Republican Texas Sen. John Cornyn is concerned that the growing primary field, which gained three new candidates just this week, could give former President Donald Trump the party’s nomination in 2024, according to Politico.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Vice President Mike Pence and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum made their entrance into the presidential race this week, making the Republican primary field chock-full of ten serious contenders. Cornyn hopes the Republican Party can “do better” than the former president, and fears a larger field would make it easier for Trump to secure the nomination again, he told Politico.
“I’m worried about it,” Cornyn told Politico. The senator is concerned Trump “hasn’t figured out how to expand beyond his base.” (RELATED: The Top 2024 GOP Candidates Prove The Trump-Fueled Republican Realignment Is Real)
When asked if he believes the Republican field could narrow ahead of the primaries, he told Politico, “I can dream, can’t I?”
Along with Trump and the three newly announced candidates, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and conservative radio show personality Larry Elder are among the Republicans vying for the nomination.
“President Trump is dominating in poll after poll — both nationally and statewide — because voters want someone who can beat Joe Biden and retake the White House,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung told the DCNF. “This is no time for weakness, and President Trump is the only one who can jumpstart the economy, secure the border, make communities safer and make America respected once again.”
Other Republican lawmakers hope the growing feud between Trump and DeSantis will make way for a third candidate to rise up, they told Politico. South Dakota Sen. John Thune, who is backing Scott for president, believes “these top two guys may be paper tigers.”
Iowa Rep. Zach Nunn, who has yet to endorse a candidate, thinks his early primary state voters will look past the two front-runners’ drama for another option, he told Politico.
“We’ll see if the two titans punching each other fires up the base, or if six months from now people are tired of both and ready for a third way,” Nunn said.“When you talk to Iowans, shit-talking other candidates will not get you success.”
Florida Rep. Carols Gimenez, who endorsed Trump in late April, acknowledged that the more candidates jump in, the stronger Trump’s chances are in the primary.
“There’s a core constituency that will only vote for the [former] president,” Gimenez told Politico. “As you have more, they start to break up those percentages amongst themselves, that core will always stay with the [former] president.”
The Real Clear Politics (RCP) average for a national GOP primary in 2024, based on polls conducted from May 8 to May 22, indicates the former president is leading the crowded field with 53.2% support, followed by DeSantis, Haley and Pence at 22.4%, 4.4% and 3.8%, respectively. While Burgum hasn’t yet registered in national polling, the rest of the longshot contenders register with 2.6% or less.
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