How Ron DeSantis is making 2024’s GOP presidential field 'smaller than expected': report

How Ron DeSantis is making 2024’s GOP presidential field 'smaller than expected': report

Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and ex-governor of South Carolina, is expected to formally declare, in mid-February, her plan to seek the 2024 GOP presidential nomination — which will make her the first Republican to officially take on former President Donald Trump in that primary. Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appears to be gearing up for a presidential run, although he has yet to make an official announcement.

Other Republicans being mentioned as possible GOP presidential candidates for 2024 include President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, among others. But according to Politico’s Jonathan Martin, Republican strategists are expecting a relatively small field of primary hopefuls. And that, Martin stresses, is exactly what DeSantis and his supporters are hoping for.

GOP strategist Ward Baker told Politico that he expects to see around seven or eight serious contenders. Many other Republicans, according to Martin, are “planning to sit out the White House race or remain on the fence about whether to run at all.”

READ MORE:Ron DeSantis is hoping that 'self-imploding' Trump will doom his own campaign: 'The magic of 2016 seems gone'

Martin, in an article published by Politico on February 2, reports, “For all the preemptive Republican panic about a 2016 replay, and Trump claiming the nomination again thanks to a fractured opposition, the 2024 GOP field is shaping up to be smaller than expected…. A number of would-be Republican candidates this time see the party still in the former president’s grip, cast an eye at his preemptive attacks on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and say: who needs it, I’ll check back in 2028 when, one way or another, Trump is out of the picture.”

Author/firebrand pundit Ann Coulter, Fox News’ Rupert Murdoch and some writers for the National Review are among the Republicans who have been rallying around DeSantis, while The Lincoln Project’s Rick Wilson (a former GOP strategist and Never Trump conservative) is predicting that Trump will be the nominee and that Republicans will ultimately “bend the knee” to him. Wilson is extremely skeptical when told that the GOP is ready to “move on” from Trump.

Republican strategist Scott Jennings believes that the Republicans who are staying out of the 2024 presidential primary aren’t doing so because of Trump — they’re doing so because of DeSantis and the considerable momentum he has in the GOP and the MAGA movement. DeSantis was reelected by 19 percent in Florida’s 2022 gubernatorial race.

Jennings told Politico, “They don’t have a Trump problem, they have a DeSantis problem. It’s going to be hard fighting for the other 60 to 70 percent of the vote (not going to Trump) when another guy could get 90 percent of it.”

READ MORE: 'Been to this party too many times': Rick Wilson predicts GOP will nominate Donald Trump in 2024

Martin reports, however, that if DeSantis and Trump have a “bloody battle” and tear one another to pieces in the 2024 GOP primary, that could benefit Haley.

“Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who’s ready to announce later this month, hopes voters will turn to a younger, female alternative when the going gets rough between Trump and DeSantis,” Martin explains. “And older figures like former Vice President Mike Pence and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson have told people they’re counting on a frontrunner food fight to create an appetite for a so-called adult in the race.”

READ MORE: Trump could end DeSantis' presidential hopes with a series of surprising attacks: analyst

Read Politico’s full report at this link.

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