Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley has the support of a lone member of Congress, Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C. — for now. But there’s a small crop of lawmakers quietly rooting for Haley, including Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., who has attended at least one event in Iowa with the former governor.
Bacon’s wife Angie chairs the Nebraska arm of the coalition Women for Nikki in their home state. “Her Reagan-like philosophy best matches mine,” the congressman told Semafor, but he admitted he’s “trying to not be decisive” in doling out endorsements.
The muted fist pumps for Haley are a reminder of how much Donald Trump still controls the party’s base: Politicians across the ideological spectrum have been reluctant to back anyone else while he’s the obvious frontrunner.
Just last month, Rep. Mike Lawler, R-N.Y., who’s facing a tough reelection bid, was caught on audio privately supporting Haley in front of constituents before telling reporters he won’t be making any official endorsements.
None of this has dismayed her congressional ally Norman, who predicts more members are primed to raise their hands for Haley if she performs well in the early contests and Ron DeSantis and Chris Christie drop out of the race.
“They will [endorse] after she becomes the clear favorite to take on Trump which she is in the process of doing!!” he texted.