Billionaire-Supported Koch Network Ceases Funding For Nikki Haley Following Loss

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A political expenditure group supported by conservative tycoon Charles Koch announced its cessation of financial backing for Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign, dealing a significant blow to Donald Trump’s primary Republican adversary following her defeat in the South Carolina primary over the weekend.

The decision by Americans for Prosperity Action serves as an indication that Haley’s backing among prominent Republican donors from Wall Street and corporate circles, crucial for sustaining her White House bid, is waning as Trump’s dominance in the Republican nomination race becomes increasingly evident.

Despite withdrawing financial support from Haley’s campaign, AFP Action refrained from throwing its weight behind Trump, suggesting the group may remain neutral in the presidential race.

Emily Seidel, a senior advisor to AFP Action, stated on Sunday that while the organization continues to “endorse” Haley’s presidential bid, it intends to “channel our resources where they can have the greatest impact,” highlighting congressional races as a priority.

Seidel expressed concerns about Trump’s potential impact on the Republican Party, predicting a loss for him in the November general election, which could tarnish the party’s reputation and hinder other conservative candidates.

At the beginning of February, Haley’s campaign had approximately $13 million in funds, similar to her expenditure in January, according to recent federal filings. Despite this setback, she has pledged to persevere with her White House aspirations at least until the Super Tuesday contests in early March, where a significant number of delegates will be allocated.

Positioning herself as a traditional mainstream Republican, Haley has advocated for robust national security measures and staunch fiscal conservatism. However, her recent criticisms of Trump’s temperament and the perceived “chaos” in American politics have not resonated with the Republican base, which remains loyal to Trump’s populist economic and isolationist foreign policies.

The Haley campaign has yet to respond to AFP Action’s statement.

The Koch network has served as a significant financial backer of Republican candidates since the time of Barack Obama, although its influence has waned compared to previous years.

A primary objective of AFP Action is to aid Republicans in reclaiming control of the US Senate, a goal thwarted in 2020 and 2022, with Trump-supported candidates suffering defeats in pivotal contests.

Seidel noted that her organization has already thrown its support behind candidates in competitive races across Nevada, Montana, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, with plans to extend endorsements to Ohio and Michigan in the near future.

“This election will be decided by swing voters. And Joe Biden leads Donald Trump 2 to 1 amongst independents,” she said. “The most important — and hardest — thing we may need to do is convince millions of voters who will never cast a ballot for Donald Trump to vote for Republican candidates for Senate and House who will advance our shared principles.”