If the previous guy doesn’t run, the 2024 POTUS field seems “wide-open” with dark horses, stalking horses, mudders, and nags. With a seven figure advance, the Pence memoir is going to need a lot of bulk purchasers. And we know how reliable John Bolton’s thinking has been.
John Bolton, Donald Trump’s former national security adviser turned outspoken critic, has commissioned a new poll to illustrate that the former president’s grip on the Republican Party is loosening.
The poll, released on Tuesday morning, showed Trump’s “very favorable” numbers among Republican voters dropped 19 points since a separate poll from a different pollster taken in October 2020. It also showed that 56 percent of self-identified Republican primary voters would support a candidate other than Trump in the 2024 primary.
Bolton said his motivation for conducting the survey was to show that the Republican Party, contrary to what “the commentariat and among some politicians” say, had “not become a cult of personality.”
Driving the news: While Christie isn't saying anything publicly about his thinking — besides telling radio host Hugh Hewitt he's not ruling it out — people close to him have an early sense of the rationale and outlines of a potential candidacy.
The big picture: Absent another run by former President Trump, the field would be wide open.
- Christie, whose 2016 bid for the nomination was short-lived, has told friends that he'd be the only person in the 2024 field with executive experience who has run a presidential race before.
- That's a clear shot at one potential rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who's enjoying a surge of popularity from Republican voters for his handling of COVID-19 and his sparring with the media but hasn't yet endured the scrutiny of a presidential bid.
- Christie could run on a reputation for toughness that appeals to Trump's base minus the former president's recklessness, said one source. Another said he has a mix of combativeness and charisma that Republicans are looking for to take on President Biden and Democrats.
- He has potential crossover appeal to blue-collar and suburban right-of-center voters.
- And his experience as a former federal prosecutor could help distinguish him in debates and prepare for a primary contest in which there may be less of a premium on ad-libbing than in 2016.