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Koch network stops funding Nikki Haley after loss in South Carolina

The network's influential political arm endorsed Haley back in November but has lost confidence after her fifth straight electoral loss to Trump.
Koch network stops funding Nikki Haley after loss in South Carolina
Posted at 12:22 PM, Feb 26, 2024

After yet another disheartening primary election loss, Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley has now lost the support of one of her most influential donors.

The billionaire-backed Koch Network, founded by brothers Charles and David Koch, has withdrawn support for Haley's campaign after the former United Nations ambassador's fifth straight loss of the 2024 election season. Republican front-runner and former President Donald Trump defeated Haley in her home state of South Carolina Saturday, receiving nearly 60% of the vote.

"This was a little sooner than we anticipated," Trump told supporters shortly after the race was called. "An even bigger win than we anticipated."

Prior to his win in South Carolina, Trump also gained an overwhelming majority of delegates with primary victories in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and the Virgin Islands.

SEE MORE: Will Nikki Haley's battle strategy against Trump work?

The Haley campaign had hoped to attract non-Republicans, including Democrats, given that South Carolina is an open primary. But exit polling by Decision Desk HQ showed that more independent and Democratic voters supported Trump over Haley. 

 According to a Quinnipiac University poll released last week, Trump leads Haley among GOP presidential primary voters nationwide by an 80-17 margin. But despite calls to exit the race, Haley has vowed to continue. 

"I don't believe Donald Trump can beat Joe Biden," she told supporters after the loss. "I said this week, 'No matter what happens in South Carolina, I would continue to run for president.' I'm a woman of my word."

While losing support from the influential Koch network hurts, the Haley campaign has actually flourished after other election losses thanks in part to grassroots supporters. She raised $16.5 million in January alone — her best fundraising month ever — which includes $2 million in small-dollar donations.

Republicans will now shift their focus to Michigan, which will hold its primary election Tuesday. 

But perhaps the biggest date circled on the election calendar will come March 5 — or Super Tuesday — when more than a dozen states will head to the polls and nearly one-third of all total delegates for the Republican party will be up for grabs. And although Haley remains in the race, Trump is the overwhelming favorite to win the GOP nomination, with polls showing him in a dead heat with President Joe Biden in a hypothetical rematch of the 2020 election.

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