Josh Hawley’s Election Chances Fade After Polling Plunge

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Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) might want to rethink any national ambitions that he may be harboring. In a new Echelon Insights survey measuring levels of support among Republicans for potential 2024 GOP presidential primary contenders, Hawley got zero percent. Hawley got that dismal level of support in a field in which ex-President Donald Trump was excluded, and in that same field, ex-Vice President Mike Pence, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and Donald Trump Jr. led. Pence nabbed 21 percent, Cruz had 10 percent, and DeSantis and Trump Jr. tied with 8 percent.

At this point, it’s unclear which candidates will be running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 — this past weekend, at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Trump himself was non-committal, although he did make sure to leave open the possibility. At CPAC, Trump also reiterated his false belief that he was the rightful winner of the 2020 presidential election, despite the total lack of remotely meaningful evidence for this claim. The Republican activists at CPAC were an eager audience for Trump’s lies, which helped inspire the rioting at the Capitol in January.

Recently, Hawley insisted that he won’t be seeking the Republican presidential nomination — but when he ran for Missouri state Attorney General, which is the job that he held before his present position, he publicly complained about the tendency of some officials to use their positions as ladders to higher offices… and then he did that exact thing, jumping from a state position to the Senate. No matter Hawley’s own apparent hesitation to run for president, other Republican Senators could make the leap as the 2024 presidential race approaches. Cruz already ran once in the past, and in the time since, he’s transformed himself into an ardent defender of Trumpism after initially running against Trump.

So far, Hawley has been the only Senate Republican to vote against every single one of President Biden’s nominees for his Cabinet. In other words, he’s clearly cultivating a public image among Republicans — or certain Republicans, at least — as an ardent and committed ideologue who’s unwilling to let even foundational democratic concerns stand in his way.