Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign plans to reserve $10 million in television, radio and digital advertising in Iowa and New Hampshire starting in the first week of December — its first investment in advertising this cycle and a move meant to give the candidate a boost as the clock ticks for the field to make significant gains against former President Donald J. Trump.
Ms. Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Mr. Trump, has seen steadily rising numbers in surveys of early voting states. A series of standout debate performances has brought in grass roots donors and more high-dollar backers after months of campaigning, with campaign officials saying it raised more than $1 million in the 24 hours after the debate last week.
She is now polling second in New Hampshire and third in Iowa, according to some surveys, but Mr. Trump remains the dominant front-runner in those states and nationally.
Her campaign is betting on an eventual Haley-Trump showdown in South Carolina, her home state and the third on the nominating calendar. Senator Tim Scott, her home state rival, dropped out of the race late Sunday, without endorsing anyone. But Ms. Haley is now looking to outstrip her main challenger for second place, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, to become the clear alternative to Mr. Trump.
The Associated Press first reported the ad buy on Monday. It far outpaces Mr. DeSantis, who plans to spend more than $500,000 starting in December, according to AdImpact, a media tracking firm.
Ms. Haley, a former accountant, has stuck to her playbook for winning tough races in the past: keeping costs low while saving the money she had for television ads.
While the super PAC backing her has already spent more than $22 million on advertising in early primary states, according to AdImpact, her campaign has not reserved advertising until now.
Alyce McFadden contributed reporting.