Trump Out, Haley In? Influential Koch Group Takes Sides
Nikki Haley’s Emergence in the Republican Party
Conservative Advocacy Group Backs Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley, the former United States ambassador to the United Nations, has been gaining attention within the Republican Party. She is rising as a potential counter to former President Donald Trump. Also, she has secured significant financial and organizational strength by backing an influential conservative political group opposed to Trump’s re-election.
The conservative political advocacy group Americans for Prosperity (AFP), led by billionaire Charles Koch, announced its support for Nikki Haley.
This group has been active in recent years to prevent the nomination of former President Trump as the Republican presidential candidate. They opposed his re-election in 2020, arguing that Trump instigates division and that his populist trade policy does not uphold traditional conservative values.
AFP expressed its support for former Ambassador Haley. The group stated that she is a candidate who can defeat Trump in the Republican primary and President Joe Biden in the general election. They explained, “Nikki Haley offers America the opportunity to turn the page on the current political era, to win the Republican primary and defeat Joe Biden.”
AFP emphasized that former Ambassador Haley could secure independent or moderate voters that former President Trump could not. They argued the country was becoming polarized and needed a leader with proven governance and political experience to pull it back from the brink.
Two Months Before Iowa Primary
This endorsement occurred two months before the Republican Party’s first Iowa primary. Initially, AFP considered supporting Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida. However, they switched to Nikki Haley as she emerged as the most likely to replace Trump in recent polls.
In the political sphere, it is believed that supporting a group with substantial financial and organizational power will aid Nikki Haley in pursuing former President Trump. This group announced in July that it had raised over $70 million for election support. Especially as Nikki Haley has been criticized for lacking strong organizational power in Iowa, this group is expected to fill that gap.
Doubts and Challenges
However, The Washington Post reported doubts about whether the movements of anti-Trump groups, including AFP, can be successful. Given that former President Trump’s approval rating in the Republican primary polls significantly outpaces former Ambassador Haley’s.
In a poll of Republican voters in New Hampshire conducted this month, the gap in support between former President Trump and former Ambassador Haley exceeded 20 percentage points. Then, in another poll conducted jointly by WP and Monmouth University, Trump had 46% support, and Haley had 18%, a difference of 28 percentage points. In a CNN poll, Trump had 42% support, and Haley had 20%, a difference of 22 percentage points.
By. Jeong Hyun Jin