Former US President Donald Trump could launch his third presidential campaign of 2024 as early as September 2022.
According to early US media reports, Trump has been considering making an early announcement. The Washington Post reported on Thursday that it could happen as soon as September, even before the November midterm elections.
Trump has yet to confirm or deny the report.
“Well, in my own mind, I’ve already made that decision, so nothing factors in anymore. In my own mind, I’ve already made that decision,” Trump said in an interview to the New York Magazine. But, leaving himself wiggle room, he added, “Look,” Trump said, “I feel very confident that, if I decide to run, I’ll win.”
Trump is still the overwhelming favourite among Republican voters to win the party’s nomination to run for President in 2024. According to a poll published by The New York Times on Tuesday, he leads his top five rivals for the nomination, who are Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Senator Ted Cruz, Pence, former Governor Nikki Haley, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in that order.
After leaving office, the former President remained in politics and assumed leadership of the Republican Party, in contrast to all previous Presidents, who retired quietly after one or two terms. He has continued to meet with party leaders and officials, speak at rallies, endorse candidates for primary elections, and plot the demise of critics and opponents.
His third presidential bid has gained traction in recent weeks as other Republicans, including former Vice President Mike Pence and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, have begun to plan their own campaigns. There are also signs that Trump’s vice-like grip on his party’s base is loosening, possibly exacerbated by the high-profile public hearings being held by the congressional committee investigating the January 6, 2021 insurgency at the US Capitol, home of American congress.
The January 6 hearings, which will conclude next week, have revealed that the insurgency was a planned assault to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential elections. And many in Trump’s inner circle, including the former President, have a good idea of what’s going to happen.
Furthermore, the Department of Justice appears to have raided Trump aides who had participated in his attempts to overturn the election result, raising the possibility that the former President himself is in the crosshairs, though there are no indications of criminal culpability.
If Trump were running for president, he could preempt any impending action against him. He may try to portray it as a political witch hunt by the administration of the President he is seeking to depose in 2024.
Perhaps most concerning for him is his dwindling Republican support. Though he leads the list of possible rivals for the party’s nomination in presidential primary contests, The New York Times reported that a clear majority of primary voters under 35 years old – 64% – as well as 65% of those with at least a college degree – a leading indicator of political preferences within the donor class – have said they would vote against Trump in a presidential primary. There is also a growing anti-Trump sentiment among Republicans, with 16% saying that if Trump runs, they will vote for Biden or a third-party nominee.
Most Republicans – at 76 per cent – said they were fine with his post-election efforts saying, “He was just exercising his right to contest the election” while 19 per cent, however, were appalled and said, “He went so far that he threatened American democracy.”
Trump has yet to publicly admit defeat in the 2020 election – though privately, according to aides, he has acknowledged it – and has continued to claim he lost because the election was stolen from him, raising millions of dollars by peddling his lies to his supporters.