Primary Results Show Trump Front-Runner for '24 Nomination: GOP Lawmakers Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally for Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz at the Westmoreland County Fairgrounds in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, on May 6, 2022. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Thursday, 19 May 2022 09:33 AM
This week's primary results show that former President Donald Trump's influence in the Republican Party remains unequaled.
Strong performances by Trump-backed candidates in the Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Ohio GOP primaries indicated the former president remains the heavy favorite to head the 2024 national ticket.
"I think he's the clear front-runner for the nomination," said Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., The Hill reported
"There's no question in my mind that he would become the nominee in 2024 if he decides to run for the Republican nomination," said Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, the GOP presidential nominee in 2012, The Hill reported.
Trump took to Truth Social on Wednesday to hail an 85-3 record among candidates he endorsed. He has backed winners in key gubernatorial, Senate and House primaries.
The former president's influence was most apparent in the Pennsylvania and Ohio primaries, lawmakers said.
"He has a significant impact on state races," Romney said, The Hill reported, "and he’ll win some and lose some but surely people will want his endorsement if they can get it."
Mehmet Oz trailed David McCormick by an average of 6 points in the polls before Trump endorsed him. However, Oz led by 1,241 votes, with mail-in ballots still to be counted and a likely recount ahead.
"[Trump’s] clearly still the most significant person of influence in the party," Cramer said, The Hill reported. "What he did in Pennsylvania is not insignificant if Dr. Oz pulls it out.
"You have to give a lot of credit to Donald Trump. There’s just no question he’s still got a broad influence over a broad swath of Republican primary voters and activists."
Trump also endorsed Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance, who at the time was in third place in the polls. Vance won the May 3 primary with 32% of the vote.
"In Ohio, there's no question that Trump's endorsement won that race. It had a dramatic impact," said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who's eyeing another White House run himself in 2024, The Hill reported.
"In Pennsylvania, there’s no question that Trump’s endorsement moved Dr. Oz’s numbers significantly and President Trump continues to have the deep respect and admiration of a great many Americans and when he makes that endorsement, it carries weight.
"There’s no doubt he has strong support among Republican primary voters."
Cramer added that Trump's endorsements will benefit the former president if he decides to make another run for the nation’s highest office.
"Donald Trump, he’s good with capital," Cramer said, The Hill reported. "He’s good at maximizing capital. Chits get called in at some point and politics is a business of capital. Usually all you have is your political capital. He’s gathering a lot of it right now. It gives him a lot to spend if he needs to."