Interviews with more than a third of Republican National Committee (RNC) members show that the RNC is ready to ditch former President Donald Trump and back another candidate in the 2024 presidential election.
The New York Times spoke with 59 of the 168 RNC members, who praised Trump’s policies and accomplishments in the White House, but have concerns about his age and ability to win a general election.
Members seeking another nominee approve of Trump’s positions on foreign policy, immigration, trade, and cultural issues, but have grown weary with his constant re-hashing of the 2020 election outcome, and his temperament.
“This isn’t 2016,” Mac Brown, chairman of the Republican Party of Kentucky, told the Times. “People have moved on.”
According to the Times, some members of the RNC estimate that between 120 and 140 of them would prefer someone other than Trump to be the nominee in 2024. They also say the primary motivation behind seeking alternatives is political, rather than ideological.
“Everybody is very appreciative of Trump, and he did a lot of great things,” said Art Wittich, an RNC member from Montana. “There’s this burning desire to win in 2024, and that’s what’s going to drive a lot of the action.”
While its far too soon to know if the 2024 Republican primary race will be as crowded as the field of candidates in 2016, which at one point had nearly two dozen people vying for the nomination, some have speculated former Vice-President Mike Pence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and Nikki Haley could emerge as rivals to Trump.
So many RNC members abandoning Trump is “extraordinary,” the Times says, “given how many of them owe their own positions to him and his supporters,” while noting that 99 members joined the committee after Trump won the nomination in 2016.
While RNC members may be eager to move on from Trump, it’s not so clear those sentiments are shared among the electorate.
The report from the Times comes just days after a Harvard-CAPS Harris poll showed that in a hypothetical 2024 matchup, Trump would beat all other Republican challengers in the primary election, and he would beat both President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris in the general election.