Nikki Haley snags endorsement from 'Judge Judy' Sheindlin

 January 11, 2024

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is making some waves as the 2024 GOP primary inches closer.

According to The Hill, "Judge Judy" Sheindlin sang Haley's praises while endorsing the presidential candidate, who is the only candidate gaining ground in crucial early-state polls.

"I’m proud to endorse Nikki Haley because she is whip smart, has executive credentials and was a superb governor," the TV judge said in a statement published by Haley's campaign.

She added, "She has international gravitas as ambassador to the United Nations. She is principled, measured, and has that elusive quality of real common sense. I truly think she can restore America and believe she is the future of this great nation."

It's not Sheindlin's first foray into endorsing political figures. In 2020, she endorsed failed presidential candidate and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. That endorsement didn't seem to mean much.

For her part, Haley responded to the judge's endorsement.

"Judge Judy is a no-nonsense lady who has earned the respect of millions of Americans from her courtroom by being thoughtful, fair, and honest. I’m honored to have her support," Haley said in a statement.

The New York Post noted:

Sheindlin, a former prosecutor and Manhattan family court judge, signed off from her eponymous syndicated show in 2021 after 25 years on the air. Later that year, she began a spinoff show, “Judy Justice,” that streams on Amazon Freevee.

While former President Donald Trump still holds a decisive lead in the polls, Haley is the only other GOP candidate who has seen a somewhat steady increase in her numbers, making her almost a contender.

In New Hampshire, she fares best against the former president, as she's only seven points behind him. That's not the same close margin in other key states, but it's enough to keep her campaign ambitious.

On Wednesday night, Haley sparred with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a CNN-hosted Republican primary debate. The reviews of her performance were mixed, with many pointing out that the debate was nothing more than two hours of trading insults.

Notably, Trump did a townhall event with Fox News that drew in considerably more viewers than the GOP debate on CNN. The Fox even drew 4.335 million viewers, while CNN only managed to draw 2.587 million viewers.

Only time will tell if Haley manages to build on her momentum in the coming days, as the Iowa Caucuses kick off on Jan. 15 and will be seen as a crucial, early marker of who has what it takes to compete.