Speculation around Trump’s plans has dampened GOP field
Former President Donald Trump discussed the potential of a 2024 bid for a second term in the White House, telling a right-wing network one factor that would deter him for running
Speaking with Real America’s Voice on Friday evening, Mr Trump suggested that “a bad call from a doctor or something” could halt his plans to retake the presidency.
Mr Trump has not said specifically that he will run in 2024, but has indicated a clear interest in returning to the White House. The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman has reported that the former president has even flirted with conspiracies claiming that he could be “reinstated” as president as soon before the end of the year.
The air of will-he-or-won’t-he speculation that has descended upon the potential 2024 GOP primary field as a result has dampened the excitement for GOP voters around the potential runs of any other top Republican figures, such as Mike Pompeo, Mr Trump’s former secretary of state, and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, among others.
Complicating the issue is Mr Trump’s very public false claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election which he has wrongly said was responsible for his defeat to President Joe Biden. Some experts have worried that such comments will turn off hardcore supporters of the president from participating in the electoral system due to baseless fears that their votes will not count.
While only a few months into Mr Biden’s presidency, the GOP has yet to produce many prominent opposition figures and has seen its message garbled, with some members indicating a willingness to work with the White House on policy issues and others vowing total defiance to the Biden agenda.
Polls have consistently indicated that Mr Trump is the top choice of GOP primary voters for a 2024 candidate. A survey released last week by the Harvard Center for American Political Studies and Harris Poll found that the former president is supported by 58 per cent of Republican voters as their 2024 candidate of choice, while Vice President Mike Pence held a distant second place at 13 per cent.
Some Republicans who broke publicly with the former president in the days after the 6 January attack on the US Capitol have even come around to the former president’s side once more, including South Carolina Sen Lindsey Graham, who said on Saturday to a crowd of Republicans in Michigan: “I hope President Trump runs again.”