Will a moderate Republican run for president in 2024?
The Republican primary is shaping up so far as a contest between conservatives. That leaves the so-called “moderate lane” open, and some are hoping it doesn’t get crowded.
Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Sunday he’s not running for president, releasing a statement that said he was concerned about too many candidates in the race.
“(T)he stakes are too high for me to risk being part of another multicar pileup that could potentially help Mr. Trump recapture the nomination,” he wrote.
The Republican Party has to move on from Donald Trump to “once again be a successful governing party,” Hogan said. “There are several competent Republican leaders who have the potential to step up and lead.”
Hogan left office in January after serving since 2015. A longtime critic of former President Trump, including over Trump’s handling of COVID-19, Hogan called the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol “one of the darkest days in American history” and said he wrote in “Ronald Reagan” for president in 2020 as a gesture of the type of candidate he wanted in office.
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he disagrees with Hogan’s take on the primary, telling CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that the 2024 race will be different than 2016 because Trump is now a “known quantity.”
“I actually think more voices right now in opposition or providing an alternative to Donald Trump is the best thing in the right direction,” Hutchinson said.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said he doesn’t believe Trump will be the nominee.
“He’s not going to be the nominee, that’s just not going to happen,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday. “Thank you for your service, we’re moving on.”
Sununu is a possible moderate Republican contender in next year’s race. Although he disputes the “moderate” label, Sununu told “Meet the Press” Republicans need to attract independent voters and the next generation of potential Republicans to make the party bigger.
“Republicans cannot win without independents,” he said. “It cannot happen.”
Sununu called the “ultra-conservative extreme lane” of the party “a very small part of the party, by the way.”
Hogan and Sununu aren’t alone in thinking the party needs to move on from its most recent nominee, but a plurality of the party’s voters still support Trump. A Quinnipiac poll released last month found 42% of Republican voters and leaners said they support Trump in 2024. The only other potential candidate who was competitive with Trump in the poll was Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, at 36%.
What if Donald Trump doesn’t win, will he support the 2024 GOP presidential nominee? Here’s what he told a radio host
Biden’s not in a rush to announce he’s running for reelection
Potential candidates who are viewed as more moderate have only low-single digit support, the poll found, including former Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., at 2% and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., at 1%. Though the poll asked about Hogan and Sununu, both had less than 1% support.
Trump won the straw poll at last weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference, an imperfect but closely watched indicator of who attendees support. Trump said in his speech at the conference, “We are going to finish what we started.”