Fear of a 2024 Trump ticket has GOP scrambling to find down-ballot candidates
Donald Trump (Photo by Saul Loeb for AFP)

Fears that Donald Trump will be the Republican party's presidential nominee in 2024 is creating havoc for the GOP leadership and campaign consultants seeking candidates for down-ballot offices because many are balking at the prospect of having their name associated with him.

According to a report from Politico's Ally Mutnick and Holly Otterbein, recruiters are looking for more moderate candidates in swing states where Republicans see openings and they are running into resistance from their top prospects.

As the report notes, fear of having to deal with Trump's statements and antics while on the campaign trail has "spooked" potential nominees who may sit 2024 out.

Adding to their recruitment woes are comments made by the former president during his highly criticized CNN town hall which have created increased concerns.

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"Many of their prospective recruits are wary of running alongside Trump, who dominates the spotlight, repels crucial independent voters and forces his fellow Republicans to answer for his unpredictable statements. It’s a dynamic that candidates don’t relish, and it has only come into sharper focus since Trump’s CNN town hall, when he spent 70 minutes on primetime television this month unleashing a torrent of incendiary remarks," the report states before adding, "Trump’s resurgence has notably chilled recruitment across the country. And because only a handful of seats separate both parties in the House and Senate, any one flop could narrow the path to majority. There’s little margin for error."

One GOP House member summed up the party's dilemma.

“If they think President Trump’s going to be the nominee, they fear it’s going to be a bad year in 2024,” admitted Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE). “But I fear that the one way that we’re going to shoot ourselves in both feet is if we have number 45 running at the top of our ticket.”

Stating he believes it is possible for Republicans to take back the Senate and hold the House if the former president is removed from the equation, he added, "When you have chaos above you, and bizarre statements made every day, things you can’t defend, it makes it challenging.”

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