Former President Donald Trump announced his 2024 re-election bid on Nov. 15, 2022, after hinting for nearly a year that he would. Here's everything you need to know:
When did Trump announce his 2024 bid?
Trump held an event at his estate in Mar-a-Lago on Nov. 15, where he announced his re-election just a week after the 2022 midterm elections.
The announcement came despite a disappointing national showing for the GOP. Democrats avoided the expected "red wave," and many Trump-backed candidates either lost their elections or were caught in extremely tight races. The Democrats also held onto the Senate, and can potentially increase their majority by winning the Georgia Senate runoff election on Dec. 6 between Raphael Warnock (D) and Herschel Walker (R).
"I'll be advising [Trump] that he move his announcement until after the Georgia runoff," former Trump adviser Jason Miller previously said. "Georgia needs to be the focus of every Republican in the country right now." Trump defied the recommendations of his advisers and made the announcement anyway.
Was he expected to run in 2024?
It was always extremely likely that Trump would run in 2024.
He came close to announcing several times. Trump teased an announcement at multiple rallies dating as far back as February. In June, he received a chorus of cheers at a Faith and Freedom Coalition event when he asked, "Would anybody like me to run for president?" In September, Trump said, "in 2024, most importantly, we are going to take back our magnificent White House," during a rally in Pennsylvania. At a November rally for Sen. Chuck Grassley's (R-Iowa) re-election bid, Trump said he would "very, very, very probably" run again.
Trump was also intentional about his rally locations, specifically choosing Iowa — where the first presidential caucus takes place — as well as Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida, all of which are important swing states. It looked almost like a campaign.
When do candidates usually announce?
Non-incumbent presidential candidates typically wait until after the midterm elections. The first candidate to announce a bid for 2016 was Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who launched his campaign on March 23, 2015 — 139 days after the midterms.
Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) announced he was running for president in the 2020 election on July 28, 2017, just six months into Trump's presidency and 466 days before the 2018 midterms. According to FiveThirtyEight, this was the earliest declaration by a major candidate in at least 45 years.
What obstacles are there for Trump's 2024 campaign?
Just because Trump is running doesn't mean that he won't be met with adversity within his party. Many, including ex-GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan, don't want him to be their candidate, with Ryan stating in October that "Trump's unelectability will be palpable by" the 2024 primary season.
Trump has faced a slew of legal trouble — including over his involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection, keeping confidential documents in his Mar-a-Lago estate, and being sued for fraud in New York. The likelihood of Trump facing criminal charges is higher than it's ever been, leading to critics hoping that indictment would prevent him from running.
Even though Trump is running, he might not make it to the general election. Potential primary challengers include former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is seen as a major threat. The midterms in particular illuminated a brewing rivalry between DeSantis and Trump, with a DeSantis representative confirming his team has "a rift with" the former president.
Trump is the seventh president in U.S. history to attempt a comeback after leaving office. Former Presidents Martin Van Buren, Millard Fillmore, Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, and Herbert Hoover all campaigned to return to the White House. Only Cleveland succeeded. Of the other five, only Roosevelt came anywhere close, finishing in a distant second with 88 electoral votes to Woodrow Wilson's 435.
How did Trump's pending announcement affect the 2022 midterms?
The midterms were perceived to be a Litmus test for a potential Trump 2024 campaign. Trump personally endorsed over 330 candidates on both the federal and state levels, per The Associated Press. While some of his candidates had victories, like J.D. Vance (R) in Ohio and Ted Budd (R) in North Carolina, many struggled and were ultimately unable to win their races.
Most notably, Trump-endorsed Mehmet Oz (R) in Pennsylvania lost to John Fetterman (D) in one of the most anticipated races in the country. Democrats also won the Senate and gubernatorial races in Arizona, where both losing candidates, Blake Masters (R) and Kari Lake (R), were Trump-endorsed. The Georgia Senate race has gone to a runoff election and Lauren Boebert (R), a vocal supporter of Trump, came at risk of losing her House seat in a district that was expected to solidly vote Republican.
Many in the GOP are blaming Trump for the poor midterm performance. "Republicans have followed Donald Trump off the side of a cliff," said David Urban, a longtime Trump adviser. Others agree: Scott Reed, a Republican strategist, remarked that the GOP "had a historic opportunity and Trump's recruitment of unelectable candidates blew it." He added, "Trump's now lost three elections in a row for the Republican Party and it's time to snap out of this foolishness."
The former president has also fractured the GOP in many ways. Many Republican candidates opted to remove references to Trump from their campaign platforms out of the fear that it was losing them support. According to a poll by Politico, 65 percent of Americans said Trump should probably or definitely not run again.
"I strongly believe he should no longer be the face of the Republican Party," commented former Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.).
How will Trump's announcement impact the 2024 race?
Trump's decision to run for re-election will impact the Republican Party substantially. Some candidates were withholding their announcements in anticipation of Trump's announcement. For example, while Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) had not ruled out the possibility of running in 2024, he was watching for what Trump would do. Following the former president's announcement, Cruz has come out in support of Trump's re-election bid, saying, "If he's the nominee, I'll enthusiastically support him."
DeSantis has hinted at pursuing the presidency himself in his debate with Charlie Crist (D). In contrast to Trump, DeSantis had a tremendous midterm night, solidifying his influence in the GOP. But support for DeSantis hasn't edged out Trump just yet. However, many large GOP donors have said that they plan to put their money into candidates other than Trump, including DeSantis.
Trump has taken to picking on DeSantis, much to the chagrin of many Republicans. Some say that the rivalry could potentially further fracture the Republican Party, with Biden commenting that "it will be fun watching" them "take on each other."
Though President Biden is also expected to seek re-election, Americans aren't exactly itching for a rematch between the two presidents, with a poll showing that only about 30 percent of Americans want either Biden or Trump to run for president in two years.
This post has been updated throughout in order to address the latest news about former President Donald Trump's 2024 plans.