With the Afghan crisis, a resurgent pandemic and a defeat on abortion rights roiling Democratic politics, Republicans are already setting their sights on Joe Biden in 2024 -- knowing their chances of being the next president depend on winning kingmaker Donald Trump's approval first.
The deposed president is said to be considering a third White House bid himself. But even if he declines to run, he remains an outsized influence among hopefuls betting on their ability to remake themselves in his image to inherit his hyper-loyal base.
Among them, a trio of pugilistic Republican governors has embraced so-called "culture war" issues such as critical race theory (CRT) and transgender rights to cement their status as Trump's heir apparent.
"The question is not who will be the next Trump, but who is in the best position to appeal to the Trump voter," Republican strategist John Feehery told AFP.
"Who can best connect with working class voters who feel like they have been disrespected by the political establishment? Who can win the Fox viewer primary?"
The men in charge of America's two largest red states, Florida's Ron DeSantis, 42, and Texas governor Greg Abbott, 63, have spent much of the past year promoting populist initiatives that have bolstered their Trumpist credentials.https://www.yahoo.com/news/trumping-trump-us-governors-bidding-022820013.html