One of the names that came up repeatedly, and spontaneously, in conversations with committee members and agents here in New Mexico this week: Larry Hogan, of Maryland.
There have been no indications of concrete steps towards a primary offer and a spokesperson for Hogan did not respond to CNN's request for comment.
A moderate Republican with a large majority of Democrats in both houses of his state's legislature, Hogan has also become one of the few Republican lawmakers who criticizes the president.
Not shy with criticism.
During his second inaugural speech in mid-January, Hogan was introduced by the former governor of Florida and the 2016 presidential candidate, Jeb Bush. Referring to the lives of the late former president George H.W. Bush, Senator John McCain and his late father, Hogan did not refer to Trump by name, but called for "something better and nobler than current politics."
"We repudiate the debilitating policies that are practiced in other places, even in the same street of Washington, where insults replace debate, recriminations for negotiation and stagnation for commitment, the result is division and dysfunction," he said. . "Most of us are sick and tired of all that drama."
While visiting officials from the Transportation Security Administration at the Thurgood Marshall International Airport in Baltimore-Washington, Hogan hit both sides on the 34th day of the close of the government that broke all records.
What would it look like?
The moment of the presidential candidacy remains to be seen and some Republican agents have dismissed the rumor about Hogan as an exercise in profiling in anticipation of a race along the way. But Republican governors of the blue state once made attractive national candidates: Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate, is the former governor of liberal Mbadachusetts, and Chris Christie of New Jersey was once the beauty of the Republican dance.
Hogan has made comparisons with Christie, with whom he is close. Both are seen as moderate republicans in blue states and enjoyed high favorability in their first terms. When Christie made an offer for the presidency in 2016, it became clear that his opportunity had pbaded.
Hogan's second term ends in 2022, leaving him plenty of time to submit an offer in the 2024 elections.
"Hogan is a popular Republican in a Democratic state and there are a lot of people talking about the days of Ronald Reagan and Tip O & # 39; Neill.There is some nostalgia for bipartisanship through the hallway," said an attendee at the meeting. He spoke on The condition of anonymity.
"Everyone said that Christie's time had expired and that he had made too many mistakes in his second term, if Hogan avoids all that, he is totally fine, it is not right if he pursues this (a challenge for Trump) in 2020. Even if he persecutes him a little". , "said the badistant, but several Republicans suggested that Hogan could be a formidable candidate in 2024.
"We are going to have primary elections, it will end up leading to a convention in 2020. As always, it is most likely that there will be some competition, that would be my guess, and with that said, we will simply continue to observe that, but this is a country that it depends on a free electoral process, "said committee member John Hammond of Indiana.
"But the incumbent will have all the advantages that a headline will have and the Republican National Committee is in a position where they want to strongly support the re-election of the president," Hammond added.