GOP 2024 Presidential Hopefuls

Fault Lines in Primaries Foreshadow 2024 Drama

According to a new report from NBC News, Trump-endorsed candidates for this year’s midterm elections have an official 56-1 record after Regent Jim Pillen, Nebraska’s GOP primary candidate for governor, lost amid allegations of inappropriate touching or kissing from eight different women against him. 

The results from Trump’s 169 endorsed candidates will be seen as “indicators of Trump’s popularity”— showing his power within the GOP and the control he has over his allies and proving the grip he has on the Republican party. 

However, some Republicans, like former VP Mike Pence, aren’t falling in line, and his willingness to back Brian Kemp despite Trump’s disdain towards the Georgia governor proves itPolitico recently reported that Trump has had initial success with endorsing candidates, but “things have looked dicier for him in gubernatorial contests.”

NBC News: Trump spread his midterm endorsements. Allies say more losses are inevitable.

By Marc Caputo and Peter Nicholas | May 11, 2022

Key Points:

  • “Donald Trump-endorsed candidates this year now officially have a 56-1 record, after a candidate he backed in Nebraska’s GOP primary for governor was defeated Tuesday night amid a slew of sexual assault allegations.”
     
  • “On May 17, two Trump-endorsed candidates face tough primaries for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania and for governor in Idaho. A week later, Georgia Republicans will vote in the gubernatorial primary, where a Trump-recruited challenger is currently trailing. On the same day, his candidate in the Texas attorney general’s race, incumbent Ken Paxton, faces a runoff against Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush of the Bush family political dynasty.”
     
  • “Yet even if Trump’s candidates lose the marquee races in those four states, Republican and Democratic insiders alike say the former president will still remain the GOP’s undisputed leader. Despite losing his re-election, he can still fill arenas, sell merchandise, raise more money than either political party and out-poll any potential rival for a 2024 White House race. There has been a parade of Republicans to his home in Florida asking for his endorsement. And his endorsements have managed to propel candidates struggling in the polls to victory.”
     
  • “Trump is attuned to whether his allies follow in lockstep or ignore his selections and pick rivals. Last week, he spoke by phone with South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and discussed endorsements they’d made in Nebraska — where they both backed Herbster — and other states, a person familiar with the conversation told NBC News on condition of anonymity because they didn’t want to publicly disclose private conversations. Noem is considered a potential Trump running mate in 2024 and he seems to want their endorsements aligned.”
     
  • “Trump isn’t pleased that Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is campaigning for David McCormick in the Pennsylvania Senate race, according to this source and another confidant of Trump’s who also spoke anonymously because they didn’t have authorization to discuss private conversations publicly.”
     
  • “The former president considers endorsements a sign of his strength within the Republican Party, and he closely tracks his wins and losses. During an interview once in the Oval Office, Trump boasted about his record, summoning a political aide who produced a spreadsheet that he gladly handed to a reporter.” 
     
  • “Ever aware of the importance of a win-loss record, Trump has padded his stats with dozens of endorsements of candidates and incumbents who’ve faced token opposition. So, only a few of the 56 Trump-backed candidates who have already won were really involved in difficult races.”

Read the full story here.

Politico: Pence to headline Georgia rally for Kemp, defying Trump ahead of primary

By Alex Isenstadt | May 13, 2022

Key Points:

  • “Former Vice President Mike Pence will hold a rally with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on the eve of his GOP primary — Pence’s most aggressive political move yet in defiance of his former patron and ticket-mate, former President Donald Trump.”
     
  • “The event comes ahead of the May 24 primary pitting Kemp against Trump-endorsed David Perdue, the former senator who is running for governor. The former president has made Kemp one of his top Republican targets of the midterm election, attacking him mercilessly ever since Kemp refused to intervene and overturn Georgia’s vote count during the 2020 election, when the state went narrowly for President Joe Biden.”
     
  • “Pence has shown increasing willingness to undercut Trump since Trump savaged the former vice president for certifying the 2020 election results instead of taking legally dubious steps to overturn them. Pence has stood by his actions on Jan. 6, 2021, and he has called on the Republican Party to move on from focusing on the last presidential election, even as Trump continues to litigate it.”
     
  • “While Trump has had early success helping endorsed candidates prevail in House and Senate primaries this year, things have looked dicier for him in gubernatorial contests, which are often driven by more idiosyncratic local dynamics.”

Read the full story here.

###