‘It’s a narrower road than it was eight weeks ago,’ Mr. Griffin said at an investment conference in Miami.
After initially staying out of the 2024 presidential race, billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin has thrown his support behind Nikki Haley as she challenges Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination.
A spokesperson for Mr. Griffin said he made two contributions, one in December and another in January, totaling $5 million, to a super PAC backing Ms. Haley’s campaign.
The second donation was made in early January, before the Iowa caucuses, which Mr. Trump won with 51 percent of the vote. Ms. Haley finished third with 19 percent, just 2 percent behind Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has since dropped out of the race.
The donations were disclosed on Jan. 30 after Mr. Griffin mentioned earlier in the day at an investment conference in Miami that he had supported Ms. Haley’s campaign. However, Mr. Griffin did not say whether he would continue supporting Ms. Haley.
Ms. Haley’s second loss to Mr. Trump in New Hampshire was seen by some as a clear indicator of voter sentiment, especially since her chances of winning had been considered favorable due to the state’s high number of independent voters.
But the back-to-back, double-digit losses did not discourage Ms. Haley, who argued that her performance has shown the strength of her candidacy.
Being the only challenger of weight to Mr. Trump in New Hampshire, Ms. Haley managed to more than double the percentage of voters that favored her in Iowa—from 19 to 43—whereas Mr. Trump scored 51 percent in Iowa and 54 percent in the Granite State.
Ms. Haley will continue to the contest in her home state of South Carolina on February 24. Fundraisers have been scheduled for her this week and the next.
“It’s a narrower road than it was eight weeks ago,” Mr. Griffin said at the investment conference, commenting on Ms. Haley’s chance of securing the nomination.
Mr. Griffin issued a rare statement later that day praising the former United Nations ambassador as someone with “a tremendous track record of leadership,” adding, “America would be well served by someone with her foreign policy credentials and policy priorities in the White House.”
Though he did not expressly say he would stop supporting Ms. Haley’s campaign, he indicated that he plans to concentrate his financial support on congressional elections.
“While voters decide on who will serve as the Republican Party’s nominee for President, I will continue my focus on actively supporting U.S. House and Senate candidates prioritizing economic freedom and a strong defense of America at home and abroad,” Mr. Griffin said in the statement.
Mr. Griffin, founder and CEO of the multinational hedge fund Citadel LLC, did not donate to Mr. Trump’s campaigns but had praised his fiscal policies. He was among a group of megadonors who stayed out of the 2024 presidential race as they watched candidates try to challenge the former president.
Mr. Griffin was initially expected to support Mr. DeSantis, having praised him before the Florida governor entered the presidential race in May of last year.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.