Trump has reason to be optimistic about a race in 2024, including his continued widespread support among Republicans and President Joe Biden’s recent struggles and declining approval ratings.
However, the former president is still a candidate with a lot of baggage that could outweigh his advantages three years from now. Although at the moment it looks like he could go through the primary process, the general election could prove his downfall.
Here are five reasons Trump may be pessimistic about another campaign.
1. The same old Trump
At this point, former President Trump is a well-known quantity among voters. He has been a leading figure in national life since at least 2016 and although he still makes the headlines, many Americans may have become accustomed to his behavior.
David A. Bateman, associate professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University, said News week even Republican primary voters might want something new.
“In 2024, he will not be a novelty like in 2016, nor an incumbent like in 2020. He will be a loser of the past, a president twice impeached,” said Bateman. “It’s not an absurd argument to make to a mainstream GOP audience that they maybe need someone who can actually win more votes than the alternative. “
Mark Shanahan, Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Reading and co-editor of The Trump presidency: from the election campaign to the world stage, Recount News week Trump’s status had changed since his first run for the White House.
“Trump ’24 is likely to be bereft of new ideas,” Shanahan said. “In 2016, he was the underdog. After four years in the White House, this claim is watered down. In 2020, he attacked Biden for being old and slow. In 2024, a visibly aging Trump will be 78 years old.
“In both elections, Trump did not come up with much new policy other than to reverse the actions of his predecessor, largely through a catchy slogan. Recent elections in other Western democracies have shown growing frustration with populism: If politics gets back on the voters’ radar, Trump is likely to be overwhelmed. “
2. The popular vote
Trump has now lost the national popular vote twice – first in 2016 to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and then to President Biden in 2020. His Electoral College victory in 2016 was due to very narrow wins in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Biden won all tri-states in November.
While it’s possible to win the 2024 election while losing the popular vote, if Trump can’t win the most votes, it will likely make his return to the White House more difficult.
“He lost the popular vote twice and he lost more in 2020 than in 2016,” said David Bateman. “Democrats will no longer be caught off guard in the Midwest and at least plan to consolidate their gains in the Southwest and Southeast. “
3. Mixed results at mid-term
Republicans hope to take over the House of Representatives and Senate in the 2022 midterm elections and it looks like they are on the right track to do so. It may seem intuitive that this would help Trump, but two years of politically divided government could potentially play Biden’s game.
“While Democrats are expected to hurt in the mid-term of 2022, that alone will mean two years of a Democratic president proposing popular policies and looking like a competent adult against an opposition party with majorities in Congress that is likely to be even more extreme and out of touch than the Tea Party was, ”said David Bateman News week.
“So Biden – probably – will be in a better electoral position in 2024 than in 2022,” he said.
But if Democrats manage to win the midterm election, it could give Biden a boost until 2024.
“Biden could complete his infrastructure and economic recovery in time to keep Congress halfway,” said Mark Shanahan. “In 24, as always, voters will look to the economy and its impact on their wallets to dictate their voting preference.
“If Biden’s policies spur economic growth, the independent and centrist Democrats Trump needs to win may well stay with the incumbent – be it this party or this leader. “
4. A sore loser?
Trump has repeatedly made unfounded claims that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him and pressured Republicans to investigate or audit the election – many GOP members agree reviews are needed.
There is no evidence that massive election fraud cost Trump the election, and his continued comments to the contrary could prove to be a handicap for Republicans, especially since he recently suggested that his supporters should not vote in 2022 or 2024 if election fraud is not “resolved”. . »
“His own inability to accept that he has lost is almost certainly shared by many party members, but some surely go alone and recognize that he has exceptional weaknesses as a national candidate,” said David Bateman.
“They’re hoping they don’t need to coordinate against him, but I think they’re taking the possibility of doing it seriously. “
Paul Quirk is a political scientist at the University of British Columbia. He said News week Trump could try to overturn the election results if he loses.
“Trump does not base his decisions on refined estimates of probabilities. He knows the result he wants and hopes to get it, ”Quirk said.
“Trump realizes that he can be successful in three different ways. He can win the election legitimately, as he did – aside from Russian aid – in 2016. He can get enough Republicans in enough states, or in Congress, to help him reverse the results of the vote. if that goes against him. His ongoing attack on the electoral system is making serious progress, ”he said.
It remains to be seen whether the Republican Party will view Trump’s possible attempts to overturn the 2024 election as a reason to prevent him from getting the nomination – if they can.
5. Trump’s legal problems
The former president faces a series of legal issues. A criminal investigation is underway in Fulton County, Georgia into possible election interference, criminal and civil investigations in New York City regarding the Trump Organization, and a fraud dispute brought by Trump’s niece Mary Trump, among others. .
Earlier this week, a New York judge ordered Trump to sit for deposition in a case involving an alleged assault during a demonstration at Trump Tower in 2015. A number of legal difficulties could potentially derail another presidential candidacy.
“The law could catch up with Trump before a campaign gains momentum,” Mark Shanahan said.
“From Georgia to New York to Washington DC, the individual Trump and his broader business organization could face 12 to 29 civil and criminal lawsuits that have slowly escalated since leaving. the White House.
“Certainly, some of the most politically motivated prosecutors will push their cases forward if there is any sign that Trump is about to break the cover and declare his candidacy. At best, any legal proceedings will be a major distraction from a race for the White House, and may well scare away the money, ”he said.
Paul Quirk said News week: “If nothing else, [Trump] can use his candidacy to undermine the various lawsuits he may face. If his plan A is to gain 271 votes in the Electoral College, his plan B may be to gain at least one jury vote in any criminal trial. “