Republican Donors Plan To Break Trump’s Grip on GOP

Koch-brother group Americans for Prosperity wants to shift the party away from Trump and the MAGA movement.

What’s happening: Americans for Prosperity (AFP)—the Koch brothers-backed libertarian-conservative advocacy group—plans to prevent former President Donald Trump from becoming the Republican nominee come 2024 by funneling millions of dollars to back another GOP candidate.

What to expect: A new memo teases that AFP will reveal who it will back by the end of the summer. That candidate is likely to receive millions of dollars from AFP's affiliated super PAC, AFP Action. One of the biggest spenders in American politics, AFP Action dolled out over $69 million in the 2022 election cycle.

The intentions: The Koch brothers advocate for free trade, a more relaxed immigration policy, a limited, fiscally responsible government, and other positions of pre-MAGA conservatism that don’t involve cultural issues. AFP said it wants to bring the Republican Party away from the MAGA movement, Trump, and “anyone with his views.” That means it’s likely AFP won’t back Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis either. While Trump has been attacking DeSantis, the two take similar positions.

Why this matters: Trump was vastly outspent in the 2016 primaries but still won, as his platform proved to resonate with voters. Whether another GOP candidate can win against both Trump and DeSantis will likely indicate what will drive the Republican Party going forward: messaging or money.

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