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What the GOP Wants to Know: Will Trump Run For President in 2024?

Donald Trump
President of the United States Donald Trump speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Image by: Gage Skidmore.

What will Trump do? With respect to the 2024 upcoming GOP presidential primary, there are more questions than answers.

Namely, who will run?

And who will not run?

The prospective candidate pool is relatively concentrated at the moment, with just a few names – Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence, Nikki Haley – getting significant attention.

Seemingly, the most determinative factor is whether Trump runs again or not; everything else, including who else runs, flows from Trump’s decision.

But the race has explosive dramatic potential whether DJT runs or not. 

In the scenario that Trump does run, he may face – for the first time – a legitimate challenge to his stronghold on the GOP. If Trump does not run, the GOP field will be wide open, beckoning a variety of top conservative politicians to enter the fray.

The Donald Factor

The 2024 GOP race hinges on the 45th president.

The GOP has encouraged Trump not to announce his 2024 plans until after the 2022 midterms are concluded; the GOP wants the upcoming midterms to be a referendum on Biden and the economy – not a referendum on Trump.

So we still have a few months to speculate on DJTs intentions. It’s hard to imagine the Donald stepping aside. Even by Washington’s standard, Trump is vainglorious, uninclined to turn down the opportunity to be front and center again. Trump’s behavior since leaving office eighteen months ago – his persistent public presence – confirms that his thirst for the spotlight is unquenched. Yet, the possibility remains that Trump will withhold from a 2024 run. Several factors dampen Trump’s 2024 viability – and potentially, his enthusiasm for another run, too.

Trump’s influence over the GOP appears to be waning. When Trump secured the Republican ticket in 2016, he became the most influential figure in the party – bar none. Trump’s cutting, and very public, vindictiveness quashed opposition, leading to a party consolidated in obedience towards its new leader. For the past six years, Trump crafted a GOP environment where sycophantism was rewarded – while dissent was an excommunicable offense. Now, signs are emerging that the tide may be shifting.

Trump’s endorsement record through the primary season has been mixed; a Trump endorsement does not guarantee victory. Granted, a Trump endorsement is still valuable and coveted – Trump pushed J.D. Vance over the finish line in Ohio, and Mehmet Oz over the finish line in Pennsylvania. But a collection of losses in Georgia, Idaho, Nebraska, North Carolina, and South Carolina demonstrates that Trump’s power is no longer absolute – meaning he has lost power.

The Donald In Decline? 

The polls support the notion that the ex-president has lost power. “Donald Trump leads in primary polls and is well-liked by his party – but his position is worse than it was a year ago,” David Byler reported for the Washington Post. “Surveys show half of Republican voters are considering other candidates.” The “other candidates” voters are considering won’t sit on their thumbs if the data suggests they have an opening – regardless of whether Trump runs, too. Meaning, the 2024 primary may feature a primetime inter-GOP assault against DJT, for the first time since 2016. What would be incredibly enticing is the scenario in which former Trump lackeys, like Mike Pence or Nikki Haley, challenged Trump in the primary. 

Of course, Trump is thin-skinned and, were he to lose, he would become the first former president ever to lose two reelection bids. Trump’s ego, or some primitive sense of self-preservation, may inspire him to withhold from another run, in which case the GOP field would be wide open. If the field opened up, it could set the stage for a 2016-esque GOP bloodbath

In 2016, after eight years of an Obama presidency, the GOP was brimming with presidential hopefuls; characterizing the GOP primary that year was a deep, eclectic pool of presidential prospects, many of whom seemed at parity with one another. The frontrunner was supposed to be Jeb Bush, who had waited his turn patiently, behind his father and brother, to inherit the White House. But the general population looked beyond Bush – indicating that perhaps they felt the presidency shouldn’t descend along bloodlines. The result was a wild race amongst several viable candidates. Senator Ted Cruz. Senator Marco Rubio. Governor Mike Pence. Governor Chris Christie. A slew of political neophytes were surprisingly relevant, too. Ben Carson, a renowned neurosurgeon, actually held the lead for a minute. Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, had a moment. And, of course, real estate mogul Donald Trump won the thing.

A Donald-less 2024 primary could feature a similar cast of characters concerning depth and parity. Cruz and Pence would run again. Governor Ron DeSantis would be the favorite – but that doesn’t seem to mean much anymore. Presumably, some newcomers would enter the fray, too. But a primary without Trump would ultimately be less dramatic than one with him; a primary without Trump might center on actual policy, like tax rates or foreign intervention, rather than say hand-dimension analysis or locker room talk.     

Harrison Kass is the Senior Defense Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. He lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken. Follow him on Twitter @harrison_kass.

Written By

Harrison Kass is a Senior Defense Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison has degrees from Lake Forest College, the University of Oregon School of Law, and New York University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. He lives in Oregon and regularly listens to Dokken.

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Thomas

    August 4, 2022 at 3:46 pm

    The GOP is nothing but a bunch of left-center moderates who cant be counted on for nothing. While I like DeSantis. The GOP is scratching rock bottom with the rest of the field. Dont try to sell me Youngkin, I live in Virginia and hes been a bit wavering at times. He has had to take some heat to stick to his promises. He is not the one. Rubio is Left Center hack and Cruz is all over the place. Kasich is further left than Rubio. He is a placater and would cave to anything the left wants. Sorry, The GOP stinks. Be ready to be underwhelmed if they get the House back and even a few seats in the Senate. Its gonna be the Big Red Ripple, in a puddle ……… Not gonna be anything substantive or with any substance.

