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ICYMI: How looming ‘proxy war’ in 2024 Republican primaries could define key races nationwide [ABC News]

New reporting from ABC News highlights how Senate Republicans are concerned that a “major proxy war” will break out as the “bloody primar[y]… battle” between the Senate Leadership Fund and the Club for Growth intensifies in states across the map.

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ABC News: How looming ‘proxy war’ in 2024 Republican primaries could define key races nationwide

  • As the 2024 election cycle takes very early shape, GOP strategists are predicting that an expensive and potentially even race-deciding “proxy war” could break out in various states between two major political groups, the Senate Leadership Fund (SLF) and the Club for Growth.
  • The crux of their conflict? They agree there’s a problem in unifying behind the best nominees, but they disagree on the solution… where the SLF and the Club for Growth disagree is on who should take the lead — and how.
  • The SLF and the NRSC are aligned in their willingness to intervene in the 2024 primaries in order to elevate candidates they view as electable, and the Club is set to do the same — but not always for the same people.
  • “I think in some states, it could become a major proxy war,” said one GOP strategist working on Senate races. If so, expect major fronts in that battle to open in Montana and West Virginia.

  • The NRSC and SLF are focusing on wealthy potential self-funders and are eyeing either veteran and businessman Tim Sheehy or state Attorney General Austin Knudsen in Montana. They also successfully recruited West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice to run for Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin’s seat.
  • The [Club for Growth] organization put out a memo that contended the SLF had “abandoned conservatives” in 2022 and claimed, “the best path to a Republican majority is through the Club for Growth PAC endorsed candidates.
  • Interviews with leaders and strategists on both sides of the divide lamented the prospects of bloody primaries fueled by each camp’s beefy war chests. But it appeared that no amount of dread could force cooperation.

See also: GOP Infighting Continues to Escalate in 2024 Senate Primaries; New Reports: Republicans Brace For “Battle Royale” as GOP Infighting Escalates in 2024 Senate Primaries; ICYMI: GOP’s stormy 2024 outlook [Axios]; GOP Infighting Escalating Across 2024 Senate Races; ICYMI Senate GOP’s 2024 landmines [Axios]; ICYMI: The Looming Senate GOP Primary Wars [Cook Political Report]

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