Everything We Know About Donald Trump's 2024 Campaign

Hearing the name Donald Trump can prompt a serious reaction — whether you were a supporter or protestor, the twice-impeached president of the United States was in just about every headline. From his controversial campaign commencing in 2015 with the now-infamous escalator ride in Trump Tower to his characteristic political insults, to his albeit historic win as a candidate with no prior military or government experience, Trump took his constituents for a loop.

Trump's time in Washington, D.C., was alarmingly brought to an end by the January 6, 2021, Capitol riots which have since been the subject of a high-profile House committee inquiry. Encouraging protestors to take back the Congressional building and disrupt the 2020 election confirmation, Trump later watched from the Oval Office as swarms of his supporters violently assaulted the Capitol. The fallout of that infamous day not only resulted in Trump's ban on Twitter – which has since been revoked by Elon Musk – but sparked his second impeachment inquiry, the House inquiry, recommended charges to the Justice Department, and a harsh rebuking by members of his party.

But just as Trump left the West Wing, his reelection plan was back in action, maintaining his fundraising efforts and rallying supporters around his person and causes. He has since experienced an alarming rejection at the polls as part of the midterm elections in 2022, which has left the Republican party in disarray and voters confused about where to turn. Here's everything we know about Trump's 2024 campaign.

Trump made his campaign announcement from Mar-a-Lago

When Donald Trump lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden, he quickly left Washington, D.C., and retreated to his Mar-a-Lago, Florida, home. It feels as though he's been hiding out there, and the FBI's raid on the home and the classified documents it uncovered shrouded the estate in even more secrecy. Unsurprisingly, then, Trump announced his 2024 campaign in the halls of the country club, per NPR.

"I am announcing my candidacy for president of the United States," Trump revealed on November 15, 2022, making his third plea to voters in front of a wall of American flags. Capping off the announcement in pure Trump style, the twice-impeached leader said, "America's comeback starts right now. Your country is being destroyed before your eyes" before adding that a perceived era of "American carnage" would come to an end under a second term.

However, the lack of family-supporting Trump's intentions did strike some as a stark change from his first campaign announcement. As noted by USA Today, his daughter and former advisor Ivanka Trump was not present and has since made it clear that she will not be involved in her father's 2024 campaign and potential political future. "I do not plan to be involved in politics. While I will always love and support my father, going forward I will do so outside the political arena," she wrote on Instagram following his campaign kick-off.

Donald Trump did not formally concede the 2020 election to Joe Biden

Taking a moment from the past before jumping into Donald Trump's 2024 plans, going back to 2020's presidential election results is critical. Trump versus Joe Biden: It seemed like a circus from the start, yet despite the incumbent's confidence that voters would deliver the White House to him again, Trump lost the election to the former vice president. With that said, however, did Trump ever concede?

As historically seen played out, presidents and their successors have made a point to meet at the White House during the transition of power and attend the inaugural events united. While presidents have had their differences, these public displays of civility are essential, as they not only galvanize support but show a country-over-party perspective. Not taking a cue from his predecessor, however, was Trump, who — as noted by CNN – waited until January 7, 2021, to confess that he would not be serving a second term; a whole two months after Biden clinched win. Releasing a pre-recorded video, Trump stuck to his classic talking points and did not utter such plain words as "I lost reelection. Biden won, and we must support him." Instead, he sat for the video as his then-White House staff dropped like flies.

In the years that have followed, Trump has continued to peddle lies about the 2020 election, even though officials from his administration have confirmed and supported Biden's win.

Donald Trump hinted at a 2024 run just six months after leaving D.C.

Though it seemed as though acknowledging Joe Biden's win would have the power to kill him, Donald Trump wasted no time in making his future political aspirations known. After Biden took office in January 2021, former advisors of Trump's were hitting all the cable news networks, dropping hints that the 44th president would likely be making a comeback.

"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 at the time. "His interest intensifies when he sees Biden in trouble."

