Everything We Know About A Potential 2024 Donald Trump Campaign

Just hearing the name Donald Trump elicits a strong reaction — whether you love him or hate him, the 45th president of the United States seemed to be in pretty much every headline every single day of his administration. From his controversial 2016 campaign and new-on-the-block style of political insults to his historic win as a candidate with no prior military or government experience, Trump certainly shook things up.

Trump's time in Washington, D.C. was bookended by the January 6 Capitol riots. After galvanizing a crowd of supporters on the historic Mall, Trump made his way back to the White House and watched on an Oval Office television as swarms of protestors attacked our nation's governmental heart, as reported by The New York Times. The fallout of that tragic day resulted in Trump being banned from Twitter, his second impeachment, and a harsh rebuking by members of his own party.

But pretty much as soon as Trump left the White House, he started rallying supporters and dropping hints that he'd be returning to D.C. But will he really run for president in 2024?

Conceding the loss of the 2020 election

Before looking to the future and the possibility of Donald Trump hitting the 2024 campaign trail, we need to travel bit back in time a bit and answer a vital question: Did Trump ever concede the 2020 election to Joe Biden? Historically, presidents and their successors — even if from different parties — have made a point to meet at the White House and appear together on Inauguration Day. These public displays of harmony often result in public support, which is vital to a new administration. But after Trump lost the 2020 election to President Joe Biden, the 45th president did not take kindly to defeat.

As noted by CNN, Trump waited until January 7, 2021 to finally admit that he would not be serving a second term, a whole two months after Biden clinched the Oval. In a pre-recorded video, Trump did not wish his successor a note of congratulations, as is traditional, but rather stuck to talking points.

So why did Trump finally concede — albeit reluctantly — to Biden? "I think that video was done only because almost all his senior staff was about to resign, and impeachment is imminent," a then-White House adviser told CNN.

Signs of a 2024 run

While Donald Trump did reluctantly admit that Joe Biden was president, it didn't take him long to jump back into political action. By October 2021, former advisors were making the rounds on cable news, alluding to another Trump presidency in the future and noting that the former Oval Office occupant was most likely gunning for another term.

"The signs are that [Trump] is increasingly interested," David Gergen, a former White House communications director who contributed to a variety of administrations, told CNN. "His interest intensifies when he sees Biden in trouble." Gergen continued, divulging that with Biden's approval ratings in the low 40th percentile at the time and the United States' economy dragging as a result of the ongoing pandemic, Trump was watching closely. A dip in support for Biden would present an opportunity to galvanize support, and the chaos of his former administration would not be enough to stop Trump from rallying voters. "I think it's going to take something hugely unexpected or a dramatic change in his health or a prison sentence to stop him," Gergen said.

Does Trump still have support among Congressional Republicans?

To win over the voters is one thing, but does Donald Trump still have support from members of his own party? It's difficult to say, as many of them have remained silent on the subject, and those who have publicly turned their backs on him are largely former officeholders who are not trying to run and win their own campaigns, as characterized by The New York Times. Still, some Congressional Republicans have made their disdain for Trump known, notably Representative Liz Cheney. The daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney and the lone representative from Wyoming, the Republican lawmaker has taken a prominent role on the January 6 investigatory committee, and she certainly has not held back her criticism of the former president.

"It's absolutely clear that what President Trump was doing, what a number of people around him were doing, that they knew it was unlawful. They did it anyway," Representative Cheney told CNN's Jake Tapper in reference to January 6, 2021. But Representative Cheney is a bit of an island — 147 of her Congressional colleagues voted to overturn the 2020 election results, desperately trying to keep Trump in office.

What the general public thinks

While Joe Biden voters, largely, are here to say that they voted for the candidate who they could get behind most things on, Trump has bona fide fans who will stop at nothing to see him in office. But aside from his dedicated MAGA base, where does Trump fall in public popularity? Let's turn to the polls.

As per one poll conducted by the PEW Research Center, about two-thirds of Republican voters indicated that they'd support Trump and about 44% of that group asserted that they'd like to see Trump on the 2024 campaign trail. Additionally, the poll found that about one in every five Republican-leaning voters would not mind seeing Trump remain on the political scene, but they'd like him to throw his support behind a different Republican candidate.

