Nikki Has a Shot! New Hampshire within Reach and New Koch Network Backing
Nikki Haley’s campaign is emerging as a noteworthy challenge to Donald Trump’s dominance in the GOP. Significantly, her campaign is gaining momentum in New Hampshire, a pivotal state in the primary race. Recent polling data indicates a potentially game-changing shift in voter preferences in New Hampshire, with Haley closing in on Trump’s lead. In one poll, Trump is ahead of Haley by 46% to 25%, but another shows Haley just 4% behind. This tightening of the race suggests that if Haley can secure a victory in New Hampshire, it could catalyze a groundswell of support, potentially transforming the dynamics of the Republican nomination.
A victory over Trump in such a small state may appear trivial, but any chink in Trump’s armor, especially one so early, can shift the primary series from a landslide to a nail biter. If she wins New Hampshire, it is almost guaranteed that she will win other states.
Crucial to Haley’s surge is the backing of the influential Koch donor network, which had previously taken a diminished role in presidential politics, particularly after opposing Trump’s rise to power. This network, renowned for shaping GOP politics and stirring apprehension among Democrats, is tiptoeing back into the presidential arena. Its support for Haley marks a strategic shift, indicating a potential reassertion of influence within a party that has been largely influenced by Trump and his policies. This move is also seen as an attempt to appease donors who are keen to be more politically active.
The financial commitment from the Koch network to Haley’s campaign, though modest compared to the overall spending in the primary, is significant. The network has provided $5.7 million in support of Haley, alongside $18 million dedicated to anti-Trump ads and mail. This sum is a fraction of the nearly $1 billion the Koch donors planned to spend on politics and policy efforts during the 2016 presidential race before Trump’s emergence as a key figure. The Koch network’s decision to back Haley reflects its evolving strategy and changing role within the Republican Party.
The Koch network, once a formidable player in Republican politics, had become destabilized during the Trump years. The network faced divisions regarding its opposition to Trump, its rebranding efforts as bipartisan, and its endorsements. Emily Seidel, chief executive of Americans for Prosperity, one of the Koch-funded groups, emphasized that Trump’s rise hasn’t affected the network’s mission. “AFP is a policy-first organization, and we don’t go away in between election cycles,” she stated. Seidel praised Haley’s ability to lead the nation forward, reflecting a notable shift in the network’s political positioning.
Despite the Koch network’s historical opposition to some of Haley’s policies during her governorship, their endorsement signifies a significant realignment within the GOP. The network’s backing is not without its challenges, as it navigates a Republican Party that has undergone substantial transformation. Chart Westcott, a Koch network donor, highlighted this irony, noting the evolution of the network from its founding principles to a more establishment stance.
Haley’s ascendance in the polls has elicited a varied reaction from Trump. While he has publicly dismissed the polls as “fake” and downplayed Haley as a threat, reports suggest he has considered her for a vice-presidential role, indicating an acknowledgment of her growing support base. Haley, capitalizing on this momentum, has been vocal about her campaign’s surge, using Trump’s attacks as evidence of her increasing relevance in the primary race.
As the primary season progresses, Haley’s campaign, buoyed by the Koch network’s backing, poses a credible challenge to Trump’s bid for the GOP nomination. The unfolding dynamics in New Hampshire will be critical in determining the trajectory of the Republican race and could potentially signal a significant shift in the party’s future direction.
Editor’s note: We find it tough to get behind Haley based on one single issue. She has said publicly that her solution to Chinese propaganda in social media is to make sure everyone on social media is identified to the government. This is horrific. We already have enough infringement on freedom of expression in America. The fact that she said this means to us, that she is a philosophical lightweight, and cannot be trusted to be President.