Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
By the middle of the month, President Joe Biden is likely to have his first official challenger for 2024.
According to multiple reports – among them articles originating from the Associated Press, The Hill, and Axios – former President Donald Trump is expected to use the momentum of major Republican gains in the midterm to springboard into another run at the nation’s top office.
Axios reports Trump’s inner circle is eyeing Nov. 14, the Monday after the midterm, as the likely date for such an announcement.
“I will very, very, very probably do it again, OK? Very, very, very probably,” Trump told an enthusiastic crowd in Iowa Thursday, a speech carried by C-SPAN. “Get ready. That’s all I’m telling you. Very soon. Get ready. Get ready.”
Assuming Trump declares his candidacy, it will be perhaps the least surprising development in contemporary U.S. politics.
The former president has effectively not left the campaign trail and has never been shy about his desire to again sit in the Oval Office.
He has made frequent appearances in service of the candidacy of his allies who are seeking lower offices and has offered numerous political pep talks to supporters at rallies the nation over.
“I give him a ton of credit for not announcing this year, for not stepping in the way of midterm candidates. … I think you can expect him to announce soon,” The Hill quoted former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway as saying.
In all likelihood, given his immense involvement in midterm campaigning, if Trump announces in mid-November, he will take a great deal of credit for a “red wave” of conservative wins.
While Trump is by no means the only conservative politician pounding the trail for Republican hopefuls, he is certainly the most prominent.
His super PAC has raised in the neighborhood of $350 million this election cycle and his involvement has swung numerous, though by no means all, Republican primaries in House, Senate, and governor’s races across the country.
Earlier this week, during an interview with Lucia Navarro of Americano Media, a Spanish-language conservative outlet, Trump made a statement that could prove an early indicator of how he will contextualize the midterm.
“I think we’re going to do really well in Congress,” Trump said. “We have a chance to do well in the Senate. We have to get the right president because that’s where the leadership is when you think of it. The election’s important because we can stop what’s happening – we can stop it, and we can stop it cold – but we have to have the right leadership at [the] top.”
Trump will enter what could turn out to be a small field of Republican contenders.
Trump’s only real threat on the right, at least at present, appears to be Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has never confirmed that he would seek the presidency in 2024 and says he is focused on winning reelection to his current position next week.
However, things can change quickly in politics and any number of names could emerge as challengers to Trump’s presumptive nomination.
As previously reported by FISM, some polling suggests Americans are hungry for a new option in 2024, with 67% of respondents to a Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll in September stating they’d prefer neither Trump nor Biden to run.
But, numerous other polls, among them the CPAC straw poll, have Trump well ahead of potential Republican opponents, although winning the CPAC vote has not always boded well for would-be presidents.
A potential pitfall for a third Trump Republican nomination would be if he were to announce so soon that his candidacy begins to feel stale to voters before primary season 2024.
There is historical precedent to suggest going too far, too soon is a detriment.
Even his staunchest critics, though, will admit that Trump’s is not the typical political career. As evidenced by the large and raucous crowds he still attracts, Trump remains the darling of a huge chunk of conservative voters a solid seven years into his political career.
“I’m like 95% [Trump is] going to run,” Reince Priebus, Trump’s former White House chief of staff, told the AP. “The real question is, are other big challengers going to run? If President Trump runs, he will be very difficult for any Republican to defeat.”
Trump’s downfall, if it were to happen, might occur outside of an election. A large swath of Democrats and legacy Republicans are expending immense effort to prevent Trump from having the option to run in 2024 or at least damaging his public standing to such a degree that reelection becomes impossible.
As of today, Trump is locked in numerous court battles, has been subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 committee, and could face charges from the Justice Department.