Highlighting Biden's then-approval rating — which was sitting in the low 40s — and the economic slowing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its long term impacts, Gergen confessed that a dip in support for the president would galvanize Trump and his motivations to run once more. Hinting at the legal woes that Trump was starting to face once out of office, Gergen simply stated, "I think it's going to take something hugely unexpected or a dramatic change in his health or a prison sentence to stop him." Of course, given Trump's lengthy legal troubles — and the amount of time until the 2024 election as of publication — anything can happen.

Congressional Republicans are divided over Donald Trump

To say that the Congressional Republican caucus is in free fall is a bit of an understatement. Ahead of the devastating 2022 midterm elections, Republican lawmakers quickly split given the violence of January 6, the legal ramifications of Trump's time in office, his rejection of country over politics, and so on. Though whispers in the halls of Congress would firmly put Republicans on either a pro or con Trump list, The New York Times noted in 2021 that the list of lawmakers not supporting Trump publicly was slim.

Most notably, Representative Liz Cheney rejected Trump, landing her a spot on the House committee investigating January 6. The daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney and the lone representative from Wyoming, the Republican lawmaker took a central role in the investigatory committee, and she didn't hold 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 of January 6, 2021.

As time would tell, rejecting Trump and publicly investigating him cost Cheney her seat in the House of Representatives. As noted by CNN after the midterm elections in 2022, the six Republicans in the House who voted for Trump's impeachment faced an uphill battle come reelection, and four of them lost.

The 2022 midterm losses did not bode well for Donald Trump's reelection

We cannot talk about Donald Trump's 2024 campaign without discussing the 2022 midterms. Anyone familiar with the political game will attest that the midterms are often seen as an early assessment of the incumbent's successes and influence going into a general election year. Joe Biden's presidency has been fraught, and external influences like the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine-Russia war have resulted in increased gas prices, a supply chain shortage ,and more. Many have been quick to point the finger at him and the Democrats. 

As such, the so-called "red wave" predicted to take over did not occur. Trump was, as some Republicans insisted, to blame. As noted by Reuters, losses in Republican-predicted strongholds — Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire — proved that ongoing insistence about the legitimacy of the 2020 election and Trump's inability to accept defeat spurred fringe candidates into key battleground races and may have hurt Republicans in the long run.

"Candidates matter, and I think we've lost two or three or four races we didn't have to lose this year," Blunt confessed. Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell admitted that Trump was at the center of the midterm losses, telling NBC News, "We lost support that we needed among independents and moderate Republicans, primarily related to the view they had of us as a party — largely made by the former president — that we were sort of nasty and tended toward chaos."

Trump's stance on abortion could be front and center amid his campaign

Pushing conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, facing several legal issues, and stances on the issues facing the United States are just some of the reasons why the 2022 midterms saw a repudiation of Donald Trump and his base. But another element of Trump's stance as a 2024 hopeful that could get in the way of more Republicans taking his side is abortion. After the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade — giving the deciding power back to the states to rule on abortion — the issue became even more galvanized than it already was. Poll after poll showed that most Americans wanted and still want abortion to be legal and accessible, and Trump's stance on the issue (which is more understanding than you might think) ostracized him even further away from conservative voters.

The midterm failing "wasn't my fault," Trump attested on his social media site Truth Social, as noted by NBC News. "It was the 'abortion issue,' poorly handled by many Republicans, especially those that firmly insisted on No Exceptions, even in the case of Rape, Incest, or Life of the Mother, that lost large numbers of Voters."

Trump's stance was quickly criticized by anti-abortion the Susan B. Anthony group, who stated shortly thereafter that Trump should "state clearly" that abortion is immoral if he wants to win come 2024.

What is Donald Trump's status among the American people?

From a cursory scroll on social media, it may seem as though Donald Trump lost his steam — but that depends on what algorithm you're tuned into, as MAGA country and the die-hard supporters of Trump are just as prevalent today as they were in 2020. Democrats and Joe Biden, meanwhile, don't have the same kind of fandom — there aren't photoshopped images of Biden's face on a bodybuilder's physique, Biden-branded Bibles aren't being sold, and flags ranging from the supportive to the obscene aren't exactly found on the White House merchandise website. But what are Trump's polling numbers outside his dedicated base?

