Former President Donald Trump’s two key rivals are making their move as early as next week.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., are both set to declare their formal presidential campaigns and enter the 2024 Republican presidential primary.
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DeSantis has long been considered a top Republican challenger to Trump, frequently coming second in polls.
The super PAC promoting DeSantis is already hiring staff in the first 18 states on the Republican presidential primary calendar in the coming weeks.
DeSantis has begun getting paperwork ready to formally declare his candidacy next week, The Wall Street Journal reported. He is also telling donors that Trump cannot defeat President Joe Biden in a 2020 election rematch.
“You have basically three people at this point that are credible in this whole thing: Biden, Trump, and me,” DeSantis said Thursday night, according to The New York Times. “I think of those three, two have a chance to get elected president — Biden and me, based on all the data in the swing states, which is not great for the former president and probably insurmountable because people aren’t going to change their view of him.”
Meanwhile, Scott plans to begin airing TV ads in Iowa and New Hampshire early next week as he prepares for an expected 2024 Republican presidential campaign.
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The ad buy, valued at about $5.5 million, is scheduled to run through the first GOP presidential debate in late August and marks the most significant advertising expenditure by a potential or declared candidate in the early stages of the 2024 nominating campaign.
Scott, who last month formed an exploratory committee allowing him to raise and spend money while weighing a White House campaign, is scheduled to make a “major announcement” on Monday in his hometown of North Charleston regarding his decision on a presidential bid.
Scott has been traveling to early voting states including Iowa, which holds the leadoff caucuses, and New Hampshire, host of the first-in-the-nation primary. He’s also campaigning in his home state, which holds the first Southern primary next year.
He would start a bid with more campaign dollars than any of his 2024 rivals — roughly $22 million that he can automatically convert from his U.S. Senate campaign account to a presidential campaign.
The figure is the most any candidate in history has had when beginning a campaign for president, according to the Federal Election Commission.
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Besides Trump, the current 2024 Republican presidential field includes former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, and radio host Larry Elder. Former Vice President Mike Pence is expected to announce soon, as well as former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article