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Former Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
Former Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.Getty Images; NBC

Potential GOP presidential candidates were busy in 2022

Prominent GOP figures endorsed and campaigned for an array of candidates in 2022, efforts that could help if they opt to run in '24.


With news that former President of Donald Trump plans to announce his campaign for president Tuesday night, there's new interest in the 2024 presidential contest and who else might jump into the race.

While the field is far from defined, many of those Republicans who are most commonly mentioned as candidates kept themselves busy with midterm endorsements and campaign activities — especially for those who were not up for re-election or find themselves out of office and government.

These include figures like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who's run for president previously, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.

Of that field, Pompeo had the largest number of Republican endorsements this cycle, second only to Trump himself. Pompeo endorsed 66 candidates for House, Senate and governor who made it through Republican primaries. Forty-three of the candidates Pompeo endorsed, most of whom were endorsed and supported by his PAC, Champion American Values, won their general election contests.

The next largest endorser was Haley, who endorsed 46 candidates who made it to the general election. Of those, 34 won their general election contests.

Endorsing candidates in the midterms is far from a sure sign that someone will run for president, but it can indicate that they're at least considering launching a presidential campaign.

Some of those who were endorsed by Haley and Pompeo were popular among other notable figures and were endorsed by a smattering of other potential Republican presidential hopefuls.

For example, California Rep. Young Kim's re-election bid was endorsed by Ernst, Haley, Scott and Pompeo. Similarly, Iowa Rep. Randy Feenstra's re-election bid was endorsed by Ernst, Haley, Pence and Pompeo. A total of 22 Republican nominees and incumbents were endorsed by three or more potential 2024 presidential hopefuls.

Some of the endorsed nominees are officials who've drawn Trump's ire in the past, like Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who was endorsed by Scott and Hogan. Endorsing someone like Murkowski could signal that potential presidential contenders are considering staking claim on a different segment of the Republican Party than Trump.

But Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who lost her own re-election during the primary, was the only potential GOP presidential candidate to endorse Democratic candidates. As co-chair of the Jan. 6 Committee, Cheney has been focused on fighting those in her party pushing the false belief that the 2020 election was not legitimate. Cheney endorsed three Democrats in 2022 — Reps. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., and Abigail Spanberger, D-Va. and Ohio Democratic senate candidate Tim Ryan. Slotkin and Spanberger both won, Ryan lost.