Brief # 19 – Elections and Politics
The Republican Party: Who’s Up Next?
By William Borque
May 26, 2021
With President Biden now leading this country, many analysts shifted their attention to the 2024 presidential election, where Republicans will once again have a chance to bring the balance of power back to their side of the aisle. The question, however, is who they will choose to lead their party in a key time that will decide the direction of the party for decades to come. Some suggest that they should re-nominate President Trump in an effort to revitalize his political and historical image after the tumultuous end to his presidency. Others suggest his son, Donald Trump Jr, a similarly polarizing and loud-mouthed public figure. Yet another suggestion, along the same vein, is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a well known Trump supporter and ardent conservative. DeSantis is seen as the favorite to secure the nomination, but there are still plenty of others who may sneak into the picture in the coming months and years.
Ron DeSantis: +150
Ron DeSantis is one of America’s most recognizable governors, which may do him as much harm as good if he ends up running for the highest office in our nation. His pandemic response was nothing short of a disaster, much like the rest of our country, and Florida quickly became a hotbed for anti-mask demonstrations during this long pandemic. However, with life slowly returning to normal, pandemic response is less and less important to voters, who may instead focus on Florida’s quick opening as opposed t0 the lives lost due to the DeSantis’s poor decision-making. Many Republicans see DeSantis as a similar politician to Trump, who attracts large and raucous crowds with aggressive behavior and rhetoric. We think DeSantis is most likely to be the nominee, but an upset in his upcoming 2022 gubernatorial race may knock him down a few pegs before he can take a step to the presidency.
Donald J. Trump +250
President Trump is still one of the favorites to be the republican nominee because of his immense donor base and his still-loyal supporters. Of course, many aren’t certain that Trump’s can withstand another presidency, as his scandal-filled past almost led to him becoming the first President to be removed from office. If his party can re-unify and his supporters don’t move on, he could be a formidable opponent yet again. However, it is worth noting that his age may become a factor, especially if running against a much younger slate of opponents. Regardless, the former President will be hard to beat within the republican party, which makes him a favorite to attempt to take back his post at the helm of the GOP.
Donald Trump Jr +600
Don Jr, as many supporters affectionally call him, is as much a politician as his father. His career has all been essentially handed to him on a silver platter, like his father before him. Many Trump supporters would gladly support the eldest of the Trump children, and many republicans would be glad to support him if it meant staying in favor with their party. Additionally, Trump could use much of his father’ s money and immense donor base, which could give him a head start on what looks to be a stacked ticket for the Republican nomination. Finally, it is worth noting that Don Jr is a very good speaker and has the same ability as his father to rile up a crowd, which comes in handy when campaigning. We think that Jr has an outside shot at the nomination, and we place his odds at +600.
Mike Pence +450
Former Vice-President Pence was seen as the quiet, subdued arm of the executive branch during his time there, which was something that many non-Trump supporting republicans respected. Pence may have stunted his chances slightly by not taking a stronger stand against the January 6th insurrection, but most folks won’t take that into account when choosing a nominee. Pence has a long track record of being a staunch conservative, with lots of his focus being on abortion and taking away the right for women to choose. If chosen as the nominee, I suspect that Pence would select a figure closer to Trump as his running mate, perhaps Eric or Don Jr, to confirm to Trump-conservatives that he plans on continuing their legislative plans. However, he lacks the charisma and energy that Trump radiated on the campaign trail, which makes us feel as though he might not be suited for another long and arduous campaign. We place his odds of becoming the Republican nominee at +450.
Nikki Haley +500
Nikki Haley, former governor of South Carolina and former ambassador to the United Nations, is another favorite to seek the Republican nomination. Haley, who served under Trump, was more critical of him than many in the administration, which means she could capture both Trump-supporting conservatives as well as those who opposed him. Haley resigned as ambassador to the UN in December 2018 following a series of allegations that were proven false. Haley ran for the 2016 nomination against Trump and was an ardent supporter of Marco Rubio after she dropped out. Many sources think that she has the infrastructure to run a hard campaign, and with South Carolina being a key presidential state, Haley could be involved in the Republican ticket as a VP candidate if she doesn’t scoop up the nomination herself. Haley is a strong traditional conservative and would send a clear indication that the party wishes to move in another direction if she is picked as the nominee. We place her odds