Sen. Mitt Romney explained in an interview with HuffPost the risks the current landscape presents for Trump to emerge as a candidate for the 2024 presidential election. The candidate from the 2012 elections is very critical of the former president.
He warned that the 2024 election could be similar to 2016, meaning that so many contenders in the mix could benefit Donald Trump. If this is not resolved soon, it could be repeated in the 2024 presidential elections:
The only way that scenario could be prevented is if it narrowed down to a two-person race eventually. That means donors and influencers say to their candidate ― if they’re weakening: ‘Hey, time to get out.'
Having served as president from 2017 to 2021, Trump has become the face of the Republican party: the question is can Donald Trump do it again? Only a single candidate with enough strength can overcome the power that the former president still has within the party,
Nikki Haley, Trump's first contender
The former governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, announced this Tuesday that she is running for the White House in 2024. She did so in a video that she uploaded to Twitter saying that a "new generation of leadership" is needed: "Republicans have lost the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections. That has to change."
However, Romney believes Haley will finish the race as an "underdog." In fact, the senator claimed that Donald Trump is "by far the most likely" to end up being the Republican candidate in the next election. He told HuffPost that the former president's popularity and recognition will cause part of the devoted Republican voters to support him.
The only strong candidate could be Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. According to Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville, the 2024 presidential race looks "wide open." Despite this comment, he assured HuffPost that he will endorse Trump:
President Trump is going to have a base of 25-30%. He’s got a lot of work to grow on that. DeSantis has built a name on conservative menus. It’s good for our party if many candidates jump run and there is healthy competition for the presidential nomination.
Republican donors walk away
Donors have especially turned their backs on Donald Trump. Many of those who financed various electoral campaigns said that they will not support Trump's 2024 candidacy. Ken Griffin was the first to withdraw his support. The head of the investment firm Citadel was interviewed by Politico last November and he made it clear that he will not support the former president in his campaign for the 2024 elections: "He did a lot of things really well and missed the mark on some important areas, and for a litany of reasons, I think it’s time to move on to the next generation."
He is not the only one. The list of mega-donors who will not support the former president keeps growing. World Jewish Congress president and son of the founders of Estée Lauder, Ronald Lauder, also withdrew his support for Trump. Shortly thereafter, businessman Andy Sabin along with Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, Blackstone CEO and co-founder Stephen Schwarzman, and Interactive Brokers founder Thomas Petterffy all withdrew their support. Businessman Rupert Murdoch also decided to pull out.
In addition, Trump must also fight against Club for Growth and the Koch brothers group Americans For Prosperity (AFP), two Republican committees that not only announced that Trump wouldn't have their support in the 2024 presidential election but actively support the other candidates running for the White House bid.