Donald Trump intends to run for president again, but allies expect him to face a bevy of Republican challengers -- and advisers are hoping he doesn't throw his MAGA hat in the ring.
The former president has been quizzing advisers and visitors at Mar-a-Lago about his potential GOP challengers for 2024, and advisers have repeatedly pressed him not to announce his campaign before November's midterm election, which Republican strategists fear would rally Democratic voters and boost President Joe Biden's approval rating, reported the Washington Post.
“I think there is a very real and growing sense — albeit in hushed tones, private conversations, and rarely publicly but more publicly now than ever before — of people saying maybe not that he’s a paper tiger, but that his power is greatly diminished,” said one person close to Trump. “Privately, no one around Trump — and when I say no one, I mean no one, other than the handful of people who wouldn’t have any professional existence without him — wants him to run again.”
Trump, however, sees himself as the leader of the Republican Party and the "king of endorsements," despite a number of his preferred candidates losing, and cites unspecified polls to brag he's ahead of any potential rivals.
“I looked at the polls, and I’m ahead by 60 or 70 points,” the former president recently told the Post, boasting that he had "made" many of them.
The former president is fixated on former vice president Mike Pence and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, but Republican strategists believe he will face a crowded GOP field -- although he'll start out as the favorite.
“It isn’t going to be a clear field for him," said one GOP strategist who recently met with Trump. "There’s a lot of people who want to go against him. If he runs, Pompeo, Pence and Chris Christie all will consider running against him. Who knows what DeSantis will do? These guys are out there working, they are hitting every donor they can find, they want to run.”
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