Republicans are expressing concerns about the growing number of candidates in the 2024 GOP primary race and how it may benefit former President Donald Trump’s chances of securing the nomination for the next presidential election.
The recent entry of Will Hurd into the Republican primary race has brought the total number of candidates to 12. Currently, prominent figures like Trump, Ron DeSantis, and Nikki Haley are leading in the polls.
According to The New York Times, Senator Rick Scott of Florida is also considering a presidential bid, despite publicly denying such intentions.
Republican strategist Ford O’Connell highlights the potential advantage for Trump, stating, “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,” as reported by The Hill.
As the GOP field takes shape leading up to the first GOP debate in August, party members are worried that the expanding field of non-Trump alternatives could divide the votes, particularly drawing support away from more formidable opponents like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Rick Wilson, the co-founder of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, explains, “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. 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 indicates that DeSantis is gaining ground against the former president in the crowded Republican presidential primary. An Emerson College national poll shows Trump leading the field with 59% support among primary voters, while DeSantis trails behind with 21%. It’s worth noting that Trump’s support has slightly decreased by three points since April, while DeSantis has experienced a five-point increase during the same period.