Conservative donors ramp up efforts to urge Youngkin to run for president

CBS News has learned that some of the country's biggest Republican donors are ramping up efforts to get Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin to enter the 2024 race for president. CBS News chief election and campaign correspondent Robert Costa has more.
▶ Watch Video: Republican donors push for Youngkin to enter 2024 race

Some of the country’s most prominent anti-Trump conservative figures and donors are quietly ramping up their efforts to convince Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin to run for president, in light of a race for the Republican nomination that appears to be at a standstill, with former President Donald Trump holding onto a commanding lead in polls in early-voting states and nationally, CBS News chief election and campaign correspondent Robert Costa reports.

And Youngkin, asked by Fox News Thursday whether he’d rule out a late entry into the race, responded, “I’ve told you — I’m totally focused on Virginia elections, and that’s what we’re gonna get done.” But he did not explicitly say that he would not run. 

Among those who are pressing the Virginia governor to run ahead of a Virginia Beach donor event on Oct. 17-18 are former Attorney General Bill Barr. “If the governor indicated he’d to it, I believe he would draw serious support and be a strong candidate,” he told Costa, who also published an essay Thursday in the Washington Post that detailed his reporting. 

Billionaire Thomas Peterffy told Costa that if Youngkin were to run, “the money would be there.” And he said that Youngkin “appears to be leaving the door open.”

Former Fox News chairman Rupert Murdoch is also speaking highly of a possible Youngkin run, Costa reported, citing a person familiar with his comments.

The push for a last-minute Youngkin candidacy reflects the angst many longtime Republicans feel, as they see Trump with an unshakeable dominance in the party, despite four criminal indictments, lawsuits and his provocative rhetoric. 

But Youngkin — or any Republican who still wants to enter the race — is running out of time to get on the ballot. Nevada’s deadline is in just a couple of weeks, on Oct. 16, and the cut-off dates for several other states is in November. 

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