Donald Trump is reportedly considering announcing his 2024 bid tonight during a rally in Ohio with Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance, just hours ahead of Election Day.
It was reported last week that Trump was considering announcing his 2024 bid sometime this month, most likely in the week after the election. That timing is key in signaling just how quickly the national conversation will switch to 2024 post-midterms. Republican New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu summed up reports of Trump’s plan to announce before the new Congress is even sworn in: It’s a “terrible idea.”
Today reports surfaced that Trump is actually planning to move up his announcement to tonight. And Republicans are now reportedly even more in sync with the “terrible idea” assessment.
After the former president reportedly told people close to him that he’s mulling a Monday night announcement, party leadership quickly moved to shut down the possibility with a series of phone calls to team Trump, the Washington Post reported. Some of his advisers also reportedly began telling each other that someone on the team needed to talk Trump out of it.
The fear is that a pre-Election Day announcement would only further energize Democratic voters to head to the polls out of anger about Trump’s inevitable return to politics, according to the Post. This could have an impact on not just control of the House but also key Senate races where margins are narrow.
But ever since polling began indicating the heightened potential for a Republican takeover of not just the House, but possibly both chambers of Congress, Trump has reportedly “been determined” to get some credit for the GOP’s victories this midterms cycle, in the Post’s words. Also, Trump is petty:
… he has grown frustrated watching the large crowds and energy for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whom he views as a threat for the 2024 nomination. He has also watched as some would-be rivals have grown increasingly aggressive about running in 2024, and wants to force people to support him, advisers say.
It’s unclear what Trump will end up doing tonight. As the Post and Semafor have noted, this could all just be another false alarm, as Trump tends to like running various theories by different advisers at different times to gauge their reactions. But this bit from the Post’s report offers some method for the madness:
Part of Trump’s urgency comes from wanting to get ahead of a potential indictment, the logic being that a declared candidacy makes a prosecution look more political. He is under investigation in two federal probes: one into the efforts to block certification of the 2020 electoral college results and another into the mishandling of classified documents brought to Mar-a-Lago. The Justice Department’s customary freeze on overt steps that could be seen as influencing an election expires when the polls close Tuesday.
The Best Of TPM Today
Here’s what you should read this evening:
Yesterday’s Most Read Story
What They Don’t Talk About About Polls — Josh Marshall
What We Are Reading
Dems, GOP make urgent final pitches as election season wraps — Will Weissert and Marc Levy