Former President Donald Trump has not yet announced another White House run, but more and more signs suggest he's testing the waters ahead of an official 2024 campaign announcement.
Trump's post-White House super PAC, Make America Great Again, Again, recently commissioned a head-to-head poll pitting the 45th president against his successor, President Joe Biden. The poll, conducted between Nov. 11-16, showed Trump besting Biden in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, all states that were critical to Biden's 2020 victory.
"Poll after poll clearly demonstrates that former President Donald Trump is still the 800-pound gorilla in the GOP and would be its 2024 nominee should he run," Tony Fabrizio, who conducted the poll on behalf of MAGAA, told Politico of the results. "This new data clearly shows that today the voters in these five key states would be happy to return Trump to the White House and send Biden packing."
Furthermore, Trump will expand his campaign war chest, currently worth an estimated $100 million, on Dec. 2, when a super PAC aligned with the former president hosts his largest post-White House fundraiser to date at Mar-a-Lago, Trump's south Florida club. Mar-a-Lago has raked in cash for Trump since he left the White House, and while the exact entry cost of the Dec. 2 event remains unknown, seats at some Mar-a-Lago club fundraisers are going for as much as $50,000.
Former Trump administration and campaign officials have previously told the Washington Examiner that, shortly after leaving the White House, Trump was legitimately split about running again in 2024. However, the Biden administration has spent the past several months dealing with a series of compounding crises, including the botched Afghan troop withdrawal, record-high illegal border crossings, disagreement among Democrats over Biden's spending agenda, and steadily rising inflation, that have emboldened Trump to challenge Biden again in 2024.
"There's nothing President Trump loves more than winning, and there's nothing he hates more than losing," one such official said in a statement. "2020 was a major blow to his confidence, but a couple months in South Florida, combined with the absolute disaster that is the Biden presidency, are making it clearer by the day that the 'Trump 2024' announcement is more a question of when than if."
Some GOP officials, however, caution that should Biden not run for reelection, Trump's decision would become significantly more complicated.
"It's obvious that Trump is gearing up for a potential rematch with Biden, but what would he have to gain by facing off against a Pete Buttigieg or a Kamala Harris or even Bernie Sanders?" one Republican campaign veteran posed to the Washington Examiner. "Beating Hillary Clinton was the ultimate anti-establishment victory. His life would be much easier and frankly would have more guaranteed political impact, if he dedicated his resources to financing down-ballot candidates if Biden hangs it up ahead of 2024."
It's worth noting that White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed to reporters on Monday that Biden is telling allies he plans to run for reelection in 2024, and though he, like Trump, has not yet formally launched a campaign, a number of his recent official White House trips have been to the same states Trump appears to be targeting.
Since entering office, Biden has made repeated stops in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, and over the past month, he specifically touted both his $1.2 trillion physical infrastructure and $1.75 trillion social spending bill in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Detroit, Michigan. Both trips were part of Biden's infrastructure "victory lap." White House officials hope that, on said tour, the president will be able to hammer home the exact benefits his dual spending packages will provide to localized areas, which politically could help Democrats maintain congressional majorities in the midterm elections and in the 2024 general.
"President Obama made a major mistake in 2010 by not vocally taking credit for stopping the Great Recession bailout, and we paid the price in the midterms," one senior Democratic official previously told the Washington Examiner of Biden's messaging campaign. "We can't afford for that to happen again, especially with important issues like voting rights, police reform, and gun safety still at risk if Republicans retake congressional majorities. We have to make it clear that we're the party with voters' best interests in mind, not the interests of corporate donors."
Original Location: Another day, another telltale sign Trump is gearing up for 2024
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