At least 15 Republicans are laying the groundwork for a 2024 presidential bid, and some of them might enter the race even if former President Trump runs, The Washington Post reports.
Candidates involved in what the Post calls the "shadow campaign" for the 2024 nomination are meeting with donors, making trips to Iowa and New Hampshire, and delivering speeches setting out their visions for the party's future.
Per the Post, "[i]nterviews with over a dozen GOP operatives" suggest that Trump is "not clearing the field" despite numerous hints that he plans to make another bid for the White House. Trump pollster Tony Fabrizio predicted that "[t]hey're all going to run."
Members of Trump's own administration — including former Vice President Mike Pence, former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — all appear to be mulling 2024 runs.
So are a pair of blue-state governors — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — who have a more moderate, pre-Trumpian vision for the GOP. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has also suggested the GOP should move on from Trump. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) could fit in this category as well, having been floated by former Labor Secretary Robert Reich as "possibly … the best president of the United States for the perilous time we're entering."
Still others — including Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida — have been positioning themselves to run on a vision of Trumpism without Trump.