Polling continues to show that there is one clear frontrunner for the 2024 GOP nomination and that it isn’t close. The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll shows that former President Donald Trump can have the nomination easily if he wants it. 54 percent of polled Republicans reported that they would support Trump if he ran again. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was a distant second with 11 percent, with former Vice President Mike Pence in third place.
GOP nomination available for Trump
Trump has not yet confirmed that he plans to run again and has clearly been enjoying the state of uncertainty which surrounds the question.
Still, it seems that the former president is leaning towards running again and he has previously claimed that he has already made his decision.
Trump has previously said that he will likely announce his decision after the 2022 midterm election, adding that “a lot of people will be very happy.”
Should Joe Biden decide to run again, 2024 would be a rematch for the 2020 election, though Biden may be considered too old and unpopular to go for another four years.
Age and controversy may be driving support for GOP candidate other than Trump as well; while roughly half of the polled individuals said that they would support him, the other half chose other responses.
Still, unless the field of candidates can be narrowed down drastically none of the alternatives has any chance against another Trump campaign.
If he wants it
DeSantis is clearly the most likely alternative to Trump, though if Trump does run DeSantis may choose to defer and make himself available for vice presidential consideration.
Mike Pence, in third place, has struggled to find a political home since the end of the Trump presidency. Pence has managed to alienate both Trump supporters and anti-Trump Republicans at various times.
Nikki Haley faces the same problem. Her current fourth place position in the poll is likely the best she can hope for, having alternated between support for and opposition to Trump repeatedly.
Trump, DeSantis, and Pence are the only noteworthy contenders according to polling so far. DeSantis and Pence only have a serious shot at the presidency if Trump decides against running.
In that case, DeSantis is positioned to win an easy victory; having aligned himself with the Trump base without entirely alienating the rest of the GOP, the governor could be a unifying force under the right circumstances.
Either way, the race for the 2024 nomination will look nothing like the 2016 race, with its massive field of viable candidates. This time around, Trump is free to choose between becoming the GOP nominee or its kingmaker.