[Fox Business] Haley, DeSantis, or Trump? Who will top-dollar donors backing Tim Scott support next in the 2024 GOP race

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Sen. Tim Scott says he had no plans as of now to endorse another candidate in the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

“The best way for me to be helpful is to not weigh in,” Scott said in a live interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy” as he announced he was suspending his presidential campaign.

However, the race is already on for the top-dollar donors who were backing the senator from South Carolina in the White House showdown.

Far from the spotlight, the donor calls started on Monday morning and have not let up.

DESANTIS, HALEY, OR TRUMP – WHICH CANDIDATE BENEFITS FROM TIM SCOTT’S DEPARTURE FROM THE 2024 RACE?

Additionally, two prominent donors who were backing Scott have switched their support to the other South Carolinian in the 2024 race, former Gov. Nikki Haley, who later served as ambassador to the United Nations in former President Trump’s administration.

“I’m on board with Nikki Haley. She’s got a lot of good attributes. She was always my second choice. Unbelievably good on foreign policy. Her view on abortion is close to mine,” metals magnate Andy Sabin told host Charles Payne on Fox News’ “Your World” on Monday.

Sabin, who has donated millions to conservative candidates and causes the past couple of election cycles, was backing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis earlier this election cycle before switching his financial support to Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate.

WITH NINE WEEKS TO GO UNTIL THE FIRST VOTES, THIS CANDIDATE REMAINS THE COMMANDING FRONT-RUNNER IN THE GOP PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Eric Levine, a New York-based donor who was raising money for Scott, is listed on an invitation for a fundraiser early next month for Haley.

Levine told The Associated Press that Haley “is our last best hope to defeat Donald Trump and then take back the White House.” 

Haley is expected to appear at the fundraiser, which is for the Stand For America super PAC backing her White House bid.

When she was South Carolina governor, Haley tapped Scott — who had just been elected to a second term in the House — to the Senate in December 2012, where he succeeded retiring Republican Sen. Jim DeMint.

Haley and Scott share many of the same political friends, allies and donors, which caused some friction as they both ran for the White House. 

WHY TIM SCOTT DROPPED OUT OF THE 2024 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Donors in the Palmetto State who had been contributing to both Haley and Scott no longer face that dilemma.

“Some donors are going to go from Scott to Haley, but I don’t think it’s going to be a bum-rush,” a Republican donor and fundraising bundler, who asked to remain anonymous, told Fox News.

Trump remains the commanding front-runner for the 2024 GOP nomination as he makes his third straight White House run.

Trump made history earlier this year as he became the first current or former president to be indicted in a criminal case. He is now facing four trials, including two on charges he aimed to overturn his 2020 election loss to President Biden.

However, the slew of indictments against Trump has only boosted his support among Republican voters. The former president enjoys dominating double-digit leads over DeSantis and Haley — who are battling for a distant second place — in the latest surveys in the crucial early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and he holds even larger massive leads in national polls.

Some major conservative contributors who have been sitting on the sidelines since the start of the 2024 election cycle are starting to show their support for the former president.

Don Tapia, one of Trump’s former ambassadors and top-dollar donors, is once again supporting the former president.

As first reported by The Messenger and confirmed by Fox News, Tapia says he will cut a large check to the Trump-aligned super PAC MAGA Inc.

In the battle for second place, DeSantis has the stronger name ID from coast to coast and leads Haley in the national polls. However, she has tied DeSantis in the latest surveys in Iowa, and she leads the Florida governor in New Hampshire and in her home state, which holds the first southern contest on the nominating calendar.

Haley has enjoyed a rise in the polls thanks in part to well-regarded performances in the three Republican presidential primary debates. Haley’s campaign announced on Monday that they are reserving $10 million to run TV, radio and digital ads in Iowa and New Hampshire starting next month.

“We have plenty of money that we’re going to be on TV with,” Haley said this past weekend in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” 

“We’re going to be strong in New Hampshire. We’re going to be strong in South Carolina, because we spent our money well. We’ve got great ground games in every one of those states. And we’re going to keep surging.”

However, Iowa votes first in the GOP nominating calendar, and DeSantis last week landed the endorsement of GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds, who is very popular with Hawkeye State Republicans. Reynolds’ backing was a much-needed boost for DeSantis to alter a negative narrative.

DeSantis is also aiming to land the endorsement of Bob Vander Plaats, who leads the Family Leader, a top social conservative organization in Iowa, where evangelical voters play an outsized role in Republican presidential politics.

“Tim Scott and Mike Pence were surging resources in Iowa, looking to attract evangelical supporters, and unlike Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis is making headway with those voters,” DeSantis campaign communications director Andrew Romeo told Fox News in a statement.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

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