Koch Funding for Nikki Haley Halts After South Carolina Defeat *UPDATE*

AP Photo/Meg Kinnard

Now we see how long Nikki Haley will last in the Republican presidential primary. A big donor, Americans for Prosperity Action, a Koch network PAC, has pulled its support for Haley's campaign after the South Carolina primary.


Haley lost by 20 points to Donald Trump in her home state. There is no happy talk from the candidate or her surrogates that can smooth out that humiliating loss for voters. If a candidate cannot win her own state - a well-liked former two-term governor - then how realistic is it to think there is a solid way forward? It's not. 

Politics is not beanbag, as the saying goes, and Haley has to make a big decision. Does she continue on after Super Tuesday or does she acknowledge the inevitable? She has committed to remaining through Super Tuesday and she probably has the resources to do that. But what then? Does she burn through her political capital and torch her chances of being a top candidate in 2028? 

The billionaire Koch brothers network was a huge 'get' for Haley in November. Their political PAC is flush with financial resources and a large volunteer personnel network. Americans for Prosperity Action (AFP Action) sent an email to staffers. Senior adviser Emily Seidel said the PAC no longer believes that "any outside group can make a material difference to widen Haley's path to victory."       

"And so while we will continue to endorse her, we will focus our resources where we can make the difference. And that’s the U.S. Senate and House," Seidel wrote.


AFP Action pledged to spend tens of millions of dollars to defeat Donald Trump in the Republican primary. Last month it said it was putting $27M in a new wave for the campaign. 

The PAC and the Koch network pledge to continue to endorse Haley as the primary continues but the financial and personnel support on the ground has ended. The focus now is on Senate and House races.

Haley is in Michigan. She's campaigning there before that state's primary on Tuesday.

In less than 24 hours after her loss Saturday night, Haley's campaign declared she raised $1M from grassroots supporters. The campaign argues this demonstrates her appeal to all types of voters. It said Haley has staying power.

Trump has swept every caucus and primary so far and there is no indication that this will stop. His hold on primary voters is clear. Now the big money PAC will focus on the all-important down-ballot races

Campaigns for both Trump and Haley spent big at the start of the year, Federal Election Commission filings from January showed. But AFP’s decision to move its efforts away from the presidential primary is a blow to Haley, who is struggling in the primaries and relies on both big and small-dollar donors.

“This election will be decided by swing voters. And Joe Biden leads Donald Trump 2 to 1 amongst independents,” Seidel wrote. “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.”


Trump did not mention Nikki Haley's name during his victory speech on Saturday night. He would be wise to stop mentioning her at all. He doesn't need to. She will end her campaign soon enough. Trump should just concentrate on running against Biden. Joe Biden is incapable of making a speech or even just remarks without slamming Trump. Trump is free to do the same.

***UPDATE***  I watched an interview with Nikki Haley on FNC this afternoon. When asked about the Koch super PAC pulling out of supporting her, she said that the PAC never gave her money, only ground support with volunteers. I had not heard that before, so I thought I'd pass that tidbit along.  - Karen

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Videos