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The Trump Donors Come in From the Cold

Major Republican donors, whose interests and economic persuasions have defined the party since the Reagan era, are at a crossroads this week.
Major Republican donors, whose interests and economic persuasions have defined the party since the Reagan era, are at a crossroads this week. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Theodore Schleifer
January 24, 2024

Over the next week, some of the country’s wealthiest Republicans donors will gather behind closed doors at a pair of fancy hotels on opposite coasts for two prescheduled, high-minded conferences to compare notes and grapple with the question: How much more of their time and fortune are they prepared to bestow upon Nikki Haley’s long-shot presidential campaign? 

The first of these mega-donor confabs will be hosted by the Koch network in Indian Wells, where hundreds of friends and allies of Charles Koch and his late brother, David, will gather Friday night to discuss philanthropy and, on the sidelines, the political topic du jour. Americans for Prosperity, the Koch Network’s political operation, has already spent tens of millions on Haley’s behalf and helped elevate her nearly 20 points in the polls—which, of course, led Trump to ramble on and on in New Hampshire about “Americans for No Prosperity.”