Former President Donald Trump has hinted for some time that he may announce a third bid for the White House, and some Republicans, including those that have expressed opposition to another run from Trump, suggest that announcement could come sooner rather than later as GOP voters weigh their best option for a 2024 candidate.
While most candidates announce a run for the presidency around one year prior to the election, several Republican strategists, according to reports from The New York Times and The Associated Press, suggest that Trump is eager to announce his candidacy even though many Republicans feel at odds with the idea.
Scott Jennings, a Republican strategist, said that he believes Trump’s announcement could come before more Republican voters begin to consider other candidates.
“There’s some evidence that some Republican voters are trying to slow-walk from Donald Trump,” Jennings told the Times. “If you’re in his shoes, you have to try to put that fire out. Because the more it burns.”
Other Republicans have signaled that it’s time to move on from Trump in hopes of winning back the White House in the next presidential election.
In the wake of recent hearings on the January 6 Capitol protests, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told The Associated Press that voters are “concerned” with whether Trump could pull off an election victory in 2024. “People are concerned that we could lose the election in ’24 and want to make sure that we don’t nominate someone who would be seriously flawed,” Christie said.
Similarly, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who is rumored to be considering a run for president in 2024, suggested Trump is liable to lose the election.
“His approval among Republican primary voters has already been somewhat diminished,” Hogan said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Trump was the least popular president in American history until Joe Biden.”
Also echoing comments from Hogan and Christie is Marc Short, who served as chief of staff to former Vice President Mike Pence, an individual considered by many to be a likely 2024 Republican candidate.
“Republican activists believed Donald Trump was the only candidate who could beat Hillary,” Short told The Associated Press. “Now, the dynamic is reversed. He is the only one who has lost to Joe Biden.”
Jason Shepherd, a Georgia Republican Party state committeeman and a former aide to Newt Gingrich, said voters will have a wide-variety of candidates to choose from in the 2024 election, suggesting that Trump could have trouble garnering the nomination outright.
”There will be a number of Republicans who many Republicans feel cannot only unite the party but would govern with strong, conservative policies,” Shepherd told the Times.
Likely to face opposition from many within his own party over a run for president in 2024, Trump is sure to have the backing of several prominent Republicans.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who often saw eye to eye with Trump and sometimes pushed back on statements from the former president that he disagreed with, insisted that Trump’s success if he should run will depend on what he says and how he acts. Graham said he must compare and contrast the economic climate from two or three years ago with what Americans are witnessing today.
“It’s up to him if he runs or not,” Graham said in an interview shared by the Times. “But the key to him being successful is comparing his policy agenda and policy successes with what is going on today.”
Several potential 2024 candidates have vowed not to challenge Trump should he run for re-election, including Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina who served as ambassador to the United Nations under Trump. But now, with everything that has taken place since Trump left the White House, Haley hinted to reporters that she might reconsider.
“If it looks like there’s a place for me next year, I’ve never lost a race, I’m not going to start now,” Haley said. “I’ll put 1,000% in and I’ll finish it. And if there’s not a place for me, I will fight for this country until my last breath.”
Haley told host Harris Faulkner on “The Faulkner Focus” that she will reveal her decision on whether to seek the presidency early next year.
A Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released Friday showed that 64% of registered voters believe President Biden “is showing he is too old to be President,” while another 71% said Biden should not seek another term in the White House. Sixty-one percent of voters who were surveyed said Trump should not run for office again, citing his role in division among Americans, his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol protests, and his unpredictable behavior.