Six Republicans who could challenge Trump in 2024

Politics

(NewsNation) — Republicans gathered in Las Vegas this past weekend for the Republican Jewish Coalition‘s leadership convention and many big names seemed to be setting up a possible presidential run.

From Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, and former Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, the GOP field is littered with potential candidates.

While former President Donald Trump is the only candidate to officially announce a 2024 run thus far, a new Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey released Monday shows 2024 White House hopeful, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, could give him a run for his money.

The poll revealed that in only one month, DeSantis’ hypothetical standing jumped 11 points — a 28% improvement — in a 2024 mock Republican primary.

At the same time, Trump’s support dropped quite a bit. While he still holds a double-digit lead over DeSantis, the poll shows he took a 9-point hit — a total of 46%.

“Month after month, DeSantis has been rising and now he is cutting significantly into Trump,” Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll, told The Hill. “If they both run, this will be quite a race and Trump could well lose.”

Bob Cusack, the editor-in-chief at The Hill, joined NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” on Monday to give his takeaway of the conference. He says the energy indicates the GOP is looking for a new leader.

“I think the biggest takeaway is that Republican voters are looking for other alternatives other than the former president,” Cusack said.

Cusack went on to say that it will be a “crowded field.”

“A lot of former Trump allies who are getting into this race — including, I think, what is likely going to happen, the former vice president getting in. That is unprecedented and I think it’s going to be a fascinating primary.”

One of the GOP nominee hopefuls could face off against President Joe Biden, who is weighing another bid. Monday, at the turkey pardon, the president was heard roasting Republicans for their midterm performance.

“The only red wave this season is going to be if our German Shepherd Commander knocks over the cranberry sauce on our table.”

Here are six Republicans who could challenge Trump in the primary.

1. Larry Hogan

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan blamed Trump for the GOP’s failure to secure a bigger majority in the 2022 midterm elections, saying the Republican Party was in need of real leadership. Hogan specifically called out swing voters as being turned off by some of the “less than stellar” candidates.

There are rumors Hogan is looking at a run himself; he served two terms as governor of Maryland but was term-limited. He refused to endorse the Trump-backed Republican nominee, Dan Cox, in the 2022 race. Cox was defeated by Democrat Wes Moore.

2. Chris Christie

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie didn’t hold back as he blamed Trump for the Republican Party’s losses, saying it happened because the former president puts himself before everybody else. Christie was also critical of election denial being used as a litmus test for candidates.

Christie ran against Trump in the 2016 Republican primary. He later backed Trump’s candidacy and became the head of his transition team.

3. Chris Sununu

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said the Republicans need to stop backing “crazy” and “unelectable” candidates. He didn’t name names, but he did credit the Democrats for backing more extreme candidates in the Republican primaries in hopes of defeating them in the general election.

Sununu has given mixed answers when asked if he’s planning to throw his hat in the ring for the 2024 primary.

4. Mike Pompeo

Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joked about facing former Vice President Mike Pence on a debate stage, raising the possibility he’s considering a 2024 run.

In a tweet prior to his appearance, Pompeo said Trump promised conservatives they’d be tired of winning but instead, they’re tired of losing.

5. Nikki Haley

Former South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley directly teased a presidential run in her appearance.

Officially, though, Haley said she won’t decide if she’ll consider entering the race for another few months.

6. Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis didn’t hint or joke about a run in his speech, but he’s considered a front-runner, and donors are already throwing support behind a potential campaign.

In Las Vegas, he said he would be focusing on his day job for now.

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