- Whether or not Donald Trump will run for president again remains the central variable in American politics.
- Its appeal to the GOP base remains strong, but it also cost the party dearly in 2020.
- There are also potential GOP candidates who have signaled that they will run regardless of what Trump does.
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Former President Donald Trump teases a 2024 presidential bid. After leaving office with the lowest approval ratings of his presidency following the Capitol Riots in January, Trump has restored his overwhelming popularity with Republican voters and maintained his influence over his party’s leadership.
Over the past few months, Trump has repeatedly hinted that he will launch another presidential campaign, but has suggested that he wait to announce his decision after the 2022 midterm elections. Polls have shown that he is the strongest candidate for the GOP nomination. According to polls in the fall, a large majority of Republican voters want Trump to run for re-election. And prominent Republicans who distanced themselves from Trump after the Jan 6th Capitol Riot have changed their minds.
Why Trump Might Not Run
Matt Mackowiak, a Republican strategist from Texas, believes Trump has five key things to consider when it comes to applying in 2024: desire to run, financial concerns, legal entanglements, health, and the political environment.
While Trump seems anxious to run again, Mackowiak believes the work-life balance he enjoys in his various golf resorts could undermine his willingness to return to command of chief.
“It is often said that the best job in the world is being a former US president, and I can imagine he likes that,” he said. “Right now there are signs that he wants to, but that may change.”
If Trump runs again, he will be 78 on inauguration day in 2025, the same age as Biden when he was sworn in as president. There’s no evidence Trump has any health issues that could prevent him from running, but seven-year-old candidates like him must consider their health when choosing a grueling campaign.
Trump will have to grapple with complicated legal and financial entanglements if he runs again. Trump and his real estate company, the Trump Organization, face a number of legal challenges. The Manhattan Attorney General and the New York Attorney General are both investigating the alleged tax avoidance programs and manipulation of the Trump Organization’s real estate value. Trump is also facing criminal prosecution for his role in the Capitol riot.
Trump’s company health and personal finances could also play a role in his decision. Trump owes hundreds of millions of dollars to major banks. And since losing his reelection, he has started a new social media company, Trump Media and Technology Group, which aims to compete with the leading companies
Why Trump is still relevant and could go into the race
Over the past year, Trump has remained active in politics, holding rallies and headlining events across the country, and raising millions with his aggressive fundraising campaigns. It was lucrative for the ex-president to tease a presidential candidacy. According to federal campaign papers that summer, Trump had more than $ 100 million in cash by the end of July and raised more money than any other Republican in the first half of 2021, a notable feat for a twice-accused ex-president on most social -Media platforms forbidden.
Trump has focused much of his fundraising on lies that the 2020 election was “stolen” and “manipulated” by Democrats.
“I was right about everything,” read the subject line of a recent donation email from Trump.
The former president has also sought his influence over the Republican primary and backed the major challenges against incumbent Republicans, whom he considers insufficiently loyal to him.
Some world Trump figures say the former president has set his sights on 2024. Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows claimed in his newly published memoir that Trump told him he would run for a second term.
“‘We have to be ready,'” Trump told Meadows, according to the book. “‘We have to do it again for our great country.'”
Meadows added, “The message was clear: we had to prepare for the second term, which he was denied. It took us four more years.”
But Trump will have to weigh his desire to justify himself against the risk of another defeat.
“I think it depends on one thing,” said Mackowiak. “He clearly believes he was cheated in the last election and the best way for him to overcome this would be to run again and win. Now the risk is that if he runs again and loses, he is likely the complaints would double. ” that he feels. “
What the GOP field could look like in 2024, with or without Trump
Another uncertainty associated with Trump’s 2024 decision is who will make up the rest of the GOP primary field.
A poll by Republican-dominated company Echelon Insights in August found that half of likely GOP voters by 2024 identify as “Trump-first,” while 68% said they would vote for him again in 2024 if he runs.
Although Trump cost the Republicans the House of Representatives, Senate and White House at the end of his only term, Trump’s ongoing appeal to the party’s grassroots base has put many of the possible lead candidates in a bind.
Some potential candidates, such as Senator Josh Hawley from Missouri, Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina, former United Nations Secretary of State Nikki Haley and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem have all stated, in varying degrees, that they support a Trump 2024 offer would put their own presidential ambitions on hold if he ran.
Florida’s two GOP Senators, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, have also announced their support for Trump in 2024, despite early rumors that each of them would step into the primary.
A smaller cadre of potential candidates has made it clear through a mix of statements and hiring maneuvers that they are ready to launch 2024 campaigns regardless of what Trump does. Among them are former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Pence has already assembled a campaign leadership team on hold and visited the major first-in-the-nation states of Iowa and New Hampshire for a variety of fundraisers for local candidates and GOPs in the county. He also hasn’t ruled out a run in 2024 if Trump enters the race.
Christie, who lost to Trump in the 2016 primary, has expressed open contempt for anyone who, based on Trump’s decision, would decide whether to attend the primary.
“When you say that you are giving in to someone, it is a real sign of weakness and indecision,” the former Trump adviser and New Jersey governor said on a podcast in May.
DeSantis, who faces re-election in 2022, was a consistently vocal Trump fan, but is reported to have annoyed him nonetheless by not publicly ruling out a 2024 election campaign if the former president steps in.
For his part, the Florida governor has stated that he is not considering running for president because he is busy “making sure people do not support critical racial theory”.
Then there is the wildcard side of the potential field, with conservative celebrities or those with the ability to self-fund a campaign who can run a functional campaign without the limitations many current GOP incumbents face.
The biggest X-Factor in this category is Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who, although he has in no way publicly flirted with a run, has been circulated by GOP donors as a potential contender, Insider reported back in July 2020.
But as long as Trump positions himself for a run, other potential contenders will have little room to increase their support.
“Some of these are likely promotions, and some of it is that he wants to freeze the field so he can buy some time to make the decision he wants, number one and then number two, to be kingmaker,” said Mackowiak.