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Eyes on 2024: The Club for (post-Trump) Growth

The conservative Club for Growth released new polling showing Trump with a narrow lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a crowded primary field.

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The Club for Growth, the GOP outside group that’s run hot and cold with former President Donald Trump over the years, briefed reporters on its plans for 2024 and new polling showing Trump with just a narrow lead over Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in a crowded presidential primary field. 

Trump gets 37% of the primary vote in the new poll that has DeSantis at 33% (they’re the only two candidates with double-digit support). But DeSantis leads on a head-to-head ballot, and among those who don’t consider themselves “very conservative.” 

Club for Growth President David McIntosh didn’t say whether the group would endorse a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination (and an aide told NBC News later they had no plans to). Asked whether he thought Trump could win a general election, McIntosh told reporters “You know, anything’s possible. And if he gets the nomination, we’ll help him try to win. But the last three elections have shown that he lost.”

In other campaign news…

Trump rapid response: Trump is planning to respond to Biden’s State of the Union address with his own video, NBC News’ Garret Haake reports. 

Schooled: The New York Times delves into the education debates already shaping the shadow GOP presidential primary.  

A little help from his friends: Puck reports that two veteran GOP strategists are preparing to launch a super PAC to support DeSantis. 

Out over his skis?: New Hampshire GOP Gov. Chris Sununu is weighing a presidential run, and although he has not yet decided if he’ll jump into the race, he’s confident he can do the job, he said while skiing with a reporter from the Boston Globe. He criticized potential presidential contenders for not appealing to independents, and said he doesn’t think Trump can win the general election.

Castro re-run?: Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, who made an unsuccessful run for president in 2020, raised some eyebrows on Monday when he shared a poll showing a close matchup between Biden and Trump, saying the poll “undermines Biden’s central argument for re-nomination” 

More hats expected in the ring: Former Republican Reps. Peter Meijer and Bill Huizenga are exploring bids for Senate in Michigan, The Dispatch reports, joining rumors that multiple sitting Democratic members of Congress are exploring to run for retiring Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s seat. 

Marlin’s return: Punchbowl News reports that former Indiana GOP Rep. Marlin Stutzman, who left Congress and ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 2016, is weighing a run for his former House seat. 

Santos denies allegations: CNN reports that embattled New York GOP Rep. George Santos called the allegation he sexually harassed a former staffer “comical” and said “Of course I deny that claim.” 

Chamber of controversy: Top Republican leaders are freezing out the Chamber of Commerce as retribution for backing Democrats in recent cycles, CNBC reports