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Trump’s standing among Hill conservatives is dwindling ahead of ’24

Trump’s standing among Hill conservatives is dwindling ahead of ’24


“About half the Republicans I speak to want Trump to win the nomination.” Half of them said, “I want someone other than Trump,” Sen. James Lankford stated. Francis Chung/POLITICO

Donald Trump is growing in popularity in 2024’s primary polls. His standing among Capitol Hill conservatives is not the same.

Ask James Lankford, an Oklahoma Republican who admits that the former president’s third attempt at the White House is a sham.

“About half the Republicans I speak to want Trump to win the nomination.” Half of them say, “I want someone other than Trump,” the Sooner State senator stated in an interview.

Lankford said that they were conservative, but that they are dealing with personalities and trying to figure out where the nation is headed.

Lankford is remaining neutral in Texas, where Ted Cruz (R.Texas) defeated Trump in the 2016 primary. He’s not alone. The GOP’s right side has sway that is equal to the tea party era. However, most conservatives aren’t getting involved in the brewing conflict between Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is a pro-Trump House Freedom Caucus-bred presidential candidate.

Interviews with over 40 congressional Republicans, including 32 Freedom Caucus members, reveal that Trump’s once-ardent supporters are now quiet about whether or not they support him. This despite new polling showing him growing his primary lead. The low number of conservatives willing and able to endorse Trump suggests that Trump’s power base in Hill GOP is at a low point, even though DeSantis has not increased their outreach.

Some conservatives in Congress are experiencing unexpected reactions to their alternative picks.

For example, Rep. Ralph Norman (R.S.C.) was one of the 20 doubters that initially stopped Kevin McCarthy from ascending the speakership despite Trump supporting the California Republican through 15 difficult ballots.

Norman surprised his colleagues by supporting the former governor of South Carolina. Nikki Haley won over Trump. He was also surprised when Trump informed him of his decision.

In an interview, the former president, well-known for his grudge-holding, said that Norman’s decision was “nice”. “Do what you need to do. “You got a great family. That’s what he said,” Norman recalled. Since then, he has not heard from Trump.

Trump has received a group of Senate endorsements. There may be more. He is clearly trying to find out if his old alliance of allies will rally behind him again. He revealed endorsements from 11 Texas House members this weekend and warned those on the fence not to attend his rally.

Overall, however, Trump’s support is far from decisive. DeSantis’s only current backer is Rep. Chip Roy (R.Texas). This is not surprising, as DeSantis hasn’t yet run for office. However, few Hill conservatives are pushing DeSantis to remain out of the race.

Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R.Wyo.) stated that “I do want DeSantis” to run. ), who plans on remaining neutral in the event her colleague, Senator Tim Scott (R.S.C.), jumps in. “Even though Trump and DeSantis are very similar philosophically, there is a distinct style difference. Style is important.”

There are many reasons Trump is not being liked. He resigned two weeks after a violent uprising by his backers. His meddling in Republican primaries proved to be a disaster to help Democrats keep their Senate seat last year. Trump is a co-conspirator with white nationalists, and seems to have never-ending legal problems. Many Republicans believe that the need to win over old loyalties is more important than their previous losses.

The House Freedom Caucus consists of 35 lawmakers. About one-third of those interviewed for this story support Trump again. This group includes Andy Biggs (Republican-Ariz.), Jim Jordan (Republican-Ohio), and Marjorie Taylor Greene, (Republican-Ga.).

Fourteen Freedom Caucus members refused to say where they stand on this primary. They either stated that they aren’t sure as the race develops or declined to weigh in. Trump-aligned group’s leader, Rep. Scott Perry (R. Pa.), played a key role in helping Trump to challenge his 2020 loss.

When asked who he would back in 2024, the Pennsylvanian said that “we got a long way to go… I really am just focusing on my work” in Congress.

Then there is Rep. Matt Rosendale (R.Mont.). Then there’s Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont). Rosendale said that he has no plans to endorse Trump and that a rift could harm his chances in the state primaries if he chooses to challenge Democratic Sen. Jon Tester.

“We are not allowed to use our phones on the House floor.” He said that was all he had to say. (He declined to speak to Trump in January because there were no rules for the House floor.

The Trump administration brought out fractures within the Freedom Caucus. As the majority of the group moved from libertarian ideology towards a more MAGA-centric outlook, there were clear signs that the group was in trouble. Some want to go back to their roots, which could lead to a different approach in 2024. One Freedom Caucus member, who spoke anonymously, described Trump’s selection as unlikely.

The field is also looking awkward in the early primary states. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R.S.C.), declined to answer because of his ties with Scott and Haley. Duncan was also a member of Congress with Mike Pompeo and Kristi Noem, DeSantis, and former Vice President Mike Pence. He also knows Trump as do all Republicans.

“My relationships with all of those people are more important than endorsing one of them early on,” Duncan said. Duncan stated that this could cause problems in my relationships.

Russ Fulcher, a Republican from Idaho, declined to answer who he would support. Instead, he said that it was a “good problem” that there are so many options. When asked if Trump would attack him if he backs another candidate for president, he laughed it off.

“He might, because that is just the way he’s,” said the Freedom Caucus member. “But, if the winner is announced, we will all hug again and continue to go.

Five of the 49 Republican senators openly endorse Trump across the Capitol: Lindsey Graham in South Carolina, Tommy Tuberville in Alabama, Eric Schmitt from Missouri, J.D. Vance of Ohio and Markwayne Mullin from Oklahoma. The rest of the spectators are Cruz, Trump’s 2016 rival and ally, and Sen. Ted Budd (R.N.C.), who Trump pushed to victory last year’s Senate primaries.

Budd seemed to be warm to Trump’s candidacy and expressed “tremendous thanks for how he helped” in the midterms. Cruz said that he expects a “full and vigorous presidential primary” and was confident that it wouldn’t be boring.

If Trump spoke more about the economy, some on-the-fence Republicans may be more inclined to support him. Take Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind. Take Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind. During Trump’s 2020 impeachment trial, he was Trump’s greatest defender.

“If [Trump] Braun stated that he would be more focused on the pre-Covid events and not trying to get toothpaste back in the tube. Braun agreed.

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