Dem 51
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GOP 49
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What Will Haley Do?

It was a bad weekend for Nikki Haley. On Saturday she got whomped by Donald Trump. On Sunday, the Koch brother's political network, Americans for Prosperity Action, announced that it was ending its support for her. It issued the message: "She has made it clear that she will continue to fight, and we wholeheartedly support her in this effort. But given the challenges in the primary states ahead we don't believe any outside group can make a material difference to widen her path to victory." This is not a good omen for Haley.

Political campaigns usually end when the money runs out. Now a major source of money is gone. This doesn't mean Haley will be forced to quit this week. Haley said that after her 40% vote share in South Carolina, she raised $1 million in small donations. This will be more than enough to pay for travel and at least some staff until Super Tuesday. Consequently, there is no real reason for her to drop out before March 6, when the results are in. If she doesn't win any states, at that point she will probably reluctantly throw in the towel. A big question is whether she will then endorse Trump and instantly cause all the people who supported her to see her as a coward and hate her for it.

Of course, without the Koch money, she won't be on the air much although she can still hold rallies. At this point, the value of TV commercials is probably limited anyway. Most Republicans know already whether they like Trump or not, and a few more commercials probably won't change many more minds.

Naturally, Trump had to gloat about the Koch network giving up on Haley. He posted a tweet on his boutique social network saying that "Charles Koch and his group got played for suckers right from the beginning."

Charles Koch hates Donald Trump and certainly won't support him in the general election. However, he doesn't like Joe Biden either. Instead, the Koch network will focus on winning Senate and House seats and stay out of the presidential election. In a way, this is bad news for the Democrats because the Koch money won't make any difference in the general election—each side will probably spend a billion dollars—but $20 million extra in a close Senate race could matter and even $5 million in a tight House race could swing it. (V)

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