If Donald Trump wins Iowa and New Hampshire, the Koch brothers are set to mobilize their money and grassroots network to prevent Trump from becoming the Republican nominee.
Donald Trump is so fiercely opposed by the Koch brothers network that some donors believe the powerful group will intervene to stop the billionaire if it looks like he could win the Republican presidential nomination.
“They are always very hesitant to get involved in a primary but I think if they were going to do it this would be the time because they just hate the guy,” said a donor who attended the Koch network’s winter retreat, held over the weekend at a luxury resort near the foothills of Palm Springs’s Coachella Valley.
Both officials and donors within the powerful group hope the real estate tycoon’s White House bid dies a natural death so the group can avoid spending a penny of its $889 million 2016 cycle budget against him. But the Koch network’s conversations over the weekend concerning what to do about Trump were more detailed than previously revealed.
The Kochs have already commissioned research to uncover Trump’s weaknesses as a candidate, and they are gearing up for a full-scale effort to deny the billionaire the Republican nomination. The one establishment candidate that the Kochs are likely to get behind is Marco Rubio. At the 2015 winter meeting, Rubio won a straw poll of Koch donors. Rubio will be the chosen candidate if the Kochs launch a stop Trump movement.
The best news for Democrats is that a stop Trump movement isn’t going to come cheap for the Koch boys. The Kochs may have to spend hundreds of millions of the nearly $900 million that they earmarked for the general election if they intend to stop Trump.
The Kochs have terrible results in presidential elections, so their checkbook and organizing network is far from a slam dunk, but the billionaire brothers would be able to outspend Trump in the primary, but they may also drive Trump to launch an Independent bid for the White House if they deny him the Republican nomination.
The billionaire on billionaire civil war that is the Kochs versus Trump could wreck the Republican dark money machine. It is ironic that the same billionaires who Republicans have catered to for years are on the verge of destroying their party.