At a campaign event for Ohio Republicans, Donald Trump said he would make a “big announcement” on Nov. 15. On Nov. 4, Axios reported that Trump was eyeing Nov. 14, as the launch for a 2024 presidential bid. Trump has long hinted at declaring his candidacy at recent campaign events, so another presidential run would not be a surprise. At this point, the bigger surprise would be if he announced that he was not running.
Typically, candidates wait until the spring of the year before the presidential election to formally declare their presidential run. Part of the reason candidates wait to make a formal declaration is that doing so places more restrictions on how they can spend campaign cash.
Trump may be moving up the timeline due to his various legal problems. On Nov. 3, the New York Times reported that the Justice Department was considering whether a special counsel would be needed to oversee federal investigations against Trump given that he would be the political opponent of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s boss Joe Biden.
On Nov. 7, TheHill.com reported that Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz believes that the Justice Department will announce an indictment of Trump at around the same time it announces charges against Biden’s son Hunter to create the appearance that it is acting in an evenhanded way.
Some believe an early Trump Presidential announcement could also be interpreted as a warning shot at the Justice Department that any indictment of him would be viewed as politically motivated. This could make it more difficult for the Justice Department to persuade a jury trial to convict Trump.
Failing to win a conviction after bringing charges against a former president and political opponent would be a bad look for Garland and could hurt Biden politically. It is also likely that Trump would seek to delay the legal proceedings until after the 2024 presidential election.
Some believe Garland is acting to bolster Biden’s political standing among Democrats to remain unified behind him in pursuing a second term based on his argument that he is the Democratic candidate best equipped to defeat Trump in a 2024 rematch. Some believe that charges against Trump could galvanize Republican support behind him and could discourage other potential Republicans from challenging him for the 2024 presidential nomination.
The problem with Trump’s strategy is that Republicans underperformed on Election Day, specifically many of his endorsed candidates. Rather than taking credit for big wins, Trump now runs the risk of taking the blame for big losses.
An October 31st Morning Consult poll found that Trump was the preferred candidate of 49% of potential Republican presidential primary voters. Ron DeSantis was second with 24%. No other candidate received double-digit support. A big problem for Trump is a CNN exit poll among Florida voters found that 45% would prefer DeSantis to run for president compared with 33% for Trump.
In the end, Republican voters will likely get behind their 2024 presidential nominee because most are voting against Democrats rather than for their party’s nominee given the binary choice. This appears lost on Trump who seems to have mistaken his 2016 victory over Hillary Clinton as an endorsement of him rather than a rejection of her.
Most elections are about the future, and Republicans might have broader appeal to independent voters with DeSantis who can offer a different vision rather than relitigating the past.
Steve Pavlick is a Partner & Head of Policy at Renaissance Macro and a former Treasury official.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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