TRUMP 2024: The possibility of Trump running for President in the future.

The possibility is discussed as to whether former President Donald Trump will run for President in 2024.

John Heycock
2nd November 2021
Donald Trump at one of his rallies. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Not often do former Presidents run again for office after their defeat at the ballot box. In fact, it is a feat only one man has ever pulled off; Democrat Grover Cleveland was elected the 22nd President in 1884, lost at the next election but staged a comeback four years later to become the 24th President. Question is, will Donald Trump try to do the same?

This is a question that is sure to please Trump - it guarantees media attention. He's not confirming or denying a potential second shot but when asked if he had made up his mind in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, he replied with a simple "yes" - although even his closest allies are split on what decision this is.

The former President may find he struggles to stay in the limelight - other one-term Presidents such as Jimmy Carter, defeated by Reagan in 1980, and George H. W. Bush, who lost to Clinton in 1992, quickly discovered that as the eyes of the press were not focused on them anymore, they struggled to keep their political relevancy.

Trump has certainly become less prominent after Biden succeeded him as President, thanks in part to multiple social media companies removing Trump from their platforms; the decision to remove Trump was due to the speech he gave after which an insurrection on the Capitol was initiated in which lawmakers were forced into a secret bunker and 5 people, including a police officer, lost their lives. This was all after Trump refused to accept the result of the election - even after his triumphant opponent Joe Biden had been sworn in as President.

Many voters will have been put off by this, along with his handling of the pandemic - from declaring his hopes of the USA returning to normal by Easter 2020 to his suggestion of injecting disinfectant to fight COVID-19, his response has been criticised by his own staff as not taking significant steps early on, which could have prevented loss of human life. Biden's response to COVID-19 has instead focused on encouraging vaccination take-up as much as possible.

If Trump weren't to run for re-election it could be for fear of losing; an article by The Hill found that a number of Senate Republicans did not want Trump to run again. His final year as President will still be fresh in voters' minds as they decide on who to trust with their vote. Whilst still enjoying large support among the Republican voter base, his record may put off the many independents with no affiliation to a major party or candidate. It is also hard to see him siphoning off any noticeable support from Democrat voters.

If Trump did decide to run for re-election, there's no doubt he would become a favourite to secure the Republican nomination. An announcement of his candidacy could actually clear the field very quickly as those politically close to the former President would want to stay in his good books in preparation for their own potential 2028 bid for the Presidency. His only real challengers would be more moderate or never-Trumper Republicans, but even their most well-known faces - such as the 2012 Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney - would likely struggle to build up sufficient support for a successful challenge.

Securing the Presidency would be a much tougher challenge, however. With little hope of securing the vote of moderate voters, he may well have to pursue a hard-line route and hope he has enough supporters get out to vote to push him over the line. An election slogan such as "reverse the steal" may seem like an ideal attacking strategy for a man who has backed himself into a corner and feels he can't give up now.

Alternatively, he could bank on mistakes of the current administration helping to boost his chances. President Joe Biden's ill-fated decision to go ahead with Trump's policy of ending the war in Afghanistan may prove to have serious consequences, in addition to the withdrawal labelled as a "mistake" by British Secretary for Defence Ben Wallace. Trump would almost certainly make an example of the withdrawal and point out no such comparison can be made with his tenure in office.

Joe Biden, the current President of the United States, won the election against incumbent Donald Trump in 2020. Image credit: Flickr.

The Biden Administration is also having a difficult time with immigration policy: pro-immigration supporters argue that migrants are still treated too poorly by the current administration, whilst anti-immigration campaigners accuse Biden of allowing uncontrolled immigration due to the end of Trump's expensive Border wall policy (which mainly repaired existing sections rather than building entirely new ones).

However, this second strategy relies on the Democrats being unable to get their ambitious agenda through Congress - if an agreement on Biden's key policies, such as the $1.2tn infrastructure bill or $3.5tn budget plan, can be reached then Americans may well see the benefits in their own pockets.

The strategy of attacking Biden also hinges on the premise that Biden will want a second term. If he doesn't, it may be his Vice President, Kamala Harris, carrying the torch; perhaps Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg will have another shot; or maybe it'll be Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, affectionately known by her supporters as AOC, who will finally meet the age requirement to run for President at the next election. All strong media performers, Harris and Buttigieg are perhaps safer pairs of hands who can appeal to a moderate base, whereas AOC would mark a break with the current administration and perhaps encourage a younger, more diverse electorate to come out to the polls. How Trump would fare against any of these candidates is of course unknown.

And that unknown is what makes me feel that Trump likely won't run again. Yes, he is a gambling man - a businessman at heart - but his businesses made large losses during his presidency, with his Washington D.C. hotel alone losing around $70m and his net worth decreasing by around $700m. And above all, his ego is likely to take another potential loss even worse than the last.

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