Donald TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Energy & Environment-Biden returns to the borders of the National Monument before Trump official Overnight Defense & National Security-China asks US to keep troops out of Taiwan On The Money-Presented by NRHC-Demolition of sluggish September job report MORE sends the clearest signals yet that he is planning another presidential run in 2024 as he heads to Iowa for a convention this weekend.
Saturday’s event in the first-in-nation assembly line is the latest sign the former president is preparing for a third bid in the White House, as he also hands out midterm signatures, hires aides in places like Iowa and brags in media interviews about what he sees as a slide to victory in a primary in the GOP in 2024.
After it was reported this week that aides had to hold him back from officially announcing a bid, Republicans consider a Trump candidacy a near security.
“I think he’s already in, and he’s just waiting to make it official,” said a Republican who has spoken with Trump. “His focus right now is on making sure Republicans win in 2022, and I don’t think he will do anything that would distract from that.”
At least on the surface, Saturday’s meet in Des Moines will stick to the declared goal. Trump will be joined by several Republican officials facing re-election next year, including Gov. Kim Reynolds, late. Chuck GrassleyChuck Grassley Photos of the Week: Manchin, California Oil Spill and a Podium Dog Memo: New Trump revelations bolster critics as fans shrug and Reps. Ashley Hinson and Mariannette Miller-Meeks.
Yet the symbolism behind Trump’s visit to the first-in-nation assembly state cannot be ignored. Prospective presidential candidates often begin traveling to Iowa years before announcing their campaigns to meet with state and local GOP leaders and mingle with voters.
David Kochel, a veteran Republican strategist in Iowa, downplayed the significance of Trump’s visit to Hawkeye State, noting that the former president has held rallies in other states that do not play as large a role in the early nomination contest as Georgia and Ohio. .
But Kochel also said Trump has “given all indications that he is very seriously considering” another presidential campaign. If he ultimately decides to go ahead with a campaign, Kochel said, “Iowa looks like a pretty safe Trump area.”
“He has all the resources, he has 100 percent name identification, he still has the support of most of the base who make up the primary voters and decide these things, he has the hands on all the handles he needs to succeed in a primary, Said Kochel.
In fact, it seems that Trump is experiencing something of a resurgence in Iowa. A poll by the Des Moines Register / Mediacom Iowa published this week showed that 53 percent of Iowans have a positive view of Trump, while 45 percent have an unfavorable opinion – a far better performance than at any point in his presidency.
By comparison, only 37 percent of Iowans reported a positive view of Biden, while 61 percent said they had an unfavorable view of the president.
Trump has not been upset about a possible comeback bid. He has been teasing the idea both publicly and privately for several months and often said that his supporters will be “very happy” with his final decision. And after a year of occasional appearances and interviews, he is expected to increase his itinerary in the coming months.
The former president is also firing warning shots at potential GOP nominees for the 2024 summit. opponents when leading the state.
In a recent interview with Yahoo Finance, Trump dismissed his potential GOP rivals, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisDemocratic anxiety rises as Trump’s bid appears more likely the Florida Board of Education approves sanctions against eight school districts over coronavirus mandates We all pay for DeSantis’ defiance of the first amendment MOREand said that “most would fall out” if he participated in the 2024 race, and that even if they did not, he would easily defeat them.
“If I faced [DeSantis]”I would beat him like I wanted to beat everyone else,” Trump said, adding, “I think most people would drop out. I think he would drop out. ”
Still, some Republicans say it’s hard to tell whether the former president, who teased several presidential runs before pulling the trigger in 2016, is engaging in genuine political stance, or whether he’s just trying to stay in the spotlight.
Dens. Joni ErnstJoni Kay Ernst Photos of the week: Manchin, oil spill in California and a podium dog The Senate GOP seeks two-part panel to investigate Afghanistan withdrawal LIVE COVERAGE: Senators push military leaders on Afghanistan MORE (R-Iowa), who is scheduled to be out of the country this weekend and not attending Saturday’s meeting, told The Hill that the likelihood of Trump holding another presidential election appears to “change every few weeks.” Nevertheless, she said, the former president remains hugely popular with Iowa voters.
“I still think he’s going to have to make that decision,” Ernst said of a possible 2024 bid from Trump. “I can only speak for Iowa, but a lot of Iowans are really, really behind him. They’re looking at what President BidenJoe Biden McConnell promises GOP will not help raise debt ceiling in December after Schumer ‘tantrum’ Ilhan Omar to Biden: ‘Deliver on your promise to cancel student debt’ Overnight Health Care – Presented by EMAA – CDC sets panel meeting for remaining boosters, Pfizer Vaccine for children more do and they are completely outraged at what they see in terms of politics. So I think he has the opportunity there. ”
In fact, Biden’s declining political fortunes have only given rise to Trump’s interest in a 2024 bid. of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
The Washington Post reported this week that Trump had been so moved by the messy US exit from Afghanistan that he was close to announcing a campaign in 2024. His advisers eventually talked him out of it, warning that such a steps could hurt Republicans’ efforts to recapture the House and Senate in the 2022 midterm elections.
And while a statement may not be imminent, Trump’s allies are very little in doubt that he will jump in the end.
“I think if he were to make a decision today, I think we all know the answer would probably be yes,” said one Trump operator in the world. “And I think unless something out of the blue comes up to scare him off, I think it’s almost a guarantee that he’s running again. I think it’s the situation right now that unless something drastically changes, it’s not just him who teases it into ultimately not driving. ”
Dens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP seeks to remove filibuster pressure from Manchin, Sinema Senate approves short-term debt ceiling increase (RS.C.), one of Trump’s strongest allies in the Senate, said an early entry into the next presidential race would give Democrats more time to attack the former president, though it would also allow him to increase his fundraising effort. Nevertheless, he predicted that Trump would emerge as the “most viable candidate running.”
“I know he’s a little pig to join the race,” Graham told The Hill. “There is an upside and a downside. The faster he gets in, the more they can attack him, right? But also the more money he can raise. ”
Money is unlikely to be an issue for Trump as he weighs yet another presidential bid. He has a network of well-funded external groups behind him, and his management PAC, Save America, reported having more than $ 90 million in cash available heading into the second half of 2021.
Despite Trump’s large presence in GOP policy, some Republican donors keep their options open. One donor said they have not ruled out backing another Trump bid, but are also looking at other potential candidates, noting that the political landscape could change drastically between now and the 2024 nomination contest.
Trump’s popularity among the base is expected to be fully displayed in Iowa on Saturday, and a violent audience would undoubtedly be seen as another sign of the former president’s long-running sway with voters in the crucial assembly state.
A blowout victory in state assemblies in 2024 would do anything but cement the nomination, but with such high expectations, anything but a strong show is seen as fatal to a comeback bid.
“I’m not sure how much everyone who might stay in the race would compete with him in Iowa because I think it’s pretty clear he’s very popular with Iowa Republicans,” Kochel said. “But I would say that if he was challenged in Iowa and someone actually, you know, Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward Cruz McConnell swears that the GOP will not help raise the debt ceiling in December after the Schumer ‘tantrum’ Senate approves increase in short-term debt ceiling come along and actually win the Iowa assemblies, I think that would be the story of the primary. So I think expectations are rising extremely high in Iowa. ”
Alexander Bolton contributed.