Trump’s announcement didn’t clear the field — but allies think that benefits him
Donald Trump addresses crowd in Sioux City, Iowa in 2016. (Shutterstock.com)

Donald Trump's early 2024 campaign announcement didn't clear the field, and instead seemed to invite a bevy of potential Republican challengers.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is widely believed to be planning to run, and so are Mike Pence, Chris Christie, Nikki Haley and Mike Pompeo, and GOP strategists and Trump allies see the field shaping up with a similar dynamic to 2016, reported The Daily Beast.

“The political landscape is very similar to 2016," said a GOP strategist. "The establishment donors, ‘Never Trump’ media and political consultants are lining up against him yet again. A crowded field benefits Trump, who is already the clear frontrunner."

Trump has seen his support drop among Republicans, but his inner circle believes that a crowded field would allow him to skate through regardless.

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“Depending on which poll strikes your fancy, up to 45 percent of likely Republican primary voters back President Trump," said a source close to Trump. "Any way you slice it, Trump would have to be favored to win a primary with four or more candidates. With a dozen-plus, like the 2016 primary, he would be unbeatable.”

“Nobody loves a presidential primary more than Republicans, and we will have a wide range of candidates to choose from, just like 2016,” that person added. “That’s healthy and strengthens our party. And like most Trump supporters, I say the more the merrier.”

But some members of the Republican National Committee have doubts that Trump can galvanize the base like he did in his first campaign.

“There’s some thought out there that he will crash and burn before the primary,” said one RNC member. “I think people are tired of him. I’ve had a lot of calls from people who consider themselves Trumpers, but they don’t think he should do it again.”