More Presidential candidates in the 2024 race

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Former Vice President Mike Pence and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are the latest to enter the 2024 presidential race. Dr. Mike O’Neil of O’Neil Associates joined Arizona Horizon to discuss the candidates including former President Trump and how the race is looking 18 months before election day.

“On the Republican side, you have Donald Trump and not Donald Trump,” said Dr. O’Neil. According to Dr. O’Neil, Trump still remains the biggest player for the Republican presidential nomination.

Dr. O’Neil believes that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis may be the only major Republican candidate with a chance to defeat Trump. DeSantis has won over the non-Trump voting Republicans, but O’Neil questions whether or not it will be enough to win the nomination.

As for other candidates in the GOP, Dr. O’Neil is less bullish on candidates like former New Jersey governor Chris Christie.

“He (Christie) can be a real annoyance and ultimately a problem for Trump if any of the punches start to land. But for Christie as a candidate, all they have to do is pull out the old tapes with Christie basically acting as a supplicant to Trump. It’s hard to see him turn that into a personal victory,” said Dr. O’Neil.

The other name floating around for GOP voters to consider is Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence. However, with how public and messy his separation from Trump was at the end of the presidency, Dr. O’Neil believes there is very little chance for Pence to win the nomination.

“I think he’s hovering, at this point, close to zero. I find it really difficult to see a scenario that puts Pence amongst any kind of a contender,” said Dr. O’Neil.

Dr. Mike O'Neil of O'Neil Associates

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