A Quinnipiac University poll released in December 2022 found that when it comes to Republican voters, Trump enjoys a 70% approval rating, while 20% look negatively on him. If these numbers seem high, the university noted that this is "the lowest favorability rating" Trump has received since March 2016. When taking independent voters into account, only 25% of them had a positive outlook on Trump, and 62% disapproved of his public persona. Like their Republican counterparts, this is the lowest rate Trump has received from independents since May 2015.

About 70% of registered voters said they would not want to see Trump clinch the 2024 nomination, while 25% said they would. Nearly half of Republicans want to see the 44th president as the 2024 nominee, while 38% are over him.

Donald Trump's promise to supporters if he returns to the White House raised alarms

As the aftermath of January 6 evolved over the last months, legal ramifications followed those who raided the Capitol. As noted by Time, more than 840 rioters were arrested in the months that followed that day, and about 190 have been sentenced so far. There is an entire section of the United States Attorney's Office of the District of Columbia dedicated to Capitol breach cases, and it further links to the FBI's most wanted list for the U.S. Capitol Violence. Clearly, the government is taking the violence, the charges, and the sentencing of those involved incredibly seriously. Also taking the events of January 6 seriously is Donald Trump — but not in the way that you might think. Instead of rebuking supporters who threatened the lives of lawmakers and Capitol police, Trump promised during a campaign-style rally in Conroe, Texas, that if he were to win reelection, he would see to it that those charged for January 6 related crimes would be pardoned.

"Another thing we'll do, and so many people have been asking me about it, if I run and if I win, we will treat those people from Jan. 6 fairly," Trump said during the January 2022 rally, 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."

Ron DeSantis is one Republican who could give Trump a run for his money

Just a few years ago, it seemed as though the Republican field was packed with presidential hopefuls — yet it can now seem as though Donald Trump is the only option. Wait — is that Ron DeSantis knocking? The only Republican who appears to have a shot at beating Trump come 2024? Yes, it is. DeSantis is the now-incredibly popular governor of Florida, known for going after the "woke mob," enacting lax COVID-19 protocols, and positioning himself as the voice of Republican reason. As noted by The Washington Post in their ranking of 2024 hopefuls, DeSantis now outperforms Trump, coming in first to Trump's second — don't tell the former president, we all know how he feels about losing.

It's not just journalists and the academic community that see DeSantis as a 2024 contender. A poll from USA Today and Suffolk University showed that in a race against the 44th president and the governor of Florida, DeSantis kicked Trump where it hurt, outperforming him 56% to 33% among Republican-leaning voters. The poll further showed that just 33% of Republicans want to see Trump in the primary in the first place, a low blow to someone who has routinely shown a fragile ego when it comes to losing.

Another poll by The Wall Street Journal had DeSantis beating Trump 52% to 38%, clearly showing that the former president has his work cut out for him in 2024.

Donald Trump could play the bad health card to get out of maintaining his campaign

When Donald Trump announced his plans to run in 2024, his campaign kick-off was not like his widely-watched 2015 event. Instead of a golden escalator, a packed house, and a revived enthusiasm that rallied supporters, Trump's 2024 campaign event was a bit more subdued. The Hill noted that Trump's presidential announcement was "low energy" and kicked off nothing but a "campaign from hell" in its first month.

Hill opinion contributor Myra Adams also asserted that Trump could pull the "poor health card" to get out of the 2024 campaign, allowing him to capitalize on his age and save face. "Imagine his predictable social media message: 'I was winning the nomination and would have won the general election, but my doctor says I am at risk for (fill in the blank) and must end my campaign,'" Adams suggested, bringing up Trump's eyebrow-raising comments from an April 2022 interview with The Washington Post when he said, "You always have to talk about health. 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."

Of course, Trump's health and food habits were of immense interest while he was in office, and he even allegedly had a "Diet Coke button" in the Oval Office, per Today.

Mike Pence will not join Donald Trump as his running mate

When Donald Trump's controversial presidency ended, his relationship with former Vice President Mike Pence was at an all-time low. Presiding over Congress during the January 6 riots, Pence — who called for the confirmation of the 2020 election results to continue — faced a litany of threats at the hands of Trump's supporters. With such a divided former ticket, it's no wonder that Trump is considering other vice presidential options — plus, Pence is rumored to be exploring a 2024 campaign himself. So who's on Trump's list? It should be noted that most presidential candidates don't announce a running mate until after the primary. Still, Trump is no ordinary candidate — sticking to the rules isn't exactly his style.

