Haley Gets First Senate GOP Endorsements From Murkowski, Collins

Haley Gets First Senate GOP Endorsements From Murkowski, Collins

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(Bloomberg) — Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins backed Nikki Haley’s bid for the White House, delivering the long-shot Republican contender her first endorsements from sitting US senators days before voters hit the polls on Super Tuesday.

Alaska’s Murkowski endorsed Haley in a statement Friday, saying she had the “right values, vigor, and judgment to serve as our next President.” Collins, a Republican from Maine, called her “extremely well-qualified” in comments to the Bangor Daily News.

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“She has the energy, intellect, and temperament that we need to lead our country in these very tumultuous times,” the newspaper cited Collins as saying.

Their support comes ahead of the Super Tuesday contests on March 5, when more than a dozen states, including Alaska and Maine, vote in nominating contests. Haley is struggling for momentum to stay in the GOP contest against frontrunner Donald Trump. 

The former president has swept all of the Republican contests so far and is aiming to clinch the nomination by mid-March with the RealClearPolitics average of national polls showing him leading his last remaining challenger by over 64 percentage points.

Murkowski and Collins have defied Trump before: They’re among just seven GOP senators who voted to convict him in 2021 on impeachment charges of incitement of insurrection over the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol.

Haley has insisted she will stay in the race until at least Super Tuesday, despite her losses to Trump in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. 

She has been criss-crossing the country in recent days, hosting rallies in states voting next week in a last-ditch effort to encourage Republican voters to embrace her as an alternative to Trump, warning that his legal challenges and divisive rhetoric threaten to hurt the party in November’s general election.

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Earlier: Haley Criticizes GOP Priorities as Trump Nears Nomination

Her campaign said she raised $12 million in February, funds that will allow her to stay in the race even as her path narrows. Haley has seen some donors drop their support, with the Charles Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity Action saying it would stop funding advertisements and get-out-the-vote efforts on her behalf. Billionaire Ken Griffin, who gave $5 million to Haley’s allied super political action committee, has said he will focus on congressional races.

Haley said in a statement she was “grateful” for Murkowski’s “support and leadership,” praising the first woman to represent Alaska in the Senate as a “trailblazer and a strong, independent voice who doesn’t bow down to the powers that be in Washington.”

(Updates with Collins endorsement starting in first paragraph.)

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