Uncertainty about the announcement date has increased in recent weeks. “Well, in my own mind, I’ve already made that decision, so nothing matters anymore. In my own mind, I’ve already made that decision. Or would I say that my big decision will be if I go before or after,” Trump said in reference to the elections at the end of this year in an interview with the “New York” magazine.
Trump advisers have said that the former president’s candidacy could be announced in September of this year or even earlier, revealed the newspaper “The Washington Post”, which states, citing anonymous sources, that the former head of state is already discussing with his advisers about who should run the campaign and has asked to have everything ready in case he announces his candidacy soon. He has also started meeting with major donors for his nomination.
The Mexican analyst and expert in international politics Brenda Estefan points out that what is a reality is Donald Trump’s decision to run as a candidate for the election.
“What is in the field of speculation is when he will do it. There were several press reports that assured that he was going to do it on July 4, but it was not like that. Now ‘The Washington Post’ speaks that it could be in September, although some sources indicate that it could be earlier. I think the date has not been decided, that can still change,” Brenda tells GLM.
Trump has seen his popularity decline among Republican voters, although he remains the group’s favorite candidate in a primary, according to public polls.
“The Washington Post” points out that the tycoon continues to dominate the first polls for the 2024 Republican primaries. However, potential candidates such as the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, have received good signs in Republican events and informal polls.
The outlet indicates that a growing group of candidates, including its former vice president, Mike Pence, and the governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, have been making advanced plans for a campaign. Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin also left open the possibility of running.
All this has led some members of the Republican Party to fear that Trump’s decision to participate in the presidential race will affect the last months of the campaigns before the mid-term elections to renew the seats of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The republican restlessness
The concern among Republicans is logical because, as has happened in other elections, when a political figure of weight is uncovered at the same time as legislative elections, the election may revolve more around that character than about the candidates in particular.
“That worries not only some Republicans, but also some Trump campaign donors who are hesitant about the timing issue,” Estefan points out.
This is so above all because in the November elections the 435 seats of the House of Representatives and a third of those of the Senate are renewed, which makes it an election of great political importance and in which everything that happens around has some impact.
“President Joe Biden himself is taking great care of his decisions and comments, he does everything with an electoral vision,” says Stefan.
Speaking about how the announcement of Trump’s candidacy can affect Republicans, Estefan points out that the issue is how extreme Donald Trump’s vision is considered by the electorate and by Republicans.
“This commission that investigates what happened on January 6, 2021 in the Capitol has produced very crude evidence regarding the actions of Donald Trump that day. There are truly unlikely testimonies and despite this many Republicans continue to support Donald Trump. It didn’t happen like Watergate, when the Republicans turned their backs on Nixon. It is difficult to know to what extent Republicans will continue to support Donald Trump”, she tells this newspaper.
For his part, Eduardo Gamarra, professor of Political Science in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Florida International University, adds that Trump continues to be the person with the best chance of winning the nomination and that the Republican Party continues to be the party of Donald Trump.
“However, the actions of the former president have already had some impact, what he says, the followers he has -especially the most radical ones- and obviously the investigations of the January 6 commission. All this has begun to generate within the Republican Party an important current of opinion that thinks that Trump would not be the best candidate, because competition within the party is one thing and competition with the Democratic Party is another,” he tells this newspaper.
He adds that if one looks at the latest polls there is a difference of just 3 points between Trump and Biden, who has a very low rate of favorability. “Neither Trump nor Biden are good candidates and they are almost the same in voting intention,” says the expert, highlighting the uncertainty of the electoral panorama.
“Trump only defends his interests”
An unavoidable question is how much does Trump care about not hurting his party’s interests? Estefan considers that the tycoon clearly does not see with good eyes the emergence of other figures within the Republican Party who can compete with him.
“His self-centeredness makes him annoyed that characters like Ron De Santis are growing up. He is undoubtedly the biggest adversary today, the most serious, within the Republican Party for Trump. Trump has strongly criticized this and has said that it was because he endorsed him that he was able to become governor of Florida. It is even said that Trump could announce his candidacy in that state to send a message to De Santis,” recalls the expert.
Beyond that, Trump continues to work with the Republican electorate, talking about issues that those voters care about. In recent months he has taken up the issue of the death penalty for drug traffickers, he has pushed everything that has to do with carrying weapons, an agenda that is typical of the Republican Party.
“The very annulment of Roe vs. Wade on abortion in the Supreme Court, which in some way is an inheritance of the Trump administration, does favor his image within certain conservative wings of the Republican Party and groups ideologically related to these more conservative views,” Estefan points out.
“Trump is taking into account the interests of Trump, he never takes into account the interests of the party or the country, only the interests of Donald Trump,” adds Gamarra, and in that sense, he considers that Trump needs to launch his candidacy before Congress files charges against him. “He wants to anticipate the facts to say that if they charge him with anything, it is with a political background,” he points.
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