Republican Party Donors Exploring Fresh Alternatives Beyond Trump

Nevertheless, Trump remains popular among the core Republican base. Some of the major Republican Party donors are reserving their funds for the 2024 election with a longstanding hope – to attract an alternative contender to former President Donald Trump into the presidential race at the eleventh hour.

Prominent sources from the Republican establishment have reportedly extended covert proposals to Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, who are not ruling out their potential participation in the upcoming elections, according to information disclosed to Axios.

This (likely fruitless) pursuit of an alternative candidate to Trump represents a critique of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who once held the position of Trump’s primary competitor but is currently striving for support ahead of the initial Republican Party debates scheduled for August 23rd.

Sources indicate that Youngkin’s strategy involves awaiting the Republican Party’s triumph in the Virginia legislative elections set for November. As per Axios, Youngkin has garnered the backing of billionaire donors Ronald Lauder and Thomas Peterffy within the ranks of Republican Party supporters. Peterffy, previously aligned with DeSantis during the spring, has now redirected a substantial two million dollars to Youngkin’s “Spirit of Virginia” campaign. Notably, other influential contributors to the Republican Party have quietly signaled their interest in Youngkin’s candidacy while displaying reservations about Trump.

Back in June, The New York Times revealed that media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, who oversees both Fox News and The New York Post, privately expressed his aspiration for Youngkin’s entry into the race. Although Murdoch hasn’t issued a public endorsement for Youngkin, the governor has become a recurrent guest on Fox News throughout the summer.

Several disillusioned Republican Party donors, disheartened by Trump’s support, have conveyed to Axios their belief that it’s now too late for an alternative candidate to join the race, given the impending primaries less than five months away.

The debates scheduled for August 23rd will act as a litmus test to gauge whether DeSantis can rebound from his lackluster initial performance or if a different contender will rise to the forefront, as informed by two advisers affiliated with donors, according to Axios. The conservative powerhouse formed by industrialists Charles and David Koch has amassed a substantial $70 million fund and has conveyed its intention to utilize a portion of these resources to prevent Trump from securing the Republican Party’s nomination if a credible alternative candidate emerges.

“Desperation is evident. Concerns about Trump’s potential victory in the primaries have surfaced, prompting a desire for a viable alternative,” one insider emphasized.

A second source within the Republican ranks cautioned that while the donor network and party elites hold enthusiasm for Youngkin, the sentiments of the Republican Party’s electorate are distinct. “The base remains aligned with Trump,” this source affirmed.

Traditionally, the party’s grassroots determine the trajectory of presidential candidates, and as of now, the contemporary Republican Party shows minimal signs of craving an alternative figure to Trump, regardless of his controversies.

To recap, based on the findings of an initial survey conducted by The New York Times and Siena College in late July, former President Trump maintains a lead over his contenders within the Republican Party’s race for the U.S. presidential nomination. He commands 54% of support from potential Republican voters across the nation, while DeSantis garners 17%. Other contenders garnered a mere 3% or less.

In accordance with the same study, the primary potential contenders, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, each secure an equal share of potential voter preferences at 43% – a year and a half ahead of the scheduled November 2024 elections.