Donald Trump has made a third bid for the White House, kickstarting the 2024 presidential election cycle just a week after the midterm elections, which saw his fellow Republicans underperform in races up and down.
Trump submitted papers supporting his candidacy to the Federal Election Commission Tuesday night, minutes before he was expected to address supporters at Mar-a-Lago, his resort in Palm Beach, Fla.
The former president is the first Republican to file formal papers confirming that he will run for president in two years. He is also the first US president in more than a century to lose his re-election bid only to try again.
Trump’s entry into the race comes despite several of his handpicked candidates losing in last week’s midterm elections and a growing chorus of voices from within the Republican Party urging him to step aside.
For more than a year, Trump made no secret of his desire to run again in 2024, repeating his unsubstantiated claims that the 2020 election was “fixed” and “stolen” from him. But Trump delayed the official launch of a campaign until Tuesday, partly at the urging of advisers and Republicans who didn’t want him to overshadow the midterm elections.
After the midterms, Trump was urged to delay his announcement after many of his blockbuster endorsements — including Pennsylvania Senate nominee Mehmet Oz and Arizona governor hopeful Kari Lake — fell short in their races.
Others privately and publicly appealed to Trump to step off the political stage and allow a new generation of Republicans to campaign for the party’s nomination — most notably Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, who last week won the 19-point landslide victory re-election won.
A YouGov surveyConducted after last week’s election and released Sunday, 42 percent of Americans who identified as Republican or leaned toward the Republican Party said they would prefer to see DeSantis as their party’s nominee in 2024 , compared to 35 percent who said they prefer Trump.
The Club for Growth, the low-tax conservative group that once supported Trump but has recently broken with him, released a memo Monday citing polls of likely Republican voters in Iowa and New Hampshire showing that DeSantis in both early states, leading the field are critical to winning the party’s nomination.
Among voters in Iowa, DeSantis led Trump by 48 to 37 percent, according to the memo, while in New Hampshire the Florida governor led the former president by 52 to 37 percent.
DeSantis has yet to say if he will seek the presidency, but broke into a smile when the crowd at his victory party last week seemed to encourage him to run, shouting, “Two more years!”
In public statements and posts on his social media platform Truth Social, Trump has shown little sign of backing down, scolding DeSantis, the Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell and Rupert Murdoch, their newspapers, notably the New York Post, put their weight behind has attacked possible DeSantis candidacy.
Skeptics have questioned whether Trump would change course and cancel his announcement or stall before launching a formal campaign, as he has done several times at rallies in recent months. But Jason Miller, an adviser to Trump, appeared on the podcast of former president Steve Bannon’s former chief political strategist on Friday and insisted he would go ahead.
“President Trump is going to announce Tuesday that he is running for president and it’s going to be a very professional, very buttoned-up announcement,” Miller said.
He added the former president told him: “Of course I’m running. I’m going to do that and I want to make sure people know I’m hooked and we need to get the country back on track.”
It remains unclear how many Republicans would challenge Trump for his party’s presidential nomination. Alongside DeSantis, Mike Pence, his vice president, has hinted at a run, as has Larry Hogan, the outgoing centrist governor of Maryland. Glenn Youngkin, the former Carlyle executive who was elected governor of Virginia last year, is also reportedly considering an offer.
Across the aisle, Joe Biden has yet to officially say he will seek re-election in 2024. But after the Democrats’ better-than-expected midterm election results, he sent the strongest signal yet that he will seek a second term, saying “our intention is to run again.”
Tuesday’s announcement comes as Trump faces several legal challenges, including the Jan. 6, 2021 congressional committee investigation into his role in the attack on the U.S. Capitol and efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
On Monday, the US Supreme Court cleared the way for the committee to obtain phone recordings from Kelli Ward, the leader of the Republican Party in Arizona, one of several states where Trump sought to have election results annulled.
Additional reporting by Caitlin Gilbert in New York
https://www.ft.com/content/32832f0e-57e2-4d7b-8bb3-1e3e8218c109 Donald Trump officially launches the 2024 US presidential bid