Chris Christie, Mike Pence, and Doug Burgum will join the Republican presidential field this week. The struggle of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to become the clear challenger to former President Donald J. Trump has encouraged aspirants to join the race.
National Republican voter surveys show Mr. DeSantis 30 points behind Mr. Trump. No one else comes close, but one in four Republicans still want an alternative to the two front-runners, creating a tight race.
For now, all three newcomers are longshots.
However, each candidate will receive a brief spotlight to start a brush fire.
Tuesday, June 6
Town hall at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics outside Manchester.
The strategy: Mr. Christie, who withdrew out of the 2016 contest early and supported Mr. Trump, has portrayed himself as the GOP’s fiercest opponent of the previous president.
After instigating the Capitol attack, Mr. Trump is unqualified to serve. The Christie campaign previously stated that it will aim on “mixing it up in the news cycle and engaging Trump.”
However, criticizing Trump has yielded little. In a Monmouth survey last week of 10 announced or possible 2024 contenders, Republican voters assessed Mr. Christie the least positively (21% favorable, 47% unfavorable). He wants to debate Trump and unleash his characteristic pugilism.
Mr. Christie will campaign intensively in New Hampshire, where many independents are anticipated to vote in the primary next year, giving him the best chance to hurt Mr. Trump.
Wednesday, June 7
Where: Des Moines voter rally and 9 p.m. Eastern CNN town hall.
The strategy: The former vice president gave the 2016 ticket legitimacy with social conservatives, but he lost favor with the party base after refusing to help Mr. Trump defeat President Biden.
Mr. Pence, an evangelical Christian and former Indiana governor, is likely to campaign in Iowa in hopes of a good showing in the first nominating contest next year. His campaign wants to show people he’s more than Mr. Trump’s No. 2.
Mr. Pence, who favors Ukraine help, disagrees with the party’s populist agenda. He earned the second-highest unfavorable rating in the Monmouth survey (35% vs. 46%). At a Thursday town hall with Mr. Trump, Fox News’ Sean Hannity said Mr. Pence will soon join the race, drawing boos.
Wednesday, June 7
The strategy: North Dakota’s governor, a little-known beyond his own state, built a fortune in computer software and can self-fund his long-shot candidacy.
He believes 60% of American voters are a “silent majority” that feels overlooked by fierce ideological discussions in politics. Mr. Burgum told a Fargo news site that there is a need for alternatives.
Governor Burgum announced a 2030 carbon neutrality objective for North Dakota. He did it through speeding carbon capture technologies, not by reducing the state’s dependency on fossil fuels.
The governor is low-key and not Trump-like. In today’s Republican rapids, he will paddle against the river and be little recognized.