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Image: Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump attends a rally in Minden, Nev., on Oct. 8, 2022.José Luis Villegas / Pool via AP file

Eyes on 2024: A granite cold reception for Trump?

Trump is heading to New Hampshire and South Carolina this weekend as other Republicans stoke speculation about their own presidential runs.

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Former President Donald Trump heads to South Carolina and New Hampshire on Saturday, and NBC News’ Natasha Korecki reports that some Granite State Republicans are not excited about his candidacy, especially after Trump-aligned candidates lost both House seats and the state’s Senate race last year. 

GOP Gov. Chris Sununu, who is weighing a presidential run himself, criticized Trump as unelectable, telling Korecki, “I’m not pro-Trump. I’m not anti-Trump. I’m just moving on.” He also criticized Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, suggesting he is Trump “2.0.” 

Trump’s visit to New Hampshire also comes as a new University of New Hampshire Granite State poll found him trailing DeSantis among likely New Hampshire GOP primary voters, with 42% backing DeSantis and 30% backing Trump. None of the other potential GOP contenders, including Sununu, were in the double digits.

And DeSantis will have some reinforcements in New Hampshire this weekend too — The Hill reports that the Ron to the Rescue super PAC, which is not affiliated with the Republican, will have a booth at the state’s GOP meeting this weekend. 

Meanwhile, two South Carolina Republicans are weighing runs of their own as Trump travels to their state. 

Former Gov. Nikki Haley, who also served as ambassador to the United Nations during Trump’s administration, is hiring staff and reaching out to donors ahead of a potential run, per CNBC. And McClatchy explores the conundrum facing GOP Sen. Tim Scott as he weighs whether to take on Trump or wait for another chance to run.  

In other campaign news…

 Schiff’s run and some confusion: Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff launched a run for Senate in California, setting up a crowded and expensive race between high-profile progressives. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has yet to announce her plans, but she told Raw Story that she’d do so next year. Her office then refuted the report, saying that Feinstein “speaking about the timing of the election, not her announcement,” adding that “she still intends to announce her decision in the coming months.”

Thinking about it: Author and spiritual advisor Marianne Williamson is considering running for president again, she told NBC News’ Micki Fahner. And former Arkansas GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson tells NBC News’ Allan Smith that he is “absolutely” considering a run for president

Trump goes back to school: Former President Trump released a video outlining his presidential campaign’s education plan, NBC News’ Olympia Sonnier reports, which includes cutting federal funding for schools that teach “critical race theory, gender ideology or other inappropriate racial sexual or political content,” launching a civil rights investigation into discrimination against Asian-American students and creating a credentialing body to “certify teachers who embrace patriotic values, support our way of life and understand that their job is not to indoctrinate children.”

Dem governors take on DeSantis: The Democratic governors of California and Illinois — Govs. Gavin Newsom and J.B. Pritzker — are pushing back on Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis’ opposition to an AP African American studies class.

Progressive problems: Politico delves into how Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego’s Senate bid in Arizona could divide Senate progressives if independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema runs for re-election. Sinema hasn’t made her plans clear, but she tweeted on Thursday, “Arizona just got through a brutal election season — I think we all could use a break,” and went on to list her priorities in Congress. Gallego responded on Twitter, writing, “I know it was. I traveled the state to help! I didn’t see you at one event the whole time.”

Slotkin’s meeting: Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin met Thursday with retiring Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow as she openly weighs a run for the retiring senator’s seat, NBC News’ Julie Tsirkin reports.