The Republican presidential primary for 2024 is already shaping up to be a messy affair, and it hasn’t even officially started yet. Between simultaneously trying to create distance and prove their loyalty to Donald Trump, MAGA Republicans are all over the place in their race for the Republican nomination for president – making clear regardless of what Trump decides, we can count on a chaotic primary.
Washington Post: The shadow race is underway for the Republican presidential nomination
One day last month, Mike Pence secretly huddled with some of Michigan’s top donors, including the kingmaking DeVos family, as he pitched his vision for the Republican Party before flying to Georgia to campaign against former president Donald Trump’s choice for governor.
Tom Cotton, the Republican senator from Arkansas, has developed a long PowerPoint presentation about how previous candidacies for president failed — and has shown it to donors and others during meetings on how he would run a successful campaign.
Advisers and allies of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, meanwhile, have discussed the margins for his 2022 reelection that would help put him in position to run for president in 2024.
With months to go before the midterm elections, the shadow campaign for the 2024 Republican nomination is well underway, with at least 15 potential candidates traveling the country, drawing up plans, huddling with donors or testing out messages at various levels of preparation.
At least six senators have made appearances in Iowa or New Hampshire already, joining former Trump advisers and appointees like Pence, former secretary of state Mike Pompeo and former ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley. Nine potential candidates, including former New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, have spoken at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, laying out their vision for the future of the party, with Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), a prominent Trump critic with a national profile, scheduled to speak there on June 29.
Behind the scenes, DeSantis and his team think they’ve overtaken Trump with the party’s major donors, according to an ally in touch with the governor.
Haley and Pompeo are both doing one-on-one calls with major donors, plugging fundraising committees aimed at boosting candidates in the midterms.
The political team of Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) has been seeking to expand his donor base, reaching out to major contributors far from South Carolina with what one recipient described as “highly sophisticated and personalized communications”’ He recently spoke at the Reagan library and has appeared in both New Hampshire and Iowa since 2020.
Sen. Rick Scott, who is running Republican Senate midterm efforts, has been building his own fundraising lists by promoting an extensive set of national policy plans, which have attracted criticism from both Republicans and Democrats.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a former homeland security undersecretary, has been among the most diligent potential candidates, planning a trip to New Hampshire, appearing repeatedly on Sunday news talk shows and recently founding a nonprofit, America Strong and Free, to pay staff and fund his policy efforts.
Hogan and Christie are also aiming to test the party’s appetite for moving on from Trump, as they have both become frequent critics of his behavior