A 'crowded GOP field' could lead to Trump dominating the party in 2024, new projection suggests

A 'crowded GOP field' could lead to Trump dominating the party in 2024, new projection suggests
Trump supporters and protesters gather outside a campaign rally (and accompanying anti-Trump protest) for President Trump and US Senate candidate Martha McSally. (Eric Rosenwald / Shutterstock.com)
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The ever-growing list of Republican presidential hopefuls may actually pave the way for former President Donald Trump to clinch the party's nomination in 2024, according to a new poll.

"With a growing list of candidates gearing up to run, even a Trump diminished by two impeachments and mounting legal vulnerabilities could hold a commanding position in a fractured, multi-candidate primary," HuffPost reports. A number of Republican strategists have also weighed in with their concerns about the upcoming presidential election.

So far, the list of potential Republican presidential candidates includes: "Trump’s former vice president, Mike Pence; his former secretary of state, Mike Pompeo; and Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Rick Scott of Florida and Tim Scott of South Carolina."

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Then, there are the anti-Trump Republicans, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who could also be potential candidates. In addition to this list of Republican leaders and lawmakers, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is also a standout public figure with the potential for a substantial run at the White House. Christie has also suggested that he may consider another run.

“I’m definitely giving it serious thought. I’m not gonna make any decision probably until the end of the year,” Christie said in a recent interview.

“For me, it’s about the party needing to go in in a new direction from a personality perspective, and to continue to have someone who can bring strong leadership, tough leadership, that the country needs, but doesn’t have all of the other drama that goes along with it,” he said. “I’m hearing the same things from donors that I’m hearing from voters — that they’re very concerned that we can’t put ourselves in a position to have 2024 be about anything but the good of the country.”

With all of the potential Republican candidates, it may seem like Trump would be inundated with competition. However, Republican strategist Mike DuHaime, who worked as an advisor to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) when he ran against Trump in 2016, is concerned that there could be a repeat of that election year.

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“I fear it could end up the same way as 2016, which basically was everyone thought everyone else should get out,” said DuHaime.“I think every major candidate realized that he or she would have a better shot against Trump one-on-one. But of course, each person thought he or she should be the one to get that shot and nobody got out of the way. ... And then it was too late.”

The midterm elections have also given some insight into the state of Trump's influence over the party. While he did have some victories with candidates he endorsed for midterm elections, some of those endorsement campaigns fell through. Trump's impact on Republican voters appears to have waned slightly, but one Republican strategist still doesn't believe the former president should be underestimated.

“I don’t think anybody underestimates Trump. There’s a reason he’s the most sought-after endorsement in every single Republican primary,” said Republican strategist Alex Conant. “That said, I think there’s a recognition that a lot of Republican voters are looking to the future and ready for what’s next.”

However, Conant understands why Republicans are jumping at the opportunity to enter bids for the White House.

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“A lot of potential candidates are realizing that 2024 may be their last best chance, regardless of what Trump does,” he said. “There’s a very vulnerable Democrat in the White House, Republicans seem likely to win, and if it’s not Trump, they’re basically sidelined for the next 10 years.”

He added, “It looks like it’s increasingly clear there’s going to be a lot of people running for president. And while I think there’s an appetite for something different, the alternative to Trump needs to coalesce around one candidate. That never happened in 2016. And it might not happen in 2024.”

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