In the aftermath of Tuesday’s midterm elections, potential contenders for the 2024 presidential race are expected to announce in the coming weeks and months.
Republicans underperformed in key Senate and House races and did not materialize an anticipated “red wave” during the Nov. 8 midterm elections. Several GOP candidates endorsed by former President Donald Trump did not perform well, including Republican Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz, losing to Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman.
Meanwhile, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential GOP presidential contender in 2024, won re-election in Florida by a landslide with nearly 60% of the electorate. The results have caused many within the party to question Trump’s electability and ability to lead the GOP.
Regardless, Trump is still expected to announce his third presidential bid later this month. On the eve of the midterm elections, Trump told a crowd of thousands at an Ohio rally for then-Senate candidate JD Vance that he would make a “big announcement” on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida.
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“Two years ago, we were a great nation, and we will be a great nation again. Not to detract from tomorrow’s very important, even critical, election … I’m going to be making a very big announcement on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach,” Trump said near the end of his speech.
Many Republicans urged the former president to wait until after the midterms to announce his candidacy. Since leaving office in January 2021, Trump has hinted at multiple rallies and interviews that he intends to run again for the White House. In a November 2021 exclusive interview with Fox News Digital, Trump said he would “probably” wait until after Nov. 8 to formally announce whether he would launch another White House bid.
Moreover, an expected Republican blowout would have boosted Trump’s presidential bid, but an underwhelming GOP performance is now leading party insiders and pundits to speculate that DeSantis may challenge Trump for the nomination.
DeSantis won Florida’s longtime Democratic stronghold of Miami-Dade County by more than 20 points — the first Republican to do so in two decades. Trump, however, has insisted that if DeSantis decided to run for president, “he could hurt himself very badly.”
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“I don’t know if he is running. I think if he runs, he could hurt himself very badly. I really believe he could hurt himself badly,” Trump said. “I think he would be making a mistake, I think the base would not like it — I don’t think it would be good for the party.”
“Any of that stuff is not good — you have other people that possibly will run, I guess,” he added. “I would tell you things about him that won’t be very flattering — I know more about him than anybody — other than, perhaps, his wife.”
The pool of possible Republican primary challengers to Trump includes former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
Recently, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott hinted at throwing his hat into the race.
“My grandfather voted for the first man of color to be elected as president of the United States. I wish he had lived long enough to see perhaps another man of color elected president of the United States,” Scott said during his victory speech. “But this time, let it be a Republican and not just a Democrat. So, just know: All things are possible in America.”
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On the Democratic side, the strong showing in states where Democrats were projected to underperform may help boost Biden’s chances of remaining the nominee. Biden has stated publicly that he will run for a second term, but a formal announcement has not been made.