After losing the 2020 election, Donald Trump immediately sparked speculation about seeking the presidency again in 2024. Trump has continually hinted at his interest in being the Republican nominee for a third straight race. But he has stopped short of making any definitive declaration of his plans. Let’s analyze the various factors that will determine whether or not Donald Trump ultimately runs for president once more in 2024.
Trump’s Coy Hints About 2024
Since leaving office in January 2021, Donald Trump has regularly dropped hints that he intends to mount another presidential campaign in 2024. Some examples:
- In April 2021 he told GOP donors “I’m absolutely enthused. I look forward to doing an announcement at the right time.”
- In a July 2021 Fox News interview he said “I know what I’m going to do, but we’re not supposed to be talking about it yet.”
- During a November 2021 event he said “We’re going to take Congress first. Then we’re going to take back the White House.”
- In a March 2022 interview he said he’d be “very, very, very probably” running again.
- At a July 2022 rally he said “We’re going to be making an exciting announcement very, very soon.”
These overt hints signal Trump clearly wants to run again and build excitement, but is avoiding an official announcement for strategic reasons.
Reasons Why Trump May Run Again
There are several compelling reasons why Trump seems poised to launch a 2024 presidential bid:
- He remains the most influential figure in the Republican party and leads in early 2024 polls.
- Provides continuity after his historically active and disruptive presidency.
- Chance to enact unfinished agenda if he gets a second term.
- Opportunity to defeat political enemies like Biden, Harris, and Democrats.
- Would draw media attention and rake in donor cash with announcement.
- Feeds his ego and desire for power, relevance, and revenge.
- Avoids risk of other Republicans like DeSantis overshadowing him.
- Rally his base and distract from investigations by portraying them as politically motivated.
Unless his political standing suffers dramatically, the benefits appear to heavily favor Trump running again rather than bowing out.
Factors That Could Make Trump Pass on 2024
On the flip side, there are also compelling reasons Trump may ultimately decide to forgo another White House bid:
- Advanced age – Would be 78 on Election Day 2024, raising health issues.
- Loss in 2020 damaged his brand as a “winner” and could deter donors.
- Various criminal probes and lawsuits entangle and weaken him.
- Candidacy may fracture Republican party and benefit Democrats.
- Has chance to cement his legacy as GOP “kingmaker” by backing another candidate.
- May prefer wielding power from sidelines rather than responsibilities of office.
- Risks humiliating rejection by voters again.
- Being banned from Twitter robs him of his favorite platform.
Despite his hints and clear interest, these downsides may lead a self-preservationist like Trump to back out of running again when push comes to shove.
Timing the Announcement
Political pundits speculate that Trump is likely waiting until after the 2022 midterms to announce his 2024 candidacy. This timing would allow Trump to:
- Take credit if Republicans do well in 2022 and claim he paved the way.
- Not be blamed as much if Republicans have a poor showing in November.
- Build momentum off gains in Congress to launch campaign.
- Discourage presidential runs by Ron DeSantis and others with early announcement.
- Ramp up fundraising efforts long before primaries get started.
Trump may announce shortly after the 2022 midterms, or milk anticipation further by teasing the decision into early 2023. But he wants to freeze out challengers and deny them momentum.
Impact on the GOP
Trump jumping into the 2024 race would roil Republican politics nationwide:
- Other potential contenders must factor Trump in or be marginalized.
- Risk of primary battles splitting Republican base into opposing camps.
- Forced Republican lawmakers to pick sides and possibly provoke Trump.
- Base energized but independents possibly alienated hurting general election.
- Makes GOP firmly Party of Trump, limiting paths to expand tent.
- Funds and attention diverted from crucial 2022 Congressional midterms.
While most Republican politicians would align behind Trump’s bid if he runs, some fear the turmoil could damage the party’s electoral prospects.
Can Trump Lock Up the Nomination?
If he runs, most experts believe Donald Trump would enter as the prohibitive favorite for the Republican nomination:
- Consistently leads in polls of GOP primary voters by massive margins.
- Unrivaled name recognition, media attention, and grassroots following.
- Proven track record of energizing base and driving turnout after 2016 win.
- Combative personality suited for vicious attacks on Republican challengers.
- Has massive email list and social media reach to activate supporters.
- Will convince many GOP leaders and donors to fall in line.
Barring a major scandal or health issue, Trump seems nearly guaranteed to cruise to another nomination if he seeks it. But that also motivates Republican dissenters to try to derail his return bid.
Could Trump Be Defeated in a Primary?
Despite Trump’s strengths, there are ways his pursuits of the 2024 Republican nomination could be upended:
- Fading popularity gives opening for fresher conservative faces like DeSantis or Youngkin.
- Continued legal woes and scandals could damage Trump’s credibility over time.
- Divisive Trump candidacy may lead Republican elites to coalesce behind an alternative.
- Challenge from an anti-Trump Republican willing to confront him head-on.
- Strong performance by a newcomer like DeSantis makes Trump appear unelectable again.
- Trump’s advanced age becomes more of a liability.
While Trump would be the favorite, fatigue with his persona after years of chaos could open a path for new leadership. But dislodging Trump would be difficult without a perfect alignment of factors.
General Election Viability
If he secures the Republican nomination again, analysts see Trump as vulnerable in the 2024 general election for several reasons:
- Only president since WWII to lose re-election, indicating weakness.
- Base energized but majority of public disapproves of Trump.
- Big demographic disadvantages – lost decisively in 2020.
- Even weaker standing among critical independent voters post-2020 loss and controversies.
- Remains banned from Twitter and other major social media platforms.
- Major Democratic donors highly motivated to fund anti-Trump efforts.
- Unpredictable nature and legal probes cause unease among many voters.
While polls portray a hypothetical Trump-Biden rematch as close today, broader polling indicates Trump’s deep unpopularity with wide swaths of America leaves him an underdog again. But being the underdog did not stop candidate Trump in 2016.
Donald Trump clearly would like to become only the second president in history to regain the White House after losing re-election. While legal troubles and declining popularity are risks, his dominance over the Republican base and unparalleled media celebrity make it likely he runs again barring major changes. A 2024 campaign would engulf American politics with all the chaos and division Trump revels in stoking. Whether he can complete the vaunted comeback and recapture the presidency remains deeply uncertain. But until proven otherwise, assume that Donald Trump is running for president once more.
Agiesta, Jennifer. “Polls show broad support for Donald Trump in 2024 Republican nomination race.” CNN, April 22, 2022.
Blake, Aaron. “Why President Trump probably won’t run again in 2024.” Washington Post, June 1, 2022.
Concha, Joe. “Nine reasons Trump 2024 seems like a bad idea — but could happen anyway.” The Hill, May 15, 2022.
Forgey, Quint and Meridith McGraw. “Will He Or Won’t He? All Trump’s 2024 Teases So Far.” Politico, July 12, 2022.
Schouten, Fredreka. “Trump’s brazen fundraising plays accrue potential legal trouble.” CNN, August 9, 2022.
Wise, Alana. “Trump 2024? Maybe Not. Mixed signs amid his summer of legal woes.” NPR, August 14, 2022.
Hi y’all, I’m Caroline Webster, your proud Texan source for everything related to our 45th president, Donald Trump, and the GOP.
Along with my husband, Bill, I run Trump Scoop, born out of our ranch in the Lone Star State, offering insightful and unbiased commentary on conservative politics.
With a degree in Political Science and years immersed in local politics, my aim is to keep our readers informed and connected.
For me, it’s not just about delivering news—it’s about standing up for our values and the spirit of American patriotism.