Now let's get a perspective outside of Republican-leaning voters. A poll shared by Newsweek, conducted by the law school at Marquette University, surveyed 1,000 adults across the country and concluded that over 70% would not want to see another Trump campaign or administration.

The former president made a startling promise

Donald Trump has made a promise to his supporters if he takes back the White House — and it has nothing to do with the ongoing pandemic or inflation or even the war in Ukraine. Rather, Trump made it clear that he'd focus on his base, utilizing the pardon power granted to presidents to legally help those who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

During a campaign-style rally in Conroe, Texas, Trump told the enthusiastic crowd that rioters facing charges have been treated poorly by the justice system, and that if he were voted back into office he would intervene. "If I run and if I win, we will treat those people from Jan. 6 fairly," Trump said, as noted by Reuters. "We will treat them fairly. And if it requires pardons we will give them pardons. Because they are being treated so unfairly."

Trump has continued to weigh in on global issues in a limited capacity

January 6, 2021 did not go seamlessly for Donald Trump and one of the consequences he faced came at the expense of his favorite pastime: Twitter. The social media platform that pratically became synonymous with the 45th president's tirades ultimately concluded that Trump's time as a user had come to an end, permanently suspending his account "due to the risk of further incitement of violence." As such, Trump's ability to weigh in on any given issue is far more limited, but that hasn't stopped him from giving his unfiltered thoughts on global issues.

As noted by The Washington Post, Trump is all but galvanizing his intent to run in 2024 with campaign-like events. During one lengthy speech to a room full of supporters, he spoke about Russian President Vladimir Putin and the crisis in Ukraine. While saying that the war is "an atrocity," Trump also took aim at President Joe Biden and NATO countries, concluding that Putin was "playing Biden like a drum."

Trump dropped a hint during a 2022 conference

While Donald Trump has given veiled hints at his intentions for 2024, he made a very clear indication as to where he stood on the decision during the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida. "We did it twice, and we'll do it again," Trump told the crowd of supporters in February 2022, as noted by The Washington Post. "We're going to be doing it again a third time," he concluded.

The former president's words appear to allude to his belief that he won the 2020 election. However, as noted by Vox, the 2020 election was the most secure election in the United States' history, and officials from Trump's own White House confirmed its legitimacy. Nevertheless, a poll conducted by Axios-Momentive found that 26% of respondents do not accept that President Joe Biden has legitimately won the 2020 election.

Trump's health could potentially prevent him running

A couple of things could stop Donald Trump from running in 2024 — most notably, his age and health. As of this writing, Trump is 75 years old. That makes him younger than Joe Biden; nevertheless, he is still an older candidate when it comes to presidential politics. Furthermore, he has alluded that his health could be an issue, with The Hill asserting that he could pull a "face-saving doctor's order" as an excuse.

"You always have to talk about health," Trump said of his own status (via The Hill). "You look like you're in good health, but tomorrow, you get a letter from a doctor saying come see me again. That's not good when they use the word again." However, Trump went on to say that he can't imagine that anyone else would want to run against him in the first place.

Trump's health often came under scrutiny when he was in office, with many citing his love of fast food and Diet Coke as troubling (via Eat This, Not That).

It remains unclear what Trump is planning on doing with ongoing campaign donations

The cornerstone of any successful political campaign, sadly, is money. Without the funds, a candidate simply cannot get their name out there, no matter how beneficial or impactful their ideas and perspectives may be. Donald Trump has made his name practically synonymous with money and like many politicians, campaign fundraising became a part of his brand. However, since he has left the White House, Trump has continued to raise money, but for what exactly is a little convoluted, as he is not officially running for president in 2024, as of this writing.

As noted by The Guardian, Trump has over $108 million in the Save America political fund as of March 2022. Yes, that's a huge number, and it's more than 12 times the amount that Democrats have in the Pac for the Future, and is more than the DNC and RNC's war chests combined. Trump's ferocious money-raising machine, powered in equal measure by grassroots giving and large individual and corporate donations.

But what is Trump doing with all that money? While it can only really be spent on other candidates, it simply isn't, and Trump is essentially sitting on millions while supporters keep donating (via Reuters).

