Nikki Haley tours southern border
2024 Republican presidential nomination candidate and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley meets with local officials, land owners and residents during a tour of rain tracks in Hondo, Texas, U.S., April 3, 2023. Reuters

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Nikki Haley has raised more than $11 million since declaring her candidacy in February, her campaign said on Wednesday, a significant sum that could help her expand her support in the coming months.

Haley's campaign said it has received 70,000 donations since she declared her bid on Feb. 15, with the biggest hauls coming from Florida, Texas and South Carolina. It noted that Haley's fundraising figure exceeded the $9.5 million raised by rival Donald Trump in the fourth quarter of 2022, when he declared his candidacy for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

"That's a very solid number and a testament to what a strong launch she had," Alex Conant, a Republican strategist, said of Haley's fundraising numbers. "The key question is: will she be able to build momentum in the second quarter, especially as Trump surges?"

Trump's campaign said he has raised $8 million since last Thursday, when news broke that he would face criminal charges in Manhattan in a case related to hush-money payments during his 2016 campaign. Trump, who pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, has not yet released fundraising totals for the first quarter of the year.

Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Trump, is polling in a distant third place in the Republican race, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday. Some 6% of Republican primary voters intend to vote for Haley, according to the poll, versus 48% for Trump and 19% for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has not yet entered the race.

The Republicans are aiming to deny Democratic President Joe Biden a second term in 2024.

Republican presidential candidate Haley campaigns in Dover
Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, with the words "She Who Dares Wins" on her sweater, listens as she is introduced at a campaign event in Dover, New Hampshire, U.S., March 27, 2023. Reuters