Ahead of any qualifications for the job, political journalist Andrew Feinberg told Syracuse.com that the most important quality in a running mate — as far as he is concerned — is dedication. Not to the country, no, but to him.

"His one and only criteria will be whether the person he picks will exhibit complete and total loyalty to him," Feinberg estimated. With that in mind, the list of Trump-dedicated politicians is a bit short. One Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene comes to mind, the controversial House member who has waded into MAGA territory. Other possibilities are Representative Elise Stefanik and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley. Though, of course, time will tell.

Donald Trump's money, campaign contributions, and taxes remain in the headlines

If there's one element of Donald Trump's persona that has remained steady, it's his association with money. For years, Trump built brands, businesses, and deals on his billionaire status, and he seemingly took his money know-how to the political world and, by proximation, his political action committee. But as time has gone on, questions about exactly where donations to his campaign are going have arisen, and new information about his taxes and money while in office has left little to the imagination.

As detailed by Open Secrets, Trump's political action committee — Save America — spent $117,506,104 in 2022, unsurprisingly only giving money to Republican lawmakers and candidates. Donations, of course, are still being given daily, and ahead of the midterm elections, $20 million was transferred from Save America to a new super PAC, MAGA Inc., with the distinct goal of supporting Trump-endorsed candidates, CNN notes.

Moving on to his taxes, the House Ways and Means Committee released Trump's tax returns in late 2022, which revealed that the former president declared a negative income in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2020 and paid about $1,500 in income tax in both 2016 and 2017. And, if that didn't make you shake your head, the report from the committee included that Trump had foreign bank accounts in China, the United Kingdom, and Ireland while in office.

A handful of celebrities have already endorsed Trump's 2024 campaign

When Donald Trump first ran in the 2016 election, a number of celebrities endorsed him across the board. From Scott Baio to Roseanne Barr to — for a time — Kanye West, the list was more stacked than some had assumed. But ahead of 2024, Trump's celebrity list has dwindled to a select few, though they are still out and proud with their support.

One such celebrity supporter is Robert Davi, the star of "The Goonies," who took to Twitter to praise Trump's name. "Listening to Donald Trump made me feel the greatest days of America could be ahead of us," he wrote on the social media site. "Donald Trump has the balls, common sense, and know-how to lift America out of the destructive path it is currently facing. He communicates plainly to the American people with bold clarity."

Joining Davi's estimations is Randy Quaid, the famed actor and Dennis Quaid's brother, who also took to social media following Trump's 2024 campaign announcement, writing, "Make America Glorious Again! Trump 2024." Time will tell if more well-known celebrities come out of the woodwork and support Trump once more, but those very vocal a few years ago have yet to so blatantly rally in the former president's corner.

A Republican lawmaker commented about facing Donald Trump in 2024

When it comes to fellow Republicans facing Donald Trump, we've presented quite a compelling case that Ron DeSantis will be the one to beat. And while some may still want to see Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as the frontrunner, as opposed to DeSantis or Ted Cruz, former Congressman Adam Kinzinger, took the opportunity to comment on facing down the 44th president in the Republican primary. Kinzinger doesn't want to face Trump down to pedal his own issues but rather to call Trump out when the opportunities present themselves.

"I would love it. I really would," Kinzinger told HuffPost when asked if he would run in 2024, specifically if he would face Trump on the debate stage and on the campaign trail. "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."

Kinzinger has since called Trump and his son out for the "We the People" branded Bibles now available for purchase, asking "good" clergy members to rebuke its printing. "Oh the irony. The fact that some Christians don't see the problem here is more affirmation that it's not the GOP that has failed Christians, it's the church," Kinzinger tweeted on January 2, 2023. "Good Pastors and Priests rise up and call this out."

