Koch Network Endorses Haley to Defeat Trump. But the Biggest Loser Is Ron DeSantis.

That’s a lot of Republicans in one headline.

Matias J. Ocner/ZUMA

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For the first time in its two-decade history, Americans for Prosperity Action—an influential conservative organization backed by Charles Koch—has weighed in on the GOP presidential primary, crowning Nikki Haley as the best candidate to beat Donald Trump.

“She has what it takes to lead a policy agenda to take on our nation’s biggest challenges and help ensure our country’s best days are ahead,” AFP Action senior adviser Emily Seidel wrote in the memo. “With the grassroots and data capability we bring to bear in this race, no other organization is better equipped to help her do it.”

The selection of the former South Carolina governor comes as a significant blow to Ron DeSantis, who at one point was widely considered to be the biggest threat to Trump’s reelection campaign. But after months of sliding polls and chaotic campaign shakeups, that threat has faded considerably. Now, with the Iowa caucuses quickly approaching, DeSantis is increasingly stuck battling an ascendant Haley for second place. 

Andrew Romeo, DeSantis communications director, hit back on X.

The endorsement is especially ill-timed for DeSantis as he prepares to debate a man who will notably not be on the ballot in Iowa: California Gov. Gavin Newsom. 

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