Speculation swirls on who will contend for 2024 GOP bid

by Trinity Cardinal

Lauren Moye, FISM News


As the mid-term elections approach, watchful eyes wait to see what the Republican Party might offer a little further down the road. Chiefly, many are speculating over who will serve as the GOP-backed presidential bid. Rumors circulate around former president Donald Trump, his previous vice-president Mike Pence, Ron DeSantis, and even movie star Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson.

Although the 45th president has not announced a re-election bid, he has hinted multiple times about the possibility of a 2024 presidential run. In January, he talked about taking back the White House at a ‘Save America’ rally held in Arizona, a key battleground state for the mid-terms. While Trump continues to be a leader within the Republican party, he has previously said he would wait until after mid-terms to make a decision on running in 2024.

Meanwhile, other strong GOP front-runners make for what could be a heated contest for the primary nod. Back in April, Trump-era former acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney shortlisted three names to Politico’s Playbook that he believed could defeat his former boss: South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson.

While all signs make it unlikely that the Fast and Furious costar will make a run, DeSantis has gained popularity for his stances against COVID-19 pandemic mandates and anti-wokeness politics. Notably, DeSantis recently championed legislation banning compelled Critical Race Theory training in schools and the Parental Rights in Education Bill. He also took on megacorporation Disney for trying to force liberal politics into Florida government.

DeSantis has been a favorite Republican presidential candidate for months. A Harvard CAPS-Harris poll from March placed him tied for second with former-VP Mike Pence in terms of voter support next to Trump. In the event that Trump did not run, DeSantis actually edged out Pence in popularity.

However, Wisconsin GOP voters who participated in a convention’s straw poll actually backed DeSantis over Trump. DeSantis earned 38% of votes compared to Trump’s 32%. The third most-competitive potential Republican candidate turned out to be South Carolina’s Governor Nikki Haley with only 7% of the votes.

The Republican Party of Wisconsin poll shows that DeSantis’s notoriety has spread far beyond the southern U.S., potentially making him Trump’s biggest rival for candidacy. However, like the former president, Florida’s governor has not officially announced a 2024 run.

At the same time, Trump’s former right-hand man remains a favorite front-runner. Despite losing popularity at the end of Trump’s presidency through the events of Jan. 6, Pence has taken steps to secure his name as a GOP leader while distancing himself from Trump. Pence has defended himself on the leading cause of that popularity drop, saying in a recent speech that Trump had been “wrong” about his ability to block the Electoral College ratification.

In addition to other speeches, Pence has endorsed Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s reelection bid. The move created a showdown between former ‘Make America Great Again’ running mates as Trump previously endorsed GOP-hopeful, and previous U.S. Senator, David Perdue for the position.