  2. GhostTomahawk

    August 4, 2022 at 5:13 pm

    Because Trump can’t get every candidate over the finish line doesn’t mean his “power” is waning. The candidate still has to campaign effectively. Because GOP voters may like DeSantis (whom I also like) DOES NOT MEAN these voters will pull the leverage for a Democrat. Quite the contrary. As come as Trump is he is still light years ahead of the Democrat stable of baboons they’re considering. Hillary🤣🤣. Biden🤣🤣🤣🤣. Buttigeg😂😂😅🤣😂. Harris🤣😅😅😂. Newsome😂🤣😅😆🤣🤣😅😆🤣. Everyone the DNC has is flat terrible with awful records. It’ll take another suspect vote by mail in campaign to get a “win” for the democrats. Sorry I don’t believe the least liked least followed least popular candidate for president got the most votes EVER.

    Kass your writing flat sucks.

  3. pagar

    August 4, 2022 at 5:21 pm

    DJT must run in 2024 or at least be in the GOP list of aspiring candidates for 2024, so that he can rail against biden’s half-baked policies and at same time expose hunter’s corrupt history as foreign agent in US.

    Biden is setting Europe up for nuclear WW3 between now and 2024. Besides laying total economic armageddon at home.

    It’s immaterial whether a GOP or Dems hopeful wins in November 2024.The winner will have to repair the enormously humongous damage left behind by Biden and biden family criminal syndicate.

  4. Tomb

    August 4, 2022 at 6:11 pm

    …but will trump run ? You seem to think NO

  5. Doug Hasler

    August 4, 2022 at 8:35 pm

    With current trends, Trump is the singular GOP (potential) candidate who would lose to a 2024 Democrat nominee not named Biden. It is fair to say that “current trends” rarely hold (see “COVID-19”), but it is next to impossible to predict what random event will end up being the issue that dominates the 2024 election. Trump’s 2016 candidacy was perfectly timed. His opponent was divisive and unpopular among many. The American electorate was frustrated with the political class (of both parties) that promised but never delivered. The times were ripe for something completely different. Say what you will about Trump, but he was/is different than every other politician (of all political stripes).

    In America, what is new quickly goes stale. For Trump, he lost no time in making the first controversy of his administration estimates of the crowds attending his inaugural. The number of Trump appointees leaving his administration started the turnstyle spinning early, and never stopped. Trump’s nominations of judges to the federal bench (especially to SCOTUS) were outstanding . . . with an assist from McConnell. Judicial nominations aside, the American electorate grew tired of Trump’s oversize personality, ego, and drama (they were/are “huuuuge”). So much so that an old man who had been running unsuccessfully for President since the early 1980s won the Presidency by “not being Trump” and staying in his basement. F. Scott Fitzgerald said “There are no second acts in American lives.” The Trump act is what it is, and will never change. That act has been rejected by the American electorate in 2020. Some might say it was rejected by the voters of Georgia in January 2021 when Trump’s antics were a factor in electing two Democrats to the US Senate. Trump is seeding GOP candidates for the US Senate who have no business running for elected office — including Dr. Oz, JD Vance, and Herschel Walker — but who have received the Trump endorsement on bended knee. In an election year when the political winds are strongly in favor of the GOP, these inexperienced and unqualified candidates will likely cause the Democrats to win an outright majority in the US Senate. For so many reasons, Trump should take a pass on the 2024 Presidential campaign . . . but his ego will not allow him to realize this, and he will listen to no one who speaks this truth to him.

  6. Yrral

    August 5, 2022 at 10:15 am

    These loser Republicans are being held hostage by a criminal insane person,who personally demonstrated to the world,he mentally unfit for the office

  7. Error404

    August 5, 2022 at 10:21 am

    It’s highly possible that 2024 could just be totally meaningless for America and whole world due to mentally-ill Joe Biden being president of USA and stupid-dumb Joe biden-xi jinping being president of china.

    Both presidents are mentally off the rocker and dumb and stupid as hell, so it’s possible ww3 could break out before 2022 comes to an end.

    2024 ? Heck, tons of people could be lining up at soup kitchens all around the globe. In 2024 and beyond.

  8. Jim Higgins

    August 5, 2022 at 10:48 am

    Trump will run in 2024 and win😇 Trump/DeSantis

  9. Dr Scooter Van Neuter

    August 5, 2022 at 1:31 pm

    Love Trump but DeSantis is a far better choice for president as he will get 10X more done thanks to his superior savvy and less toxicity.

  10. Yrral

    August 5, 2022 at 4:00 pm

    Only thing Desantis is running these days is his mouth,it bad that uneducated people support Trump,it even worse,that educated people support Trump

  11. John

    August 5, 2022 at 5:15 pm

    I really wish you’d stop doing political reporting. I couldn’t bear to see this publication torn apart by the same sort of acrimonious mud-slinging we see on news site forums

  12. Gael

    August 5, 2022 at 10:53 pm

    It’s what the whole world wants to know. It can be a deal breaker for our enemies on what they will do next. Also does the US move ahead with its life and plans or do we just atrophy further down into the lies and inactions of the dems and rinos?

  13. Richard Conner

    August 5, 2022 at 11:07 pm

    Isn’t this the same writer who, a few weeks ago, sought to crasly challenge the pro-life supporters to put their money where their collective mouth is while simultaneously disregarding the reality that the same people who are pro-choice are largely the same people who have have attempted, and realized string success, in dismantling much of what had been support networks that would already be here and working I. support of the infants and their mothers. And notice how focused the writer is on personalities rather than policies…among those who would seek to have others believe Trump didn’t walk in with some pretty clear policy objectives? The writers credibility seems rather light as compared to other contri utors who focus on policies and facts…and do not present an apparent need to make themselves feel better by insulting others.

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