Koch group withdraws support for Haley after South Carolina loss

Koch group withdraws support for Haley after South Carolina loss

Nikki Haley, the former UN ambassador and Republican presidential candidate, has lost the backing of a powerful conservative group that had been spending millions of dollars on her campaign.

Americans For Prosperity Action, a political arm of the Koch network, announced on Sunday that it would stop funding Haley’s campaign after she failed to win the South Carolina primary, her home state.

In an email to staff obtained by POLITICO, the group’s CEO Emily Seidel said that Haley had no realistic path to victory in the upcoming primary states and that the group would focus its resources on competitive Senate and House races instead.

The endorsement of Nikki Haley by Americans for Prosperity Action was announced last year and had been crucial for her campaign.

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“She has made it clear that she will continue to fight and we wholeheartedly support her in this effort,” Seidel wrote. “But given the challenges in the primary states ahead, we don’t believe any outside group can make a material difference to widen her path to victory.”

The Koch group had been one of Haley’s biggest allies, spending more than $20 million on ads, mailers, and canvassing to boost her campaign. The group praised Haley for her record as governor of South Carolina and her stance on free trade, immigration, and foreign policy.
However, Haley faced a formidable challenge from former President Donald Trump, who remains popular among the Republican base and has endorsed his loyalist, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, for the nomination.

Haley, who had clashed with Trump during his presidency and after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, tried to appeal to both Trump supporters and critics, but failed to gain traction in the crowded field.

She came in third place in the South Carolina primary on Saturday, behind Cruz and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, with only 15 percent of the vote.

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Haley said she was not dropping out of the race and vowed to continue fighting for the “soul of the Republican Party.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” she said. “I’m going to keep speaking the truth and standing up for what I believe in.”

Haley still has some support from other outside groups, such as Stand For America, a super PAC run by her former aides, and Winning For Women, a group that backs female Republican candidates.

But without the Koch group’s backing, Haley faces an uphill battle to compete with the better-funded and better-organized campaigns of Cruz and Rubio, who are leading the polls in the next primary states of Nevada and Florida.
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Source : THE NEW YORK TIMES

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