2024 Watch: Pence, Pompeo, Cruz, heading to New Hampshire this month
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Two potential contenders for the next race for the Republican presidential nomination return this month to New Hampshire, the state that for a century held the first primary in the race for the White House.
And another possible GOP presidential contender is making his first stop in the early voting state this cycle.
Former Vice President Mike Pence will headline a fundraiser in Wilton, New Hampshire, on Sept. 14 — the day after primary day in the crucial battleground state – for whoever wins the GOP Senate nomination in the race to challenge former governor and first-term Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan. The race in New Hampshire is one of a handful across the country that may determine if the Republicans win back the Senate majority in November’s midterm elections.
And six days later on Sept. 20, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will headline the latest edition of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics’ “Politics and Eggs.” The speaking series at St. Anselm College, just west of Manchester, has been a must-stop for nearly a quarter-century for actual and potential White House hopefuls of both major parties. Fox News last week was the first to report word of both the Pence and Pompeo trips.
Pence is no stranger to New Hampshire. He’s already made four trips to the state since the end of former President Donald Trump’s administration early last year. During his last visit to the Granite State, he headlined “Politics and Eggs,” which kicked off a jam-packed day that ended north of the notches at two gatherings in New Hampshire’s North Country for local Republican lawmakers, candidates and officials.
Two days after his August stop in New Hampshire, Pence made a busy two-day swing through Iowa, whose caucuses have led off the presidential nominating calendar for half a century. The former vice president’s itinerary included another must-stop for White House hopefuls: a visit to the Iowa State Fair.
Pence has also made multiple stops over the past year and a half in South Carolina, which holds the third contest — and first southern primary — in the Republican presidential nominating calendar.
Pompeo, the former congressman from Kansas who served as CIA director and later America’s top diplomat during the Trump administration, has also been a frequent visitor to the early voting primary and caucus states. And both have told Fox News and other organizations that they’ll make their decisions regarding 2024 after the midterm elections.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, hasn’t made as many trips to early voting states as Pence and Pompeo, but the conservative firebrand heads this week to New Hampshire on a 2022 mission that will also spark more speculation about his national ambitions in 2024.
Cruz will travel to the crucial general election battleground state to campaign with Republican candidate Karoline Leavitt at a get-out-the-vote rally on Thusday, which was first reported by Fox News this weekend.
Leavitt, a 25-year-old veteran of the Trump White House press shop, is currently one of the co-front-runners in the Sept. 13 Republican primary in New Hampshire’s First Congressional District, which has long been a highly contested swing House district.
Cruz, who was runner-up to Trump in the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, last month made stops in Iowa — to headline a fundraiser for longtime GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley, who’s running for re-election this year. And he also traveled to Nevada, which votes fourth in the GOP primary and caucus schedule, where Cruz spoke in support of former state Attorney General Adam Laxalt, the 2022 Senate nominee in the key battleground state.
Cruz, like Pence, Pompeo and other potential White House hopefuls, has been crisscrossing the country this year on behalf of fellow Republicans running in the midterms.
While the official starting gun in the next White House race doesn’t fire until after November’s elections, early visits by Pence, Pompeo and a slew of other potential GOP presidential contenders have been underway since early last year.
“I think the race is already on,” New Hampshire Institute of Politics executive director Neil Levesque told Fox News. “The race to replace to Joe Biden is full steam ahead.”
“They’re coming up and their themes and messages are getting out there,” Levesque noted. “It’s not a game changer overnight. It’s a slow process where people gain activists, friends, earned media, and it all ties in and pays off during those early primaries” in 2024.
Hogan back in New Hampshire
Gov. Larry Hogan, R-Md., stopped in New Hampshire last week, his second visit this summer.
Hogan, who is term-limited and cannot run for re-election in blue state Maryland, has been crisscrossing the country in recent months on behalf of fellow Republicans on the ballot in November. He stopped in the Granite State to headline a fundraiser for GOP state lawmakers.
The governor’s latest trip to New Hampshire came two weeks after he stopped in Iowa, on a two-day swing that included a visit to the state fair.
Hogan told Fox News last month that he would potentially launch a 2024 Republican presidential campaign if he sees “there’s a possible road to victory, that there’s a lane and I have an opportunity.”
On Tuesday, asked about his latest visits to the early voting states, the governor said, “We’ve been to probably 15 different states. Sure, Iowa and New Hampshire are obviously very important states in the 2024 race.”
“But I really am out here in New Hampshire trying to help the House Republican caucus and make sure that the Republicans can maintain their state legislative control,” he said. “I’ve been traveling around helping gubernatorial candidates and Senate candidates and congressional candidates where I think I can make a difference.”
Hogan told Fox News that he looks forward to returning to New Hampshire in the autumn to help campaign for the GOP’s nominees in the general election.
Biden vs. Trump
If you need more proof that Americans aren’t looking forward to a potential rematch of the 2020 presidential election between President Biden and Trump in 2024, check out the Quinnipiac national poll released this past week.
By a 62%-33% margin, those questioned in the survey said they didn’t want to see Trump run in 2024. And by a 67%-26% margin, the public didn’t want the president to seek re-election.
The one difference — more than seven in ten Republicans surveyed said they’d like to see Trump launch another presidential campaign, while Democrats by a narrow 47%-43% wanted Biden to run for a second term.
If they do run, a Wall Street Journal poll released Thursday suggested Biden holding the advantage in the hypothetical matchup — with 50% of registered voters nationwide saying they would definitely or probably vote for the president, and 44% saying the same of Trump.