The rising likelihood of former President Donald Trump mounting a bid for the White House in 2024 paired with President Biden’s falling poll numbers are giving Democrats anxiety, according to a report.
Stoking more speculation is Trump’s campaign-style rally Saturday at the state fairgrounds in Iowa, the key early voting state where a recent poll found that voters view him more favorably now than they did when he was president.
The former president hasn’t said whether he will run for another term in 2024, but Jason Miller, a longtime aide, said he believes the chances are “between 99 and 100 percent.”
“He has not said the magical words to me, but if you talk to him for a few minutes, it’s pretty clear that he’s running,” Miller told Cheddar News in an interview last month.
Coupled with Biden’s tanking job approval ratings, which have fallen into the 30s following the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan and his sputtering legislative agenda, Democrats are anxious.
“There’s not a strategist or insider that I’m hanging out with who would like to see Donald Trump running again,” Rachel Bitecofer, a Democratic pollster, told The Hill. “Nobody should think he would be a weak nominee.”
She told the publication that Democrats still haven’t gotten over his shocking victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016, and the 74 million votes Trump won in 2020 and his enormous influence among Republicans don’t bode well for Democrats.
“He almost re-won the White House in 2020 even after four years of scandal after scandal, and then the pandemic and the mismanagement of that,” she said. “That never affected him. And he almost won and his party picked up seats in the House.”
Another strategist said Democrats should never “underestimate” Trump’s ability to fire up his base.
“Democrats would be foolish to think he would be easy to take down,” Mike Morey, a former aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), told The Hill.
In an interview late last month, Trump hinted at his plans when asked if he could think of any reason not to run.
“Well, I guess a bad call from a doctor or something, right?” Trump replied. “I will say, that happens with people.”
“So things happen, through God, they happen,” Trump, 75, added. “But you know, I feel so good, and I hate what’s happening to our country.”
At the same time, Biden, 78, hasn’t announced that he will run in 2024, creating a septuagenarian faceoff, and some worry whether another Democratic candidate can stand up to Trump.
“The scariest thing about the next election is that we’ve seen what [Trump] can do and I’m not sure we have a candidate who can be competitive,” a Democratic donor told The Hill. “I thought Biden was the only one who could take him out in 2020. And if he doesn’t run, a lot of people wonder if Kamala [Harris] can be effective. So who takes on Trump if not Biden? That’s the issue.”
Biden’s recent missteps haven’t helped him.
“He’s looked weak, he’s looked defensive,” the fundraiser said. “It’s right where Trump wants him.”
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