Koch-backed network drops funding for Nikki Haley campaign after South Carolina defeat

Koch-backed network drops funding for Nikki Haley campaign after South Carolina defeat

AFP Action, the conservative faction associated with the influential Americans for Prosperity, backed by the billionaire Koch Brothers, has withdrawn financial support from Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign. In an internal email obtained by Fox News, AFP Action’s senior adviser Emily Seidel stated that they doubted any external group could significantly bolster Haley’s chances of victory. Seidel emphasized redirecting resources towards U.S. Senate and House races, maintaining their endorsement for Haley while reallocating their efforts.

This development, initially reported by Politico, follows AFP Action’s endorsement of Haley in November, which provided substantial grassroots and organizational backing. The financially robust conservative network had initiated an advertising blitz in January to bolster Haley’s campaign through various mediums such as mailers, digital ads, and connected TV spots. Previously committed to spending tens of millions of dollars to elevate the Republican Party beyond former President Trump, AFP Action announced allocating an initial $27 million for their ongoing campaign.

The decision coincided with Haley’s GOP rival, former President Trump, clinching victory in the GOP primary in Haley’s home state of South Carolina. Despite this setback and calls to withdraw from the race, Haley remains resolute, asserting that it does not mark the conclusion of her political journey. She proceeded to Michigan ahead of its primary, scheduled for the following Tuesday, exhibiting determination despite the recent loss.

Within less than 24 hours of her defeat, Haley’s campaign announced raising $1 million solely from grassroots supporters, underscoring her enduring appeal and broad support base. Responding to queries regarding the loss of funding from AFP Action, Haley expressed confidence, praising their alignment with conservative principles and vowing to continue advocating for the majority of Americans opposed to a Trump-Biden rematch.

Trump’s consistent victories in early GOP contests have left minimal room for maneuvering for Haley, his former U.N. ambassador. Nevertheless, she remains steadfast amid mounting pressure to concede her candidacy, rejecting calls to cede the spotlight entirely to Trump for a potential 2020 rematch against Democratic President Joe Biden.