Since winning an upset victory over establishment favorite Hillary Clinton in 2016, former President Donald Trump has been the de-facto leader of the Republican Party. It appears likely that Trump will run for re-election in 2024 and he is the favorite to win should he decide to do so. But what if he doesn’t run? Who will replace him? And if he does, will he run unopposed or square off against rivals who subscribe to the notion that Trump’s MAGA coalition has become a radical faction dividing the party? Below is a list of five hopefuls other than Donald Trump potentially competing for the top spot for the Republican Party’s 2024 President ticket:
The 46th Governor of Florida has been floated as the heir apparent to the Republican Presidential nomination should Donald Trump not run for a third time. This Harvard law graduate also served in the military as a Navy JAG officer, deployed to Iraq, and has served in Congress. While DeSantis has not publicly disclosed an intention to run for President in 2024, recent polls have begun to show him neck and neck with Trump, should he decide to run.
Donald Trump’s former Vice President has himself intimated that he may run for President, whether Trump is in the race or not. When recently asked whether he has decided to compete, Pence cryptically answered, “we’ll go where we’re called.” Trump and Pence’s relationship has appeared publicly strained since January 6th, with both men distancing themselves from each other. While Pence may decide to run, a recent Harvard/Harris poll conducted in May reveals he may not fair well in the Republican primaries, garnering only 7% support amongst the likely voters surveyed.
Another former cabinet member of Donald Trump’s administration, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, is rumored to be considering a bid for the Presidential nomination in 2024. This former CIA director recently launched a 30 second ad in South Carolina, celebrating the defeat of Roe v Wade in June, in what many interpret as a test run for the 2024 primaries. A February poll by Rasmussen showed that only 3% of likely Republican voters would vote Pompeo in the presidential primaries.
Former Ambassador to the United Nations and former Governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, is yet another Trump Administration alumnus who is expected to run for President in 2024. As recently as July 1st, outlets covered comments by Haley made at an Iowa fundraiser, stating she will run “if there’s a place” for her. The February poll by Rasmussen mentioned above also places Haley with 3% support of likely Republican voters.
Liz Cheney is the ranking Republican member of the January 6 Commission, an investigative body Donald Trump has labeled the “unselect committee.” The Wyoming Congresswoman, and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, has quickly become one of Donald Trump’s arch enemies in the Republican Party. She has recently said she will make a decision on ’24 “down the road,” and that her primary focus is “protecting the nation from Donald Trump.” Running for President may be the only option Cheney has left by 2024, however, aspolling from late 2021 shows her disapproval rating over 70% in her home state of Wyoming.
While these five prospective candidates are some of the highest profile figures expected to run for the Republican nomination in 2024, whether they will or not is yet to be set in stone. There could also be plenty of other Republican figures who decide to throw their hats into the ring in the months to come. The biggest question that remains, of course, is whether the expected front-runner and former President, Donald Trump, decides to avenge his loss from 2020.
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