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Trump Welcomes New Republican Presidential Candidate with Open Arms

Growing Republican Candidate Field Makes it Difficult for Party to Unite Behind a Nominee


Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina launched his presidential campaign last week. The former President Donald Trump welcomed his new competitor with open arms. Unlike the barrage he unleashed on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who joined the race two days later, there were no accusations of disloyalty or nasty nicknames from the GOP front-runner.

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Trump’s team believes that the more candidates who enter the Republican primary contest, the better for Trump. They are operating under the assumption that no other candidate will be able to consolidate enough of the anti-Trump vote to take him down. Other candidates who enter the race are competing for DeSantis’s share of the vote.

The field is growing by the day as at least four additional candidates are expected to launch their own campaigns. This is overwhelming for DeSantis who has been declared as the most formidable rival by Trump. Among the potential candidates include former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Vice President Mike Pence, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu.

Republicans once warned about a repeat of 2016 when the sprawling GOP field failed to coalesce around a Trump alternative, giving him the nomination. But much of the urgency that once existed among Trump’s GOP rivals to limit the field has faded in recent months. The important point is how many stay in after they no longer have a chance of getting the nomination.

Veteran Republican pollster and strategist Whit Ayres said that it is still far too early to know who the strongest non-Trump candidate will be. “The idea that you’re going to decide before the race even starts which one to rally behind is very premature,” he said. So many things could still happen.

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One of these is the ongoing investigations into Trump which could have unknown consequences for him and the GOP. Republicans worry about the growing number of candidates because it could make it difficult for the party to unite behind a nominee. If DeSantis maintains his second place standing, some worry his chilly relationships with other candidates will make it less likely for the party to unite behind him.

Meanwhile, candidates like Nikki Haley have been stepping up their attacks against DeSantis. They are eyeing the opportunity to challenge Trump’s dominance of the field. Others are starting to build better relationships with the party, including Suarez, who recently met with key primary state voters in South Carolina.

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“Make America Great Again” remains Trump’s slogan. He projects a sense of inevitability and dominance of the field despite the growing number of GOP candidates. Democrats are hoping for a long, drawn-out Republican primary. Trump’s MAGA movement needs to unite the party behind him.

Many Republicans believe that the party will eventually rally around its strongest Trump challengers, with other candidates stepping aside once they realize they can’t win. But it remains unclear how this will happen given the political aspirations of those involved.

Despite the Republican primary’s complexities, former Texas Governor Rick Perry said on CNN that he hasn’t taken a third campaign off the table. Other would-be candidates such as Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin continue to reconsider their plans.

Trump’s team welcomes all candidates into the race, confident they can’t consolidate the anti-Trump vote. They believe the more candidates who enter the Republican primary contest, the better for Trump. Candidates are competing for DeSantis’s share of the vote.

As the field grows, candidates like Francis Suarez are preparing to launch their campaign. Currently, he would be the only Hispanic candidate in the 2024 field and is believed to be sitting on millions of dollars in the bank. Suarez avoided criticizing Trump during a recent interview, recognizing the former President as being in the pole position. However, he pointed out DeSantis’s structural liabilities and his faltering relationships with Republicans.

Trump’s GOP rivals once warned about the growing field of Republican candidates in the primary contest. But given Trump’s dominance of the field, much of the urgency that once existed has faded in recent months. The assumption is that the eventual nominee will be whomever can challenge Trump best.

Joe Biden’s nomination in 2020 serves as a reminder that as important as it is to have a lot of candidates in the race, it is even more important how many continue the race after they no longer have a chance of winning. This remains true for the Republican primaries in 2024.

Running for President is an incredibly complex affair. Preparing a platform and building an organization is a challenge. But all potential nominees are ready to step up to the challenge and prepare for the primary season. The Republican primary for the 2024 Presidential election remains anyone’s for the taking.

While the growing field of Republican candidates looks daunting, it remains anyone’s game. The party remains in a state of flux, and the eventual nominee will need to have strong support and stand out among the other candidates. Trump’s dominance remains to be challenged, and Republican primary voters will ultimately decide who can take him down.


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