We’ve already seen plenty of polls taken among voters asking if they would like to see Donald Trump take another bite at the presidential apple in 2024. The current consensus among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents shows a strong majority want him to “maintain a strong roll in politics” while a plurality wants him to run again. Among Democrats and liberals, Trump loses out narrowly to having a large comet slam into the Earth prior to the 2024 election. But there’s a different poll of a far smaller group of respondents that seems to take a different view. Reporters have been quietly surveying all of the Senate Republicans to get their take on the matter. Nearly all of them were only willing to speak off the record, but the vast majority apparently hope he keeps his hat out of the ring at least until after the midterms next year and a lot of them hope he doesn’t run at all. (The Hill)
Senate Republicans, with a few exceptions, are hoping that former President Trump does not announce his intention to run again for president.
These GOP senators definitely don’t want to see Trump announce a bid before the 2022 midterm elections, fearing that could sink their hopes of winning back the Senate.
More broadly, they’re generally reluctant to see him on the ballot in 2024 at all because of his track record with independent and swing voters.
It’s not hard to understand why the Senate GOP, particularly the senior members in leadership roles, would feel this way. They’re sensing a big opportunity in the midterms coming up and they would like to play it safe. Demoralized Democrats who are currently watching Joe Biden’s approval numbers cratering and his big-ticket agenda items floundering in the midst of party infighting probably aren’t feeling particularly motivated to get out and vote next November. Some are already experiencing buyer’s remorse. But as I’ve already opined here, there are two things that could fire up the liberal base in a big way despite these setbacks. One is the revival of the abortion debate and a perceived threat to Roe v. Wade.
The other would be the return of Donald J. Trump, who most of them see as the incarnation of evil itself. These voters may not feel inspired to go out and cast a ballot in favor of their current, feckless representatives and their agenda, but you can bet the ranch that they will be on fire to go and vote against Trump. If Trump officially declares that he’s launching another campaign for the presidency more than two years ahead of the next election and prior to the midterms, every Democrat up and down the ballot in 2022 will ignore their own opponents for the most part and simply campaign against the Bad Orange Man.
But does that really matter when you consider how entrenched Trump’s popularity seems to remain among the base? And it’s not as if anyone has any measure of control over the situation. Trump isn’t going to take the party’s fortunes into consideration next year any more than he did after he was on his way out of office and threw cold water over his supporters in Georgia ahead of the special Senate elections there. If Trump has decided he’s going to run then he’s going to run, and most of the rest of the potential GOP field is effectively frozen. They may not all be Trump fans, but every one of them knows better than to tick off his supporters.
While nothing is set in stone yet, consider the fact that he was just on the road in Iowa this weekend and the crowds were as big as ever
[Trump] arrived in the Hawkeye State days after scoring his best favorable ratings ever in the Des Moines Register poll, which is considered the gold standard in this neck of the woods.
Fifty-three percent of Iowans had a favorable view of the former president and 45% hold an unfavorable view, according to the Des Moines Register/Mediacom survey released Monday. And among Republicans only, he was at a sky high 91% favorability.
Trump touted the poll, saying “we’re at the highest we’ve ever been.”
Does that sound like somebody who plans on staying on the sidelines? Way back in 2016 I can still recall writing that I had no idea how much Donald Trump would enjoy being, president, but he clearly enjoyed running for president more than any candidate I’ve ever seen. And from what I can tell thus far, his appetite for that sort of headrush hasn’t diminished a bit.
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