Koch group stops funding Nikki Haley’s campaign. What happens after Super Tuesday?

Americans for Prosperity Action, the conservative grassroots organization founded by billionaire Charle Koch, is no longer supporting Nikki Haley's 2024 presidential campaign, it was announced on Sunday.

The group's CEO, Emily Seidl, said in an email that its political arm, AFP Action, was refocusing its spending efforts on House and Senate races due to Haley's double-digit loss to former President Donald Trump in the South Carolina primary on Saturday.

What is AFP Action?

Backed by billionaire industrialist Charles Koch, AFP Action is one of the country's most influential super political action committees (PAC) in helping to elect Republican candidates and support conservative causes.

The group has been credited with pushing American voters and lawmakers to approve tax cuts, anti-union legislation and conservative judge appointments to federal courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.

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According to Federal Election Commission data, AFP Action spent more than $47 million to influence the 2020 elections. Of that, it spent nearly $22 million supporting 20 winning candidates and about $5 million opposing 15 losing candidates.

Why did AFP Action stop funding Haley's campaign?

AFP Action endorsed the former South Carolina governor and former U.N. ambassador to support an alternate candidate to former President Donald Trump. A pro-Haley ad sponsored by the group last November painted her as the person who could unite the Republican party. But now, only a few months later, AFP Action seems to have lost hope that is the case.

Its decision to cease funding for Haley's quest to the White House was announced in a staff email the day after her defeat in the South Carolina primary. Despite being Haley's home state, she suffered a 20-percentage-point loss Saturday. Still, she vowed to stay in the race.

"You go out and let your voice be heard, be loud and proud about where we need to go in our country, and I will spend every single day proving to you that you made a good decision," Haley told supporters at a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan Monday.

Why does the withdrawal matter?

Despite formerly relying on AFP Action for millions of dollars to fund canvassing and digital advertising, Haley's campaign remains publicly optimistic following the group's withdrawal.

Campaign spokesperson Olivia Perez-Cubas called AFP a "great organization and ally in the fight for freedom and conservative government" in a statement, thanking the group for its help thus far.

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According to FEC filings, the Haley campaign currently has almost $13 million on hand — about half as much as Trump, who has roughly $30 million on hand.

Perez-Cubas said the Haley campaign "has plenty of fuel to keep going" heading into Super Tuesday. She added that the campaign raised more than $1 million from grassroots donations in the 24 hours following the South Carolina primary.

"We have a country to save," she said.

Rachel Barber is a 2024 election fellow at USA TODAY, focusing on politics and education. Follow her on X, formerly Twitter, as @rachelbarber_

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Koch group stops funding Nikki Haley's presidential campaign