(Trends Wide) — When I meet people and they find out I’m a political reporter, they inevitably immediately ask some version of this question: “Are you going to run again? And can you win?”
The person in question—in case you’ve spent the last six years on another planet—is Donald Trump.
And the answers to those questions are “probably yes” and “definitely.” I mean, yes, Trump will likely run for president again in 2024. And yes, he would have a very real chance of winning.
Let’s take the second half of that question first. A new poll from The Wall Street Journal shows that Trump and President Joe Biden each have 45% (support) among registered voters in a hypothetical 2024 matchup, results that are virtually unchanged since the last time the WSJ did. the question in November.
The simple fact is that if the 2020 presidential race were to be run again today, it would effectively be a pure fifty-fifty.
Which, if you think about it, makes sense. While Biden won more than 300 electoral votes, his margins in a number of swing states — including Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — were decidedly slim. And if those states had opted for Trump, it is almost certain that he would have been re-elected.
Now, that’s putting the cart before the horse. So back to the first question: Will Trump run?
If you believe him, then yes.
“We have already won two presidential elections,” Trump recently told a group of Republican donors in New Orleans. (Fact check: he won the 2016 election and lost the 2020 election.) “And now I feel compelled to seriously think about doing it again. We’re looking at it very, very hard. We have to do it. We have to do it.”
At the Conservative Political Action Conference in Florida late last month, Trump struck a similar tone. “In November 2024, they will find out like never before,” he said. “We did it twice and we’ll do it again, we’ll do it again a third time.”
It may be hard to believe given everything Trump has said and done since leaving office — repeatedly promoting a false conspiracy about the 2020 election, praising Russian President Vladimir Putin as a genius — that he is a) a favorite overwhelming for the Republican ticket and b) that he has a chance, in the worst case, of winning the 2024 presidential election.
But it is true.
The point: Trump is the least predictable politician. Which means you can never bet on anything with him, including another run for president. But the man looks and sounds like he’s going to run again. And, yes, he can win.