After only a few brief months of speculation Donald Trump appears to have made up his mind about running again in 2024. Trump is reportedly telling friends and allies that he intends to run for president again. After a few initial months of relative silence on the subject Trump is increasingly returning to the public eye and courting questions about the subject, even telling Sean Hannity “yes” when asked if he had made up his mind.
Trump makes his decision
While there is no confirmation from Trump himself (and there is unlikely to be any for some time) reports of his decision are easy to believe.
The Republican primary is likely to be extremely one sided should the president enter the race. Polls are finding that the only prospective candidate with a significant hold on the Republican base is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who comes in a very distant second place.
DeSantis would be an obvious vice presidential choice for Trump and both men appear to be receptive to the idea of running together in 2024.
As the Republican seen as the most likely successor to lead the Trump wing of the party DeSantis currently appears to have a very easy route to the nomination should Trump himself decide to stay out of the race.
According to a Rolling Stone report, which does not name sources, Trump is telling people in private that he has indeed decided to make an attempt at reclaiming the White House.
The decision appears to be all but confirmed; the former president is unlikely to make it official so prematurely but if he did not intend to run he would not have had any reason to admit that he has made up his mind.
An uphill battle
The specter of a Trump 2024 campaign raises a number of important questions for both Republicans and Democrats in Washington D.C.
A number of Republicans have publicly turned against the former president both before and after he left office in January. There is unlikely to be any conciliation between the GOP factions; Trump is already campaigning against many of the Republicans who sought to impeach him.
For Democrats the news will be both good and bad. The media and the party base will be intensely energized by the threat of a Trump return but so will rank and file Republicans.
Perhaps the most important question raised by the news of another run is just how far Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans are willing to go to ensure that he does not regain the White House.
Rhetoric in the four years between 2016 and 2020 indicated that many on the left would do whatever was necessary to ensure that there could not be a repeat of 2016.
This may or may not have had something to do with what happened in 2020 but the same spirit is alive and well in Washington. The 2024 primary would likely be a landslide victory for Trump. The general election might be a very different matter.