Another setback for Nikki Haley: support network withdraws

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has suffered another serious setback in the primary race against former US President Donald Trump. After Haley’s primary defeat in her home state of South Carolina, the influential and financially strong network of conservative billionaire Charles Koch announced on Sunday that it would no longer actively support the 52-year-old presidential candidate.

The network’s political arm, Americans for Prosperity Action, said it remains behind Haley; she is “the best candidate”. “But given the challenges in the next few primary states, we don’t believe any outside group can make a difference in broadening their path to victory.”

The organization therefore wants to use its resources “where we can make a difference,” it said in a memo. These are the elections for the US Senate and the House of Representatives.

The Koch network backed Haley in November and, according to media reports, subsequently spent tens of millions of dollars to support the former US ambassador to the United Nations in the primary campaign. The network said it viewed the ex-governor of South Carolina as “the best choice for our country” – and the best candidate to prevent Trump from winning the Republican primaries.

Many conservatives fear that the ex-president could lose to incumbent Joe Biden as a candidate in the presidential election on November 5th. Although the right-wing populist is still extremely popular among the right-wing base, he is met with resolute rejection by large parts of the population.

In the primaries for the Republican presidential nomination, Trump seems to be unstoppable: The 77-year-old has won the four previous primaries in the states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and, most recently, South Carolina on Saturday, with a large lead over the party’s internal competition .

It’s only a matter of time before Haley, the last remaining serious Trump opponent, throws in the towel. The 52-year-old has announced that she wants to stay in the race at least until “Super Tuesday” on March 5, when Republicans will hold primaries in 15 states.