A progressive group on Monday laid out a list of nearly two dozen potential Republican presidential candidates it is targeting as it builds out its opposition research team with the 2024 race expected to take center stage as soon as the midterms are over.
American Bridge 21st Century, a liberal super PAC, listed 21 Republicans it views as the likeliest GOP presidential contenders, including former President Trump and several officials who served in his administration as well as prominent senators and governors like Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis chairs a cabinet meeting at the capitol in Tallahassee, Fla.
Names on the list also include former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
The group is also eyeing Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Rick Scott (Fla.), Tim Scott (S.C.), Tom Cotton (Ark.), Josh Hawley (Mo.) and Mitt Romney (Utah).
Republican governors on the list also include South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, outgoing Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, outgoing Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and outgoing Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.
Former Vice President Mike Pence wave to students after speaking at Georgetown University in Washington.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has openly floated the possibility of a 2024 campaign, is also on the list, as is Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), who lost her primary in August but has vowed to do what she can to keep Trump out of the White House in 2024.
The expansive list of candidates reflects the variety of names Democratic groups are monitoring as potential GOP presidential contenders. While none of the officials have declared their intention to run, several of them are expected to jump into the race, especially if Trump opts not to seek a second term.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, in Orlando, Fla.
“The 2024 GOP primary field promises to be the most extreme, messy, and radical in US history — and American Bridge is already working to hold, what could be a crowded and highly competitive field, accountable long before they have even announced their campaigns,” American Bridge said in a statement.
American Bridge’s 2024 presidential research operation will be led by Julie Alderman Boudreau, who previously led advocacy research at Planned Parenthood Action Fund. The organization has more than a dozen research staffers on hand to help sift through material and news articles related to the nearly two dozen identified GOP officials.
Sen. Marco Rubio greets supporters at a campaign rally along with other Florida Republican politicians and candidates running in the U.S. 2022 midterm elections, in West Miami, Fla.
Pence, Pompeo, Haley and others have traveled multiple times to early primary states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, fueling speculation about a 2024 campaign. Pence, Hutchinson, Ducey, Hogan and Christie in particular have been willing to break with Trump and have spoken about the need for the party to chart a new path forward.
Polls show that Trump remains the favorite should he launch a third White House campaign, despite his fixation on the 2020 election and disproven claims that it was stolen. But DeSantis is a fast-rising star in conservative circles who is viewed as perhaps Trump’s strongest competition.
An ABC News-Ipsos poll published on Sunday found that 72 percent of registered Republicans believe that DeSantis should have a great or good deal of influence in the future direction of the GOP, while 64 percent of respondents said the same of Trump.
Source: The Hill
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