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road to 2024

Trump to return to Iowa, his 'most affirmative step yet' toward a potential 2024 campaign

Former President Donald Trump is taking his "most affirmative step yet" toward a potential 2024 White House run by visiting Iowa this weekend, a "crucial state on the nominating calendar," for the first time since leaving office, writes The Wall Street Journal.

Trump will hold a rally in the state on Saturday evening, amidst "mixed feelings" from Republicans there about a possible bid, reports the Journal

"My preference is that Donald Trump has a role in the direction of our country and party and some influence over candidates, but I think it would be best for someone else to become the standard-bearer," said Mark Lundberg, a former Republican chairman in Sioux County, one of the most conservative areas in Iowa.

Rich Schwarm, a former state GOP chairman, said that while there is "strong support" for Trump's policies, there are "mixed feelings" about "whether he is the strongest messenger" for the party. Still, "I think he would be the front-runner here if he were to run," said Schwarm.

Others seem to disagree, claiming Trump wouldn't be "assured an easy win in the caucuses" if he confirms a bid. "I don't see an immediate coronation," said Republican activist Mary Kramer. "Even people who have strongly supported him view him as pretty divisive."

A Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll released earlier this week indicated Trump has higher favorability in the state than when he was president, "with 53 percent of Iowans — including 91 percent of Republicans — viewing him positively," writes the Journal. The survey did not ask Republicans if they want Trump to run again.

So perhaps he would start from a strong position — but as Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa Jeff Kaufman said, "Even somebody that's getting a 91% approval rating has to make their case for running for the presidency."