Norman offers one of the first cracks in GOP support for Trump. But the potential rifts have been forming for some time.
There is no central, authoritative list of recommendations for Trump 2024, but more than 30 of the 271 Republicans in Congress have supported him, according to a Washington Post review. And the vast majority of them come from ride-or-die Trump supporters and/or people who came to power with Trump’s help.
To date, Trump’s recommendations include:
- Senate (5): Lindsey O. Graham (SC), Markwayne Mullin (Okla.), Eric Schmitt (Mo.), Tommy Tuberville (Ala.), and JD Vance (Ohio)
- House (26): Jim Banks (Ind.), Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Mike Carey (Ohio), Eli Crane (Ariz.), Charles J. “Chuck” Fleischmann (Tenn.) , Russell Fry (SC), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Paul A. Gosar (Ariz.), Tony Gonzales (Tex.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), Harriet M. Hageman (Wyo.), Clay Higgins ( La.), Wesley Hunt (Tex.), Ronny Jackson (Tex.), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Mary E. Miller (Ill.), Max L. Miller (Ohio), Alex Mooney (W.Va.), Barry Moore (Ala.), Troy E. Nehls (Tex.), Elise Stefanik (NY), Dale W. Strong (Ala.), William Timmons (SC), Jeff Van Drew (NJ), and Joe Wilson (SC)
Trump endorsed 4 of the 5 senators listed above in contested open-seat primaries in 2020 or 2022. (Schmitt’s endorsement was split between him and another “Eric,” but it helped Schmitt defeat his closest competitor, Rep. Vicky Hartzler defeat.)
The fifth senator, Graham, has made it clear that his calculation for supporting Trump is not so much about principle as about his fear of what might happen to the party — and what Trump might do — if the party tries to turn the page. to hit.
In the House, a majority of support comes from the arch-conservative House Freedom Caucus. Trump also supported half of the members in recent contested primaries: Boebert, Carey, Crane, Fry, Gonzales, Hageman, Higgins, Hunt, Jackson, Mary E. Miller, Max L. Miller, Mooney, Timmons, and Van Drew.
Among the few who do not fit into either category, some obvious political motives may have played a role.
Banks quickly endorsed Trump in November as he attempted to become the No. 3 House Republican. He lost that race, but soon decided to run for Indiana’s open Senate seat, where Trump’s Feb. 1 endorsement helped clear the GOP field. (Mooney is also running for the Senate, in West Virginia.)
Similarly, Stefanik has risen to power in the House GOP by embracing Trump, and Trump’s endorsement of her to replace Rep. Replacing Liz Cheney in leadership helped ensure Stefanik was the pick. Jordan has risen to prominence in a similar way.
Trump didn’t endorse Nehls until the 2020 general election, and Nehls didn’t exactly praise the endorsement in a competitive district. But Nehls has since echoed Stefanik’s heartfelt embrace of Trumpism, and Trump backed his 2022 primary campaign against nominal opposition.
In other words, Trump has received relatively few surprise approvals — which, in his case, would come from members of the House in the party’s established wing; such support could be a signal that the broader party is backing behind Trump.
Haley’s endorsement, on the other hand, raises eyebrows — and suggests Trump’s support isn’t quite intact.