Another Republican, former Rep. Mark Walker, a Trump ally, has already announced his candidacy, and Pat McCrory, a former Republican governor, is considering one. Mark Meadows, former North Carolina representative and former Trump chief of staff, would also be in the mix.
“We’re going to take a very long look at all of the candidates in relation to, you know, some sort of crowning achievement,” said Mark Brody, a member of the Union County Republican National Committee outside of Charlotte.
Doug Heye, a former Republican National Committee spokesperson who worked for Mr. Burr, wondered if Ms. Trump was ready to endure the brawl and boredom of running or serving. “A lot of people like speculation and attention, but being a senator takes a lot of work,” he said.
But first there is the question of his residence. Ms Trump currently lives with her husband, Eric, and their children in suburban New York City and is expected to move.
Then there is the less simple question of branding. The Trump last name is a wild card – it will be a plus for loyalists and nationwide fundraising, but it could be a handicap in a battlefield the former president won by just 1.3 percentage point in 2020. There is also a possibility Ms. Trump’s candidacy could help increase Democratic participation, especially among the state’s sizable black population.
Or it could be a wash.
“There is a myth that Trump voters will run for Trump’s candidates or their family members,” said John Anzalone, a Democratic pollster and campaigning veteran in the South. “The cult members only come out in force for the cult leader.”
Whether or not Ms. Trump’s candidacy might come up is creating a buzz is, in itself, a reflection of the party’s concern about her future.