Establishment Republicans and donors are seeking to coalesce around whichever candidate is not Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), according to the New York Times.
One influential Republican strategist says he wants to see former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to go after Cruz.
“Whoever is not named Trump and not named Cruz that looks strong out of both Iowa and New Hampshire, we should consolidate around,” said veteran Republican strategist Henry Barbour.
Barbour, according to the New York Times, was so irritated by the internal battle between the establishment candidates that he wanted to raise money for Huckabee’s Super PAC “that would have been spent to attack Mr. Cruz in Iowa. But Mr. Barbour found few donors willing to intervene in such a volatile race.”
Republican Party donors and insiders realize that it could take beyond March for the Republican establishment to unite behind one candidate, with early states such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina favoring Trump and Cruz.
The New York Times reports establishment candidates former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) have spent roughly $35 million on advertisements attacking each other.
“Why is Right to Rise spending all this money on somebody who can beat Hillary?” Barbour questioned. “Meanwhile, Trump and Cruz go mostly unscathed.”