(Bloomberg) -- Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is embarking on a cross-country fundraising sprint with the help of billionaire Harlan Crow and others in an attempt to court a deep bench of donors who could propel her push to break out as the main alternative to frontrunner Donald Trump. 

Haley’s campaign, capitalizing on a surge of wealthy donor interest following two strong debate performances, is planning nearly 30 fundraisers across the country through early December. That momentum could help the former United Nations ambassador raise the cash needed to build an operation to challenge Trump, who has a commanding lead in the race.

The fundraising tour kicked off in Reno, Nevada, Saturday, with several stops planned in Florida, Texas and New York City, drawing major donors like real estate executive Crow and Fidelis Realty Partners co-founder Lynn Davis hosting fundraisers in Dallas and Houston this week. She’s also receiving fundraising help from Gemini Networks Inc.’s Arnold Chase and Greenberg Traurig LLP’s Bina Palnitkar. 

“Nikki is the candidate with momentum. Voters are seeing her toughness and substantive conservative solutions on the debate stage, and they’re rallying around her,” Haley spokesperson Olivia Perez-Cubas said, adding that nearly 1,000 major donors have reached out to the campaign since the first primary debate in late August.

Following the debate last week, Haley attended a sold-out fundraiser in Los Angeles where couples paid $25,000 to attend, according to her campaign.

Haley, who has run a lean operation since announcing her candidacy in February, jumped in the polls in recent weeks. She’s currently in second place behind Trump in two early voting states, New Hampshire and her home state of South Carolina. Nationally, she trails both Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Trump has also signaled he’s wary of Haley’s momentum. The former president, who congratulated Haley when she first entered the race, has launched a string of attacks against her in recent days, calling her “Birdbrain Nikki” and saying she doesn’t have the talent or temperament to be president.

A successful bout of fundraising and continued growth in the polls could allow Haley to overtake DeSantis, who has been in the No. 2 slot for the entirety of the campaign. The campaign points to new donations from former DeSantis supporters, including Crow and former Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, as signs of donor support shifting to Haley at DeSantis’s expense.

“There are some major donors that remain on the sidelines,” said Ozzie Palomo, a Haley fundraiser host and co-founder of Chartwell Strategy Group. “Several major donors who were holding back have now jumped on board with Nikki and following a second strong debate that intrigue has grown as seen by her fundraising schedule.”

--With assistance from Christian Hall.

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