Utah Gov. Spencer Cox believes Republicans will make “a huge mistake” if they select former President Donald Trump as the party’s 2024 nominee.

“I’m a Republican, and I respect my party and I respect my party’s voters, although I think it’s a huge mistake,” Cox told the media at his monthly news conference on Thursday. “I think if we were to nominate Gov. (Nikki) Haley or literally anyone else, we would win by 10 to 14 points (in November).”

Cox, the current chair of the National Governors Association, noted that he did not vote for Trump in either 2016 or 2020, choosing to write in another candidate. Cox’s wife, Utah first lady Abby Cox, has endorsed Haley’s candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination and serves as a member of Haley’s Utah leadership team.

Gov. Cox has not formally endorsed any candidate.

“I support governors, and I would love to see a governor win. There’s only one left, I guess,” Cox said. “I would love to see Haley nominated and win, but I think it’s pretty clear that’s not going to happen.”

Cox has “no doubt” that Trump will win Utah’s presidential preference poll on March 5, and he predicts that Trump will go on to win the general election in November. When asked why he thinks voters support President Joe Biden, Cox said it is because “he’s not Donald Trump.”

“I think that we should be nominating different people,” he said. “I think both parties are making a huge mistake. ... I think the party that figures this out first and nominates someone else, although that may be four years from now, is going to clean up in a big way.”

At present, Trump leads national polls of Republican voters by a dominant margin. In South Carolina, where a Republican primary will be held next week, Trump leads by over 30 percentage points; in Utah, which will cast its votes on Super Tuesday, the latest Deseret News/Hinckley Institute poll shows Trump ahead by 20 percentage points.

Trump and Biden are neck-and-neck in many polls forecasting a November rematch, despite both candidates showing low favorability ratings.

Cox said he has shown an ability to ”work very closely with with presidents from either party.”

“I do think that President Trump is going to win the general election, and I will work very closely with him. I look forward to working closely with him,” Cox said. “If President Biden wins again, I’ll work closely with him as well.”

But Cox pointed to Biden’s record on immigration as the hinge point in November’s general election. Cox said Biden and Congress both “dropped the ball,” blaming them for “not performing their constitutional duties” in regards to securing the border.

“It’s going to cost (Biden) the election, just to be very clear,” Cox said. “He will lose because of this.”