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

AFP Action, the conservative wing of the powerful and influential conservative Americans for Prosperity, funded by the billionaire Koch Brothers, has pulled funding for the presidential campaign of Nikki Haley. In an email to staffers obtained by Fox News, AFP Action senior adviser Emily Seidel said the group did not believe 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. The news was first reported by Politico earlier Sunday. AFP Action endorsed Haley in November, giving her a major grassroots and organizational boost.The deep-pocketed fiscally conservative network launched an ad blitz on behalf of Haley in January, including mailers, digital ads, and connected TV spots. AFP Action, which pledged to spend tens of millions of dollars to help push the Republican Party past former President Trump as it endorsed Haley in late November, said last month it was putting an initial $27 million behind this new wave in their ongoing campaign.TOP HIGHLIGHTS FROM SOUTH CAROLINA’S GOP PRIMARY WHERE TRUMP WON BIG, HALEY VOWED TO PRESS ONThe news came after Haley’s GOP rival, former President Trump, clinched the party’s nomination in Haley’s own home state of South Carolina on Saturday.Despite the loss, and defying calls to exit the race, Haley has said it’s not the “end of our story” as she traveled Sunday to Michigan ahead of the state’s primary on Tuesday. In the less than 24 hours following her Saturday night loss, Haley’s campaign said that she had raised $1 million “from grassroots supporters alone,” a bump they argued “demonstrates Haley’s staying power and her appeal to broad swaths of the American public.”But with Sunday also came the end of support for Haley’s campaign from Americans for Prosperity, the political arm of the powerful Koch network.With his win Saturday in the first-in-the South contest, Trump has now swept every primary or caucus on the GOP early-season calendar that awards delegates. His performances have left little maneuvering room for Haley, his former U.N. ambassador.Still, Haley insists she is sticking around even with the growing pressure to abandon her candidacy and let Trump focus entirely on Democratic President Joe Biden, in a 2020 rematch.
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