It's already 2024 in Iowa -- minus Trump

The South Carolina senator is one of nearly a dozen Republicans who are beginning to quietly lay the groundwork for presidential campaigns in 2024 with one major, unpredictable caveat: Donald Trump.

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Scott didn’t mention Trump once while headlining the GOP fundraiser this week with Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa. But the former president has hinted he might run again in two years, complicating matters for loyalists like Scott who are effectively stuck in limbo until Trump makes up his mind. Those Republicans include Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Sen. Rick Scott of Florida.

The developing 2024 field started planting seeds in Iowa back in 2021 — and in some cases earlier. Cruz is a returning favorite, having won the 2016 caucuses against Trump.

Something they all seem to have in common now: None of them has a bad word — or really any words — to say about Trump, according to Jeff Kaufmann, chair of the Iowa Republican Party, which helps orchestrate the GOP’s first presidential nominating contest.

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