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Who will challenge Trump in 2024?

Who will challenge Trump in 2024?

If former President Trump decides to run for a second term in 2024 – which I put at less than 50/50 – will he have competition?

A challenge is almost certain to be mounted — in my judgment.  I am not talking about some obscure crazy or the perennial losing libertarian type.  I mean a serious contender.

There are any number of possibilities – and they come from three GOP constituencies.

The first are the Trump-hating malcontents.  This includes folks like Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney and former Ohio Governor John Kasich.  Congressman Adam Kinzinger could be in that group. His is a big leap from the People’s House to the White House, but he has garnered enough name recognition to make such a race possible.  If Pete Buttigieg can jump from the obscure mayor of South bend, Indiana to a credible presidential candidate, Kinzinger could also gain traction.

Then there are those who have been MOSTLY Trump allies, but not without clear demonstrations of independence from the former President – much to his chagrin.  Now, it looks as though former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is edging in the direction of another presidential bid.  Another possibility is former South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.  It is no secret that Texas Senator Ted Cruz would like to move into the Oval Office.  Other potential candidates include Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Iowa Senator Jody Ernst and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem.  

Finally, there are those who are perceived to be trump loyalists.  Leading in that category is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. By all measures, he is the most popular among Republican voters to succeed Trump – that is to “succeed” Trump, not necessarily go up against Trump.  Conventional wisdom is that he stays out.  He is young enough, at 43, to make a run for President for the next 36 years – up to the year 2056 if you consider Biden’s age when first elected as a measure.

On the other hand, the best political opportunities are the most impending.  While a DeSantis challenge to Trump seems very unlikely, there have been recent reports that the relationship between the former President and the Governor has cooled a bit – and that DeSantis popularity is the reason.  Also, DeSantis refuses to say he will not run in 2024.  The chill is only a faint whisper, but there is a whisper.

What may be fueling that speculation is a belief by many insiders that DeSantis could actually beat Trump in a head-to-head contest.  If such a competition arose, Palm Beach County could be a bellwether.  The current Palm Beach GOP leadership is part of Trump’s hardcore base.  And why not?  Trump lives there.  The ties are both political and social.  Hanging round with a President of the United States at Mar a Lago is a heady experience.

Trump has his own fan club in Palm Beach County – Club 45.  It does not get a lot of attention from the media, but it is composed of thousands of local residents and draws the most powerful leaders in the Republican Party as speakers.  A typical audience can reach 2000.  Even as an outrigger, it is more influential than the County GOP.

Sufficed to say, Trump has a huge support base in Palm Beach.  BUT … so does DeSantis.  If Trump and DeSantis were on the ballot in the Florida presidential primary, I believe the Governor would take at least half of the Trump fan club in Palm Beach.  The leaders of Club 45 might stay with Trump, but I do not think the membership would lockstep behind them.  I feel almost certain that DeSantis would carry Florida in such a contest.

While Rubio ran in 2016, he would probably be sidetracked by a DeSantis candidacy.  If DeSantis is out and Rubio is in, the Senator would have a much tougher time taking Florida away from Trump.

If Trump enters the race, then it all depends on how many others challenge him.  His best and maybe only chance of winning the GOP nomination is to again have a large field of opponents divide up the vote.  

While it is much too early to analyze the 2024 election, it is not too early to keep an eye out for the potential candidates to start maneuvering.  The first piece on the board to move appears to be Christie.  Others will follow.  Yes, the 2024 presidential campaigns are starting already.  

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Joseph S. Bruder

    Nobody will be challenging Trump. He’ll be in jail.

    DeSantis won’t make it past the primaries. He’s going to lose his Governorship, and has already killed so many of his constituents that nobody will support him. And he’s an idiot, following Trump’s losing strategy.

    I don’t think anyone you mentioned will make it past the primaries. BTW, you forgot to mention Pence, who also doesn’t stand a chance. I think it will be a relatively unknown Republican who has neither identified with nor spoken out against Trump. There might be a Governor who fits that category, or they may have to dip down to a Republican mayor in a medium sized city somewhere.

    If you eliminate all the Big-Lie supporting Trumpists, who won’t make it in the general election, and all the Republicans who spoke out against Trump, who can’t get past the primaries (and wouldn’t get a single vote from Trump supporters), it seems unlikely there will be a viable candidate for President in 2024.

    • Leroy brooks

      You’re a damned joke. Just like your butt buddy Frank

  2. frank stetson

    No, you’re the joke.
    No, you are.
    No, you.

    And Leroy, being the sausage smuggler to the stars that he is, the banana bandit boasting broad appeal to all the young dudes, well Leroy, knows what butt buddyism is all abutt. And that ain’t no damned joke, like Leroy, it’s just a joke.