2024 Republican presidential field rankings


As Donald Trump began to look vulnerable in a potential GOP presidential primary, the FBI executed a search warrant for classified documents stored at his Mar-a-Lago home after he left the White House.

In a normal political world, such a development could disqualify Trump, or at least as he prepares to run for president again in 2024. In the strange political world we live in today, however, it had the opposite effect among its foundations. – Making Trump, once again, a martyr, the subject of a government overkill targeting him at all costs.

The practical and political implications of the FBI’s search – aside from the legal implications for Trump – are twofold:

1) There is a rallying effect among Republicans around Trump.

2) Talk of announcing a candidacy before the midterm elections in November has faded.

That’s not to say Trump would skate through the primaries uncontested. It’s hard to see — given the number of White House hopefuls and their level of activity in key states — that Trump hasn’t faced at least nominal competition for the Republican nod.

What is he does it does mean, however, that Trump is in a stronger political position today than he was three months ago. (Yeah, I know, it’s weird.)

Below are the 10 most likely candidates to become the Republican presidential nominee in 2024. (My latest GOP field rankings for June are here . And my latest 2024 Democratic presidential rankings are here .) Be warned: It’s still here. very early, so this list can and will change.

10. Rick Scott: The Florida senator is in the middle of a cold war with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell over how best to execute his fall campaign. But Scott, the Senate GOP campaign chairman, doesn’t seem interested in trying to take McConnell’s job (and wouldn’t be able to anyway). Scott has his eye on a bigger prize, his recent trip to Iowa to campaign with a House candidate. (Previous ranking: 9)

9. Greg Abbott: Abbott has a comfortable, if not overwhelming, lead over Democrat Beto O’Rourke in his bid for a second term as Texas governor. And it has drawn much national attention to transporting migrants to New York and Washington, DC. Abbott has also shown the ability to raise the money he would need to become president. (Previous ranking: 7)

8. Mike Pompeo: No one on this list has expressed their interest in the presidency more openly than Pompeo. The former secretary of state recently visited New Hampshire, just the latest in a series of trips to states that will kick off his freshman season. If Trump doesn’t run, expect Pompeo to be positioned as the successor to the muscular foreign policy that the former president wanted to make his legacy. (Previous ranking: not ranked)

7. Nikki Haley: On a trip to Iowa this summer, the former UN ambassador and South Carolina governor went further than ever before on a possible run. “If it turns out there’s room for me next year, I’ve never missed a race,” he said. Haley previously suggested she wouldn’t run if Trump did, but political promises are meant to be broken. Haley is charismatic and experienced on the campaign trail. It remains to be seen how he would fare differently in a race against Trump, however. (Previous ranking: 6)

6. Ted Cruz: The Texas senator will make a campaign trip for the midterm elections, through three states – Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada – that will play an important role in choosing the next Republican presidential candidate. Cruz, who finished second to Trump in the 2016 primaries, is wise enough that the race is frozen until Trump makes up his mind, but he’s working now so he’d be in a position to take advantage if Trump bows (unlikely, but possible). (Previous ranking: 5)

5. Mike Pence: Look, I understand he’s the former vice president of the United States. And as a result, Pence has name recognition and a donor network that is the envy of almost everyone on this list. At the same time, it is him persona non grata With the undisputed leader of the Republican Party. Even if Trump doesn’t run in 2024, can you imagine leaving Pence alone in a GOP primary campaign? I sure can’t. (Previous ranking: 3)

4. Glenn Young: There’s a tendency to be skeptical of Youngkin because he’s in his first year as governor of Virginia. But as Barack Obama should have taught us all, inexperience in national politics is not necessarily a bad thing. Youngkin is a very hot commodity in Republican politics these days; He will be campaigning for gubernatorial candidates across the country in the coming weeks. Politics is all about time and moment, and right now, Youngkin has both. (Previous ranking: 5)

3. Tim Scott: For one thing, the South Carolina senator is publicly downplaying his presidential aspirations. On the other hand, he spent a day in late August looking for a candidate for the Iowa House. (Scott has been in the state at least five times in the past three years.) So… The reality is that if Trump doesn’t run, it’s hard to see how Scott stays out of the 2024 race. And he would immediately be one of the frontrunners in the competition: he is the only black Republican in the Senate and has shown the ability to raise money. (Previous ranking: 4)

2. Ron DeSantis: There’s no doubt that the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago took some wind into the sails of DeSantis’ presidential ambitions. But there’s no doubt that the Florida governor is the only candidate on this list who poses a direct threat to Trump in the presidential primary. DeSantis continues to demonstrate his knack for attracting national headlines — the latest example being the migrant flight to Martha’s Vineyard — and thus rallying Trumpian conservatives to his cause. If Trump, as expected, enters the race, DeSantis will have a very tough choice to make. (Previous ranking: 2)

1. Donald Trump: Yes, the former president is definitely the favorite to win the Republican nomination for a third time. But it’s worth noting that he’s not the favorite, say, Hillary Clinton right now for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 election cycle. (Clinton won the nomination, but the race against Bernie Sanders was much closer than early polls indicated.) This means that the GOP nomination is Trump’s, but it is not a foregone conclusion that he will win. Recent polls have a large portion of Republicans willing to look elsewhere for their party’s next leader. (Previous ranking: 1)