Trump is eyeing another run in 2024, keeping the GOP’s focus where he wants it
“I’ll probably have to do it again,” he said at a rally in Texas two weeks ago. In Iowa on Thursday to support the re-election of Sen. Chuck Grassley, he sparked more coverage by saying he would “very, very, very likely do it again.” In Pennsylvania on Saturday, he said, “I really want to do it.” And on Sunday in Miami, he told voters to watch for another day, saying, “Tomorrow night we have a big, big rally in Ohio.”
In recent weeks, Mr. Trump has discussed with advisers the timing of announcing that he will run for president for the week of Nov. 14 — most likely Nov. 16. He talked about it at a press conference, but some advisers said the rally was more comfortable.
One of the reasons why Mr. Trump’s continued formal campaign is that it could help shield him from the many federal and state investigations he faces, allowing him to attack them as politically motivated.
So far, he has backed off after his advisers argued that the political costs would outweigh the benefits.
Still, there’s no doubt that Mr. Trump wants credit for a strong Republican night. And in many cases he has the right to ask for it. JD Vance, a candidate for the Ohio Senate, was trailing in the Republican primary until Mr. Trump endorsed him, and the former president helped Mr. Vance win over Trump voters who were slow to embrace him.
Elsewhere, Mr. Trump’s support was a boon in the primaries but less evident than a help in the general election, as was the case with Mehmet Oz, the Republican Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, who prioritized wooing suburban voters who have decreased. view of the former president.
What Mr. Trump clearly fears is the idea that Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, a Republican favored to win a second term, could emerge from his campaign with a big head — and the admiration of conservative donors and voters who like his talent for aggressively campaigning. battles with liberals on cultural and social issues, a hallmark of the Trump era, but appreciates that he is doing so without the dramas that have swirled around Mr. Trump, distracting from his political agenda.
And so another reason for Mr. Trump to declare his own candidacy would be to blunt any momentum that Mr. DeSantis could otherwise gain, from a landslide re-election victory, with the supporters the two men share.
Michael C. Bender contributed reporting.
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