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Another GOP Presidential Candidate?: I Heard It through the Grapevine

Tomorrow, we will have a list of some of the best political news aggregators, as suggested by readers (there's still time to weigh in; don't forget your initials and location).

Nobody has, as yet, suggested the Drudge Report, presumably because it's quite right-leaning. Matt Drudge is also prone to sensationalism, muckracking and general sh**-stirring. That said, he's also dialed in to some of the insider circles of the Republican Party. So, take all of these things in mind when we pass along the news that Drudge is strongly hinting that he has heard credible rumors that a Republican heavyweight is about to enter, and shake up, the race.

The obvious person here is Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA). And indeed, Drudge has hinted that Youngkin is the person he's talking about. That said, Drudge also likes a good misdirect, and there are certainly other would-be GOP presidential candidates who would get some attention, like Gov. Chris Sununu (R-NH), Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA), Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX), former Maryland governor Larry Hogan and Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

All the semi-hoopla about Youngkin notwithstanding, he is betting the farm on the Republicans capturing the Virginia state legislature, going all out to campaign for Republicans. If he fails, the story will be "Youngkin doesn't even have any power in his own state." That is not a great way to start a presidential campaign.

It is plausible, in our view, that someone could still come along and knock off Trump. He's got serious vulnerabilities and many Republican voters have made clear their minds are not made up (for example, a new poll of Iowa says that 79% of Republicans there are considering non-Trump candidates). However, we seriously doubt that any of the people at the debate last night can be the one to topple The Donald. The person to do it, if there is one, has to jump in, get some momentum, qualify for and crush the third GOP debate, and then get a lot of press about how maybe they just might be the Trump vanquisher. Then the donor class would have an actual alternative to Trump, and things could get interesting.

For now, however, it's all just rumors, hints and idle speculation. (Z)

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