CNN — As former President Donald Trump marches closer to the Republican presidential nomination, some conservative outside groups and donors opposed to his candidacy say they now must redouble their efforts to win the Senate in November. And some fret that with Trump at the top of the ticket – a scenario growing more likely with his decisive back-to-back victories in Iowa and New Hampshire – the task of holding the House and flipping the Senate will grow harder, even in a year when the Senate electoral map strongly favors the GOP. “If Trump ultimately is the nominee, the threat of a repeat of the last three elections and a Democrat sweep increases dramatically – making the Senate and the House that much more important,” said Bill Riggs, a spokesman for Americans for Prosperity Action. The group, aligned with billionaire industrialist Charles Koch, has spent millions promoting former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as the best GOP candidate to defeat Trump in the primary, since endorsing her in late November . AFP Action leaders, who will discuss their political plans with the network’s donors at a Southern California gathering this weekend, say they continue to support Haley – despite her bruising loss Tuesday in New Hampshire and the “steeper road” she faces in her home state. Polls show Trump with a big lead in the Palmetto State’s February 24 primary. But the Koch officials say the group’s biggest 2024 investment will come in Senate contests, with a prime focus on flipping Democratic-held seats in six states: Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It’s already endorsed in three of those primaries with more announcements to come. In a recent AFP Action memo that appeared to hedge its bet on Haley, Emily Seidel, a top official, said the Senate represented […]

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