Former US President Donald Trump has decided to re-launch the race for the White House. The only thing that remains to be defined is whether he does so before or after the legislative or mid-term elections on November 8, in which the entire House of Representatives and a third of the Senate are renewed.
This was stated by Trump to the magazine ‘New York’. “I’ve already made the decision, so there’s nothing else to consider,” Olivia Nuzzi tells the interviewer. “I would say that the big decision is whether I do it sooner or later. Do you understand what that means? Mid-term elections,” says Trump, true to his style of telling things to always keep the suspense until the last second.
Trump’s reentry into active politics is not a surprise. In recent months, the former president has multiplied his public events, has raised hundreds of millions of dollars in donations, and has tried, with varying success, to convert Republican legislative candidates to his supporters. Last week it was rumored that Trump would announce his candidacy immediately, although that did not happen.
If he does it before the November elections, he will hit his own party, the Republicans. With Trump campaigning, the Republican candidates on November 8 will have to declare whether or not they support the conspiracy theory of fraud in the 2020 elections. That is an issue that creates a huge division between public opinion and that, although it mobilizes voters Republicans, scares away the undecided, who are worried about things like the unstoppable rise in inflation or the debate about the ‘woke’ ideology in schools. Republican leaders want to talk no more about 2020, and less about the assault on Capitol Hill by Trump supporters. But, if the former president enters the campaign, that will be inevitable. And, almost with total certainty, he will drive away part of the center vote that this party needs to regain control of the Legislative.
But Trump also knows that by moving early, he hits his biggest rival for the White House within the Republican Party: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Despite the fact that the two have practically the same ideology, their rivalry is total and absolute, and DeSantis’s popularity among the Republican bases, which are the ones that will decide the party’s Primaries, is growing. If Trump is the first to act, he will have seized the initiative, and it will force DeSantis to have to justify why he is running against a man who to the party base is a figure without equal.
The president, Joe Biden, insists that he will run in 2024, and has declared that he would like a new fight against Donald Trump in those elections. The truth is that a campaign between Trump and Biden would be somewhat surreal, given that these are the two presidents with the highest popular rejection record in US history. Trump would be an easier candidate to beat than DeSantos, since he arouses enormous rejection among Democrats and part of the independents, which would help consolidate the vote for Biden.
On the contrary, DeSantis, although ideologically similar to Trump, is unknown to public opinion and, in addition, has the factor of being a new face, something that in the US always works in favor of the candidates. Another thing is that Biden is the Democratic candidate, which remains to be seen. California and Illinois Governors Gavin Newsom and J.B. Pritzker, and Transportation and Commerce Secretaries Pete Buttigieg and Gina Raimondo have been floated as possible Democratic candidates.
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