Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney said former President Donald Trump is “very likely” to be the 2024 Republican presidential nominee if he chooses to run.
The senator, who voted twice to convict the former president in his impeachment trials, told Politico in a Wednesday interview that Trump continues to hold firm support in the party, particularly after Trump endorsed Republican Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance shortly before his primary victory.
“I don’t delude myself into thinking I have a big swath of the Republican Party,” Romney said to Politico. “It’s hard to imagine anything that would derail his support. So if he wants to become the nominee in ’24, I think he’s very likely to achieve that.”
“He’s the leader of the party, that’s clear,” he added. “If he decides to run, he will become the nominee.”
Trump-endorsed House candidates Max Miller, Madison Gesiotto Gilbert and J.R. Majewski defeated their rivals in their Tuesday races, Politico reported. Vance trailed behind rivals Josh Mandel and Mike Gibbons prior to Trump’s endorsement April 15.
Retiring Republican Ohio Sen. Rob Portman said Trump’s endorsement mattered for Vance’s victory in the primary, according to Politico.
“I told you the endorsement was going to matter. And it did,” Portman said, according to the outlet. “He has a very high approval rating among Republican primary voters.”
Romney, the former 2012 Republican presidential nominee, stated in 2021 that Trump would attain the Republican nomination if he decided to run, adding he would continue to play a major role in the party. (RELATED: Romney, Other Anti-Trump Republicans To Fundraise For Cheney Re-Election Bid)
“I expect he will continue playing a role. I don’t know if he’ll run in 2024 or not. But if he does, I’m pretty sure he will win the nomination,” Romney said in a New York Times-DealBook virtual interview. “I look at the polls, and the polls show that among the names being floated as potential contenders in 2024, if you put President Trump in there among Republicans, he wins in a landslide.”
A 2022 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll found that Trump holds strong support among Republicans and conservatives, earning 59% support while Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis came in second with 28%. The former president has hinted at potentially running for re-election on several occasions by answering that people will be “very happy” with a future announcement.