by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
As you look at the reaction to Trump’s speech, … ask yourself, do you see any strategic or tactical advantage that Trump gained by announcing his candidacy one week after the midterm elections, and before the runoff in Georgia? Is there any way his chances of winning the 2024 presidential election would have been hurt if he had chosen to announce his bid in early 2023?
Trump already has 100 percent or near-100 percent name ID. … [E]verybody in America already knows what they think of him, and it’s not likely that many Americans are inclined to change their minds. He already has a big campaign war chest, although apparently some of his donors are already getting tired of being asked for money.
If Ron DeSantis chooses to run for president, he isn’t going to announce it until next year, probably not until after the state legislative session.
This week, Republicans are still disappointed and irked about the midterm elections — heck, they’re still counting the votes in the midterm elections! — and calculate that Trump was a drag on Republican candidates just about everywhere. Today, for what it’s worth, Nate Cohn runs the numbers and concludes Trump’s “preferred primary candidates underperformed other G.O.P. candidates by about five percentage points.”
Trump announced something that everybody pretty much knew, in a long, dragging, 63-minute speech that even Fox News cut away from at certain points. How different will life be for Trump as a declared candidate, compared with the past few months, when Trump did his usual weekend rallies for GOP candidates? Trump will boast that his rallies helped Senate candidates J.D. Vance, Marco Rubio, Chuck Grassley and Ted Budd, as well as gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott. (It is extremely debatable whether some of those senators needed Trump’s help to win their races.)