Former President Donald Trump’s potential return to the ballot in 2024 is a prospect that makes Democratic and Republican campaign strategists interviewed by The Epoch Times happy, but for profoundly different reasons.
“If Trump runs in 2024, it definitely adds a jolt to the race. The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) polling shows he is still the most powerful figure in the GOP, albeit with shrinking support,” said Washington-based Democratic strategist Kevin Chavous.
“Democrats do not and should not fear Donald Trump, mainly because he lost the popular vote convincingly in both 2016 and 2020. For every die-hard Trump supporter, there are nearly two ‘resisters’ who will vote for anyone but Trump.”
During Trump’s presidency, Chavous said, “an anti-Trump movement … ultimately overshadowed and surpassed the MAGA [Make America Great Again] movement.”
“A 2024 Trump run will almost certainly result in Democrats retaining the White House,” he said.
Christy Setzer, a former national campaign spokesperson for former Vice President Al Gore and communications chief for the AFL-CIO, said the prospect of another Trump campaign in 2024 will help Democrats retain their current congressional majorities.
“It’s a good thing, to an extent. For Democrats, 2022 represents an existential threat for democracy. If we don’t keep the House and Senate, there’s a very real fear that Republicans use redistricting and voter suppression laws to keep Democrats a permanent minority party,” Setzer told The Epoch Times.
“That means Dems must keep the base engaged and motivated, and the specter of Trump always is good for that, as are genuine policy wins, like the COVID relief bill.” Setzer is the founder and president of New Heights Communications in the nation’s capital.
Democrats control the House of Representatives by only 10 votes and the Senate is split 50-50 between the two parties, with Vice President Kamala Harris holding the tie-breaking vote. The party that controls the White House often loses seats in the first congressional elections after winning the presidency.
But Robin Biro, who was a 2008 regional campaign director for President Barack Obama, told The Epoch Times that he hopes Trump declines a third White House run.
“My peers on the left are in lock-step agreement that it is a huge boon for us if former President Trump were to run again in 2024, because he never got above 50 percent popularity during his four years and would likely lose again,” Biro said.
“But to me, I think him running again is a bad thing for my party and for our country. His CPAC speech was riddled with untruths, which will be believed by many as gospel truth, not the least of which is him telling the ‘big lie,’ that he won the 2020 election.”
Trump, according to the Atlanta-based Biro, “will say and do anything to get the revenge that he seeks and to win.”
“I learned to never count the man out and not to underestimate him, so no, I don’t think it’s good for us if he runs in 2024. In fact, it’s almost giving me a PTSD response,” he said.
By contrast, Republican strategists interviewed by The Epoch Times mostly see reinforcement for their party in a 2024 Trump effort, as Brian Darling explained.
“The fact that President Trump left the door open to another run is good, because it will keep the record numbers who voted for Trump in 2020 engaged towards the 2022 midterms and 2024,” said Darling, former senior counsel to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and president of Liberty Government Affairs.
Darling expects his party to retake congressional majorities in 2022 “as a referendum on the extreme policies of the Biden Administration, ranging from the so-called Equality Act to the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan for Democratic priorities.”
Richard Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, agreed, saying that “it is important that President Trump defend his incredibly strong legacy,” and noting that “the potential of a Trump presidency is a political necessity to pull together the opposition to the insanity being pushed by Biden, Pelosi, Schumer and their Big Tech brownshirts.”
Another GOP strategist who asked not to be identified, however, was anything but encouraged by a Trump 2024 campaign.
“If Trump runs and wins the nomination in 2024, it will show that the Republican Party has made the shift to a populist party, rather than a party that embraces conservative ideals or small government,” the strategist said.