Former President Donald Trump is leading in major endorsements for the Republican nomination next year, having secured a large section of House Republicans as of Thursday. However, many prominent conservative governors and senators have not chosen a candidate yet.
Here is a look at where the top eight candidates stand regarding top endorsements after the second debate.
Trump leads with 76 House endorsements, 11 senators, and four governors. In the House, the endorsements include House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and members of the House Freedom Caucus.
In the Senate, the most significant endorsements came from Sens. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Ted Budd (R-NC), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who endorsed Trump over his fellow South Carolinians former Gov. Nikki Haley, and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). For governors, Trump secured endorsements from Mike Dunleavy who leads Alaska, South Dakota’s Kristi Noem, West Virginia’s Jim Justice, and South Carolina’s Henry McMaster.
Former Vice President Mike Pence has not seen the same level of success as his former boss. Perceived as an old-school conservative, Pence has touted traditional family and faith-based values earning him accolades from a group of former Ronald Reagan staffers earlier this week.
He has also seen endorsements from his home state of Indiana, including from Gov. Eric Holcomb (R-IN) and Reps. Larry Bucshon (R-IN) and Greg Pence (R-IN).
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has largely been considered Trump’s biggest threat for the Republican nomination next year. He has secured the second-highest amount of endorsements, receiving endorsements from Gov. Kevin Stitt (R-OK) and five members of Congress, including Reps. Chip Roy (R-TX), and Thomas Massie (R-KY).
DeSantis has also received endorsements from leaders on the state level from his home state and endorsements from people in Arizona, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, and Utah.
Scott has seen endorsements from two senators who both represent South Dakota, Sens. Mike Rounds (R-SD) and John Thune (R-SD). No member of the House nor state leader outside of South Carolina has publicly endorsed Scott so far. However, Scott announced in June that he had received endorsements from more than 140 current and former South Carolina leaders.
Haley has seen an uptick in polling since the debates started last month after her performances pulled in swing voters who were against both Trump and President Joe Biden. However, she still only has one endorsement in Congress and one from a state leader. She did secure support from Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) and Pennsylvania House Minority Leader Bryan Cutler.
Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND) has garnered support for his candidacy from lawmakers within his own state. Both senators from North Dakota have given their support to Burgum, who was relatively unknown before his presidential campaign. Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) has also endorsed the governor.
Although he has qualified for both GOP debates so far, Burgum is considered a dark horse in the race for the nomination.
Vivek Ramaswamy and Chris Christie
Neither entrepreneur and political newcomer Vivek Ramaswamy nor former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have brought in any congressional or gubernatorial support so far, although Ramaswamy is faring well in the polls. However, Ramaswamy has seen an endorsement from Iowa Treasurer Roby Smith.
All Republican presidential hopefuls were required to sign a pledge to support the eventual nominee in order to appear on the debate stage. However, Trump, who has met all other requirements for the debates, did not sign the pledge and has not appeared in the debates.
The third debate will be held in Miami on Nov. 8, 2023.