No – because she and Lindsey Graham can’t find a new war fast enough to get us embroiled in; DeSantis has the solid track record of success and steady hand of leadership, minus all the baggage of Trump and Haley, to right the ship and hopefully keep us from crashing on the rocks – although with the debt that has been amasses even he might not be able to avert a looming financial disaster. But we Americans, who have become addicted to scrolling soundbyte WWE-style politics and trite & trivial nonsense, get drawn towards the Rick Flairs of the world who know how to throw a party but can’t fix shit and bounce the checkbook.

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Disenchanted Voter December 6, 2023 at 6:09 am

Congaree Catfish, I applaud you understanding and insight regarding the double-speak from Trump and his camp. As one who voted for Trump in 2016, then watched with absolute disappointment for four years as he did the opposite of so much that he promised to do, it is refreshing to see another who viewed his term with open eyes rather than blind adoration. You are also spot-on regarding Haley and Graham, too!

Unfortunately, I don’t see DeSantis as a great savior for our country, either. Like Trump and every Republican President in the last sixty or more years, DeSantis is just more controlled opposition, put in place to make us think we have a voice and a choice, when really there is none. DeSantis, like Trump, did some good things in Florida but they were mostly of a “photo or publicity op” nature, rather than intended to completely or permanently fix an existing problem. While Florida now has a form of permitless carry which DeSantis takes much credit for, he did not push through for open carry in that miserably hot state. He never pushed to undo the red flag laws his RINO buddy Rick Scott inflicted on Florida. DeSantis is endorsed by the Bush family, which should tell us something.

You may ask who I support in the coming Republican or other Presidential primary, then. As with 2020, my answer is the same, “None Of The Above”. All are bought and paid for Deep State puppets. I have tired of voting for “lesser evils”, which are still evil, who only provide an illusion of choice. In 2020, I left my Presidential ballot blank in the General Election, as I plan to do this year. In the Republican Primary, if the system allows, I plan to write in, “None Of The Above”. I am sick of playing their game, with their “choices”, and lending an air of legitimacy to this scam by doing so. I hope others do likewise.

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