With former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s official announcement of candidacy coming on Tuesday, followed on Wednesday by those of former Vice President Mike Pence and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, the 2024 Republican presidential dance card either will, or will almost be, complete with nine credible contenders.

In this race, former President Trump has his own lane. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis owns another—we can call it the “Non-Trump Pugilistic Culture Warrior Lane”—with a third we can dub the “Legacy GOP and Non-Pugilistic Conservative Lane,” featuring everyone else: former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, technology investor and executive Vivek Ramaswamy, and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, now to be joined by Christie, Pence, and Burgum.

There are quite a few very sharp operatives in both parties who argue there is still a decent chance the GOP nominates someone other than Trump. They maintain that polls conducted this early mean little because history is replete with examples of the conventional wisdom over a year before the nominating conventions being very wrong.

Keep in mind that in

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