Top Trump supporter hedging bets and 'funneling millions' to his 2024 rivals: report
According to a report from Politico, one of the key groups behind Donald Trump's political ascension is hedging its bets on his future viability and getting behind some of his rivals for the 2024 Republican party presidential nomination.
The Club for Growth has had an on-again, off-again relationship with the former president and, with his legal troubles piling up, the longtime conservative powerbroker is looking elsewhere -- including Trump heir-apparent Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL).
According to the report by Politico's Alex Isenstadt, "The deep-pocketed conservative group is holding events with would-be 2024 contenders and funneling millions of dollars to political outfits aligned with other candidates. The Club for Growth has also conducted polling looking at how Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — widely seen as the party’s leading non-Trump contender — would stack up against the former president in a Republican primary."
As the report notes, the Club for Growth opposed Trump's initial run in 2016 but then fell in line and continued to stand up for him after his 2020 defeat that he is still disputing. Since that time the relationship between the two has grown "chilly," Isenstadt wrote.
"Those involved with the organization say they expect Trump will be the GOP nominee in 2024. But its flirtation with other possible Republican candidates represents an escalation of its tensions with Trump, and it shows how the Club for Growth — one of the biggest-spending outfits of the 2022 midterm elections —is working to elevate other voices," the report states before adding, "The Club for Growth is forking over big sums to possible presidential contenders, recently donating $2 million to DeSantis’ reelection machine and another $1 million to a super PAC aligned with South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, according to a person familiar with the contributions."
The report adds that the group has also backed summits with Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX) and former secretary of state Mike Pompeo who are both also maneuvering to make a 2024 run.
According to the report, the group has been doing extensive polling on how DeSantis stacks up with Trump, with Politico reporting, "The surveys have mostly shown Trump leading the Florida governor. But when the Club for Growth conducted polling over the summer, amid the congressional hearings into Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the margin tightened between the two. However, Trump later got a bump in Republican support following the FBI search for classified documents stored at his Mar-a-Lago estate."
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