He can run for president despite facing numerous investigations

One way in which Donald Trump completely stands alone from the rest of the presidential crowd comes in the form of impeachments. Sure, other presidents have been impeached before — Bill Clinton, for example – but Trump is the only president in United States history to be impeached twice while in office. It doesn't come as a total shock, then, to learn that the former president has been the subject of multiple investigations since leaving office, namely in the states of Georgia and New York. So, if found guilty of a crime, can Trump still run in 2024? The short answer is yes.

Take the Georgia investigation, as an example. As noted by PolitiFact, Trump is the subject of a Fulton County probe regarding the 2020 election, as he petitioned state election officials tho "find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have" in hopes of overturning election results.

However, even if Trump is found guilty in this investigation, law professor and former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade confirmed that "a criminal conviction does not prevent a person from running for president." It's a constitutional gray area that has yet to be defined.

Donald Trump isn't GOP donors' first pick for 2024

While Donald Trump might be sitting on a well-funded war chest, a campaign is pretty much nothing without the big donors. The former reality host might be known in big-whig circles, but it's not the 45th president that big GOP donors are looking at in 2024, to the surprise of many. Instead, they are turning their attention toward Senator Joe Manchin, a name that should sound oh so familiar to those of you paying attention to politics.

Manchin has become known for his stance as a conservative Democrat and has made his thoughts on the party very clear. As a result, he's caught the eye of Wall Street high roller Nelson Peltz, who went ahead and arranged a $5,000-per-person fundraiser in Florida. CNBC reported that "at least 50 executives" joined the pair for the lunch "aimed at raising funds for the West Virginia lawmaker's reelection campaign." Will we see more 2024 action in Manchin's future? Quite possibly, much to Trump's chagrin, undoubtedly.

A former Trump official's 2024 predictions

As Senator Joe Manchin is a Democrat, he would not run against Trump in a primary. So who from his own party could Trump potentially face on the battlefield we call the campaign trail? As it turns out, one former White House official doesn't think the pool is very large.

During an interview with Politico (via CNN) Mick Mulvaney, former chief of staff to Trump, was asked who he thinks has a real shot at upsetting the 45th president in a primary challenge. The list was short. "[Ron] DeSantis could give him a run for his money," Mulvaney said, referring to the current governor of Florida who has garnered national attention for his cavalier approach to COVID-19 protocols. "Tim Scott can give him a run for his money," the former chief of staff continued saying. Scott is currently representing the state of South Carolina, and is the only Black senator in the Republican caucus. "Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson could give him a run for his money. It's a short list," Mulvaney said. CNN pointed out that Johnson's political affiliation is unknown, but could we see the voice of Maui on the trail? Only time will tell.

A Republican lawmaker broke his silence about facing the former president on the campaign trail

During a sit down with HuffPost, Congressman Adam Kinzinger, who serves in the House of Representatives for Illinois-16 as of this writing, said that he would relish the chance to go head-to-head with "The Celebrity Apprentice" host and former president, saying that 2024 could be a big opportunity. Kinzinger did not vote for Trump in 2016, but, interestingly, did vote for him in 2020 — something he says he now regrets.

"I would love it. I really would," Kinzinger said when asked if he would run against Trump."Even if he crushed me, like in a primary, to be able to stand up and call out the garbage is just a necessary thing, regardless of who it is. ... I think it'd be fun." The representative later said that he will make a decision "when we get there," and he certainly won't "rule it out" come campaign season.

What does Joe Biden think of potentially facing Trump once again?

While no one can say for sure if Donald Trump will hit the campaign trail in 2024, you can't help but ponder the possibility of another Trump versus Joe Biden matchup. And what does the 46th president think about that? In a quick quip, he made his thoughts on facing the president very clear.

"In the next election I'd be very fortunate if I had that same man running against me," Biden said when questioned about the possibility, as reported by CNBC. The president made the comment during a news conference at the NATO headquarters in Belgium, as he had been meeting with world leaders to address the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. While it's unusual for a sitting president to talk about domestic issues while abroad, Biden's comment makes it clear that he's ready for a fight once again.