Joe Biden seems less than interested in Donald Trump's 2024 plans

Donald Trump has been, whether you like to admit it or not, a shadow over Joe Biden's time in office. Though Biden has been incredibly successful legislatively, Trump's continued temper tantrums and legal woes have kept him in the headlines. When asked back in March 2022 — when Trump's 2024 plans were simply rumor — Biden offered a quick quip about potentially facing the twice-impeached president again, leaving little to the imagination.

"In the next election I'd be very fortunate if I had that same man running against me," Biden said when asked about the then-possibility of a Trump 2024 campaign, as reported by CNBC. Biden made the comments while taking part in a news conference at the NATO headquarters in Belgium, as he had been meeting with world leaders to address the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, now a year old as of publication.

After Trump made the news official, Biden ... sort of ... responded. In Bali at the time for the G20 Summit, Biden was asked if he had a reaction to Trump's campaign. "Not really," he said, the Independent noted at the time.

Donald Trump is the subject of numerous investigations

If Donald Trump thought his 2023 was going to start with a clean slate, he should've thought again. Ahead of the 2024 campaign cycle, Trump was facing several legal woes.

As USA Today reported, the House committee investigating January 6 released its report in December 2022 after 18 months of uncovering the truth of that day, concluding that Trump incited the deadly attack. The committee went as far as recommending that the Justice Department lodge incendiary charges against him as well as three counts of criminal wrongdoing.

"President Trump lit the flame; he poured gasoline on the fire and sat by in the White House dining room for hours watching the fire burn," Representative Elaine Luria said of the report and its conclusions. At the time, Trump was simultaneously facing the following: a special counsel investigation into the classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago and Trump's attempt to subvert the 2020 election, ongoing investigations into January 6, the impending charges in a case centered in Atlanta, Georgia, a Manhattan-based investigation regarding hush money payments, a civil lawsuit going after members of the Trump family, and a defamation trial in the alleged rape of E. Jean Carroll.

Trump's indictment could strengthen his base in the Republican Party

In the first week of April 2023, a development in one of the pending investigations against Donald Trump led to an unprecedented situation in U.S. politics. After weeks of back and forth, uncertainty, and speculations, the former president was indicted, arrested, and arraigned in connection with hush money payments Trump made to adult film star Stormy Daniels. As the Republican camp is divided over their support for Trump's re-election campaign, political analysts say that this development could actually help his cause — at least among his party members and sympathizers.

According to Robert Cahaly, senior strategist and pollster at the Trafalgar Group, this is because of all the ongoing investigations against Trump, the hush money scandal is the weakest one. "Trump's best role has always been a conservative martyr. And this falls right in that ... Literally, I can see them selling millions of T-shirts with his mug shot as a badge of honor," he told Vox. Whit Ayres, ​​founder and president of North Star Opinion Research, a polling firm, also told Vox, "This would be a very easy case to frame as a partisan political indictment. Much easier to frame that way than, say, the Georgia voting case or the classified documents or January 6." Another potential benefit of this indictment is that it will force other Republicans to speak about it — keeping Trump's campaign in the spotlight.

Trump can still run for president, but he may be seen as a liability

Simon Rosenberg, a Democratic strategist who is among the few who accurately predicted the results of the 2022 midterms, clarified to Vox that while the indictment could help Donald Trump weed out the competition, it will not affect his overall image as a presidential candidate. Given his reluctance to accept defeat, ongoing investigations, and overall personality it is highly likely that in the average American voter's eyes, he is a huge liability. 

"Trump coming in as the nominee, having been indicted potentially two or three times — there's no scenario where that's helpful to him in a national election," Rosenberg said. "It perhaps will help him crowd out DeSantis and other challengers in the primary. But of course, that would be a disaster for the Republican Party." Matt Dole, an Ohio-based Republican strategist, agreed that the drama "[feeds] into the fatigue about Donald Trump."

While eyebrows are being raised regarding the legality of Trump's campaign now that he has been indicted, Derek Muller, a professor at the University of Iowa School of Law, confirmed to Vox that Trump can still legally run for president. Whether in jail or not, Trump meets the requirements for the presidency — he is a natural-born citizen who is above 35 years of age and has not been the president of the United States for more than two terms.