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A New Survey Shows Key Republicans Are Open to a Trump Alternative

About 47 percent of local Republican leaders remain uncommitted

Donald Trump remains the clear 2024 favorite among Republican grassroots leaders, and in strong position to win his party’s presidential nomination. But there’s some evidence that the contest could become more competitive.

That’s according to my latest poll of GOP county chairs from across the country. Even as the former president continues to hold a real lead over his rivals, a large Republican contingent is undecided and remains open to other candidates. And this group is increasingly open to several other contenders — not just Ron DeSantis, but Tim Scott, Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy.

My survey of GOP county chairs is part of an ongoing effort to track the so-called “invisible primary” for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, which is being featured in POLITICO Magazine over the course of the year. The invisible primary comprises the crucial coordination and jockeying that occurs before anyone starts voting or caucusing, but which will do much to determine the eventual winner. County chairs are figures who will play a key role in shaping the race. They are highly attentive to the party’s internal dynamics and are influential in local GOP circles; they offer the kind of endorsements that candidates are eager to collect. They’re also still close to the rank-and-file grassroots, and their shifts are likely to signal where the rest of the party is going.

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