(Trends Wide) — There are still 1,155 days until the 2024 elections, yes, I counted them, but according to a high-ranking adviser to Donald Trump, the former president is almost certain to run again.
“I would say 99-100%,” Jason Miller told Cheddar earlier this month when asked about the chances of Trump running again. “I think he will definitely run in 2024.”
Which sounds, well, like a definite thing, right?
Then there’s this from Ohio Rep Jim Jordan during a stop in Iowa – Eye Emoji! — In the past week. “I think he’s going to run,” Jordan said of Trump. “I want him to run. He has shown that he can take the pressure.”
Now, Trump himself has not been so conclusive, but he has made it very clear that he is inclined to participate in the 2024 contest. As Politico wrote in May:
“Trump is confiding to his allies that he intends to run again in 2024 on one condition: that he still be in good health, according to two sources close to the former president. That means Trump is going to loom over the Republican Party, despite his attempts to rebrand during his exile and his blocking of a Trump-focused investigation into the January insurrection. “
Earlier that month, Trump was hardly shy about his future plans in an interview with conservative expert Candace Owens. “As you know, it is very early,” Trump told Owens. “But I think people are going to be very, very happy when I make a certain announcement.”
And late last week, he submitted the results of a poll, through his Save America Political Action Committee, that put him ahead of possible GOP candidates in 2024 by a wide margin.
It’s worth noting here that it is in Trump’s interest (and Miller and Jordan, too) to insist that not only is the former president thinking about running again, but he’s doing something about it as well.
Trump, and his associates, want to retain as much political power as possible. The simplest way to do this is to point out that Trump is on the list of candidates for 2024.
By positioning him in this way, Trump remains the center of power in the party, forcing each and every candidate on the 2022 ballot to make a pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago to kiss the ring. It also has the effect of freezing the ground for 2024, complicating each and every run for candidates who are not named “Donald Trump.”
So when former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo or Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton go to Iowa, they have to make the obligatory nod to the possibility of Trump running again because, well, if they didn’t, they would risk being seen by the rank and file as insufficiently loyal to the former president.
That said, there’s really no reason that neither Miller nor Jordan should be that definitive in describing the chances of Trump running again in 2024 to achieve those goals.
After all, if Miller said that Trump is 50% certain of his candidacy in 2024, the ground would remain frozen until Trump decides what he wants to do. The same is true for candidates in 2022 seeking Trump’s approval of their own nominations. The same happens with his leadership within the party.
The willingness to say that Trump will “definitely” run or “run” suggests, to me at least, that both Miller and Jordan were informed by Trump himself that he is planning to run for president again in 2024. (In the two interviews I’ve cited above, Miller and Jordan made it clear that they speak to Trump regularly and that they had spoken with him in recent days.)
With Trump being, the fact that he is probably telling his advisers that he plans to run again for election should at least be viewed with some skepticism. It is about a man who changes his mind in the blink of an eye, and often without any real reason or explanation.
But, to this day at least, Trump seems determined to run again. Which practically ensures that he will be the party’s candidate in 2024.