Will Donald Trump ever become President again?

By

Three years on from his loss in the 2020 US Presidential election, the name Donald Trump retains an outspoken and feverish support from within certain circles of the Republican party. However, Trump’s divisiveness remains inarguable, with his detractors portraying the real estate mogul as an immoral criminal, and his supporters contending that such depictions are a mark of a wider witch-hunt into an enigmatic and virtuous leader.

This latest attempt, his supporters contend, came following the release of Trump’s tax returns by Congress late last year. Many commentators believed that the evidence revealed would make any further presidential challenge by the most recent Republican leader an impossible ordeal. Despite his returns revealing that Trump paid more tax in several other nations, including the United Kingdom and Ireland, than he did within the US, very few repercussions appeared to face politics’ foremost ‘Teflon’ man. This perhaps represents one of the larger misconceptions held by those confused by Mr Trump’s supporters, who had actively supported his position on tax as a display of the former president’s intelligence, rather than any evidence of unlawfulness. Perhaps in examining this scenario, the most recent polls for the potential Republican candidacy for the 2024 Presidential election can be understood to a greater degree.   

A Morning Consult survey has revealed that Donald Trump has jumped ahead of rival candidate Florida governor Ron DeSantis, overturning the huge twenty-three-point deficit he previously suffered in a YouGov poll in December. Trump had been steadily eating away at DeSantis’ lead throughout the last month of 2022, with the Florida Governor losing fifteen points of his lead within December itself. However, the latest poll of the new year has spelled an increasing swathe of support from voters seeking to place the former president back upon his pedestal as the leader of the Free World.

Previously, Trump’s support for Republican candidates during the most recent midterm elections had proved anathema for the GOP’s success, something even more surprising considering the US midterm elections usually prove to be a check to the incumbent president, rather than reinforcing their position in Congress. This newest poll seems, therefore, to spell a change in Trump’s fortunes, however is this really the case? 

It should be noted that these polls are predictive, and increasingly volatile in recent years. Trump himself in the run-up to the 2016 election was completely outside the bounds of any prominent poll declaring his prospective victory, and ironically would be hoping for precisely the opposite degree of accuracy for his next political push. Similarly, across international politics, polls and their agencies have come under increasing fire for their wide misses, most notably over the UK’s EU Referendum of 2016. These trends do not necessarily mean to dismiss Trump’s lead out of hand, but instead to treat it with caution, rather than calling the race here.

Trump himself in the run-up to the 2016 election was completely outside the bounds of any prominent poll

Secondly, these polls inherently test the opinions of Republican voters, meaning that while Trump could win the Republican nomination, it by no means guarantees his victory in the 2024 presidential election. Furthermore, the historical precedent would seem to negate Trump’s chances even if he managed to retain his candidacy. In fact, only one man has ever managed to win non-consecutive US presidencies, being Grover Cleveland who was both the 22nd and 24th President of the United States. A further five presidents have attempted to run again following their loss in their re-election campaign, but none managed to even gain nominations from the two main parties. Furthermore, the last man to even attempt this feat was Herbert Hoover in 1940, demonstrating the rarity of such an event within the realms of modern politics. 

The race for the Republican nomination would seem to have exploded in the new year, however it remains to be seen as to whether Trump can retain his lead and make what would presumably be his final play for the presidency, as he would be 77 by the time of the 2024 Presidential election. The former president therefore will no doubt make every attempt to regain his seat of political power, but such an eventuality cannot be considered a guarantee, even now.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.