A cavalcade of GOP presidential hopefuls marched through a Republican Jewish Coalition gathering this past weekend in Las Vegas, lured to one of the first 2024 cattle calls as they looked to generate buzz for future national aspirations.
Just a handful of the Republican leaders that addressed the audience included Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Vice President Mike Pence, and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.
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However, it was a candidate who wasn’t present who appears to be benefiting from the fact that so many Republicans are actively considering running for president in 2024 — Donald Trump, the only one who has officially launched a bid. Trump spoke to the audience via video.
“Everybody makes the mistake of looking at the next campaign through the lens of the last one,” he said in an interview. “And they’re never the same.” Read @ShaneGoldmacher on the possibility of another large divided GOP field https://t.co/UJOHNw5Pub
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 20, 2022
The Republican field can best be understood by comparing it to a math problem. In a Republican primary, every vote counts equally. Due to his continued support from the GOP base, Trump currently has between 30 and 35% of the vote—a ballpark estimate at this early point. In such case, there would be roughly 65% to 70% left over for all of the remaining contenders.
That would be excellent news for the non-Trump candidate in a one-on-one contest, such as between Trump and DeSantis. The issue shows up when many contenders are fighting for the non-Trump position. It’s highly conceivable that Trump’s 30%-35% will be sufficient for him to win early caucuses and primaries when that 65%-70% is divided up among, say, seven other candidates.
We need to stand and fight!
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 20, 2022
And if history is any indication, every non-Trump contender will probably urge the other non-Trump candidates to withdraw from the race, claiming that they are the only one with a genuine chance of defeating the outgoing president.
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That persisted throughout the 2016 GOP primary as Trump continued to gain support and delegates. It was too late to stop the Trump train by the time Cruz was the only viable alternative in that campaign.
The simplest way to achieve this would be for the Republicans who aren’t named Trump to work together – like, right now – to identify the greatest prospective opponent and align behind that person if their genuine objective is to prevent Trump from becoming the party’s nominee in 2024.
However, this is politics, where everyone has a plan that they believe will land them in the White House and where egos are paramount. it renders such idea to be a complete illusion.
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