The 2016 race has not gone how anyone expected it to. Donald Trump is dominating the republican side of things, while Bernie Sanders has grown to become a major threat to Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump in particular has turned the race upside-down with a combination of charisma and the unique ability to get away with things that would destroy any other politician.
Donald Trump marches to the beat of his own drum. He has no need for contributors, as he is wealthy all on his own and can afford to spend what he likes on his own campaign. This is a major reason why his supporters adore him. They believe he can not be bought.
Charles Koch has been careful in handling Trump. He has been outspoken on how he feels that Trump’s views on taxes and Muslims will be harmful to the country. Koch’s network favors Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. If the race boils down to Trump vs. Sanders, then observers say that Koch will support Trump. But if Hillary bests Sanders, it is entirely possible that the Kochs will support Hillary or nobody at all.
If the Kochs were to abstain from supporting anyone, some members of their network would likely break off and support Trump, which could have long-reaching ramifications.
Should Koch try to take on Trump now, before it may be too late? And how exactly should that be done? To attack Trump is to fuel his narrative that the elites and the establishment are out to get him. The voters are likely to rally behind him even more. Trump has more skeletons in his closet than most, but so far he’s proven to be teflon against any sort of criticism. Even his repeated crude comments on women have failed to harm his poll numbers.
This means that Charles Koch continues to watch and wait. When an opportunity presents itself, then we may see a true battle of the billionaires.