Republicans are concerned the crowded field of candidates in the 2024 GOP primary race will only boost the chances of former President Donald Trump securing the nomination for the next presidential election.
The entry of Will Hurd, earlier this week, into the Republican primary race, has increased the total number of candidates to 12. Prominent figures such as Trump, Ron DeSantis, and Nikki Haley currently hold a strong poll lead.
According to The New York Times, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla) is also weighing his own presidential bid, despite publicly denying such intentions.
According to Republican strategist Ford O’Connell, “The more candidates who enter the GOP presidential fray, the better positioned Donald Trump is to win the nomination because it dilutes the non-Trump vote,” reported The Hill.
As the GOP field begins to take shape leading up to the first GOP debate in August, the members are concerned that the expanding field of non-Trump alternatives could draw votes away from his more formidable opponents, particularly the Florida governor.
“Every person that enters this race who isn’t named Donald Trump is drawing from a limited pool of Republican voters, and it divides the field further and further and further,” said Rick Wilson, co-founder of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project.
“It makes it harder and harder for a DeSantis or a [Chris] Christie or a Nikki or anyone else to credibly put together enough hard numbers in the field in these various early states to win.”
A recent poll revealed that DeSantis is gaining ground against the ex-president in the crowded Republican presidential primary. An Emerson College national poll shows Trump is leading the Republican primary field with 59% support among primary voters.
In comparison, DeSantis is trailing behind with 21%. It is worth noting that Trump’s support has slightly decreased by three points since April, when it stood at 62%, whereas DeSantis has experienced a five-point increase from 16% during the same period.
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Produced in association with Benzinga
Edited by Bhujaya Ray Chowdhury and Virginia Van Zandt
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