Assuming the Hail Mary court case in Texas goes down in flames (as it almost certainly will), we’re quickly reaching the point where all but the most die-hard fans of President Trump will have to concede that there won’t be a second Trump term beginning in January. But does that mean that Donald Trump will never again settle into the big chair in the Oval Office? There is no constitutional barrier to a one-term president running again for another term at a later date and the President has already teased that possibility in his Twitter feed. Morning Consult put the question of such a prospect to a cross-section of voters this week and it turns out that a lot of people believe Donald Trump will once again attempt to win the Republican nomination four years from now. And at least among Republicans and independents, very solid majorities fall into that camp. (Politico)
A large majority of Republicans and independents have faith President Donald Trump will follow through on his musings about running for president again in 2024, according to a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll released Wednesday.
Among Republicans, 76 percent believed a 2024 run to be likely, along with 60 percent of independents. Democrats were less certain, with only 47 percent believing a run to be likely. Trump has flirted with running again in four years as his unfounded claims of a stolen victory this year increasingly fall apart in court. Still, a majority of Republicans in Congress refuse to recognize President-elect Joe Biden as the electoral victor and Trump continues to enjoy wide support within his party.
So more than three-quarters of Republicans and well over half of independents think that Trump will make another run in 2024. Democrats are more evenly split with 47% believing he will. Keep in mind that these numbers don’t represent those who would actually favor the move or vote for him. These are just the people who believe he’s going to try.
Could he pull it off? Grover Cleveland did, but he was the only one. He’s also the guy who perpetually messes people up in political trivia contests because while Donald Trump is the 45th president, only 44 people have ever held the office. As we all know, however, if any given thing can happen once it can happen twice.
While we’ve batted this idea around before, it still seems to me that Donald Trump’s age could be the deciding factor. Assuming he’s out of office for four years, he’ll be 78 when the next election rolls around. Granted, it’s obviously not impossible for a person of that age to take the White House. (Joe Biden is about to prove that.) Trump has always struck me as being physically robust, no matter how many joke the mainstream media likes to make about his weight. He kept up a grueling campaign schedule over the past couple of years and he’s shown that he can still get up before dawn and work late into the night. But will that still be true four years from now?
The other side to this question is whether or not Republican and conservative voters will really want to give him the nomination for a third time. Trump’s approval rating among members of his own party remains through the roof, even after the debacle that 2020 has been. His fundraising ability is legendary. Trump was elected on a promise to be an agent of disruption in the swamp of Washington, D.C. and he’s certainly delivered on that promise. But after four years of disruption, will the voters look back on Trump’s first term with fond memories or an overall feeling of exhaustion?
If a pollster were to call me today and ask if I approve of the job Trump has done during his time in office I would answer in the affirmative without hesitation. His record of judicial appointments alone should be enough for the majority of conservatives to say the same. But even I have to admit that there eventually comes a point where you can grow exhausted at the prospect of waking up each morning, turning on your phone and wondering, okay… what’s he tweeted this time?
This is all entirely premature, of course. Only Donald Trump can make this decision. But he’ll need to make that call sooner than we might think. It takes time to establish (or reestablish in this case) a full, national campaign team. And other primary hopefuls are already making early moves in that direction.