Trump allies urge early 2024 run, as donors fear announcing before midterms ‘would be a
The FBI search of former Donald Trump‘s Florida home has triggered feverish speculation that he will soon announce a 2024 run – exciting supporters but worrying party leaders and donors that he could ruin hopes of retaking the House and Senate in November’s midterms.
‘I think he’s running,’ said Eric Levine, an attorney and longtime Republican fundraiser. ‘The only question is whether he announces before the midterms, which would be a disaster.’
Multiple party insiders told DailyMail.com they fear an early announcement would divert fundraising away from candidates and towards the Trump war chest.
And it would turn the midterms from being a winnable referendum on Joe Biden‘s presidency – its economic crises and foreign policy missteps – to a Trump versus Biden beauty pageant.
Trump grabbed the initiative by posting a campaign-style video on his Truth Social platform after midnight on Tuesday. He calls America ‘a nation in decline’ and slams Biden before ending with the slogan: ‘The best is yet to come.’
At the same time, he has upped the number of fundraising emails sent to his distribution list.
‘Mar-a-Lago was raided,’ said one sent on Wednesday. ‘The radical left is corrupt.
‘We must return the power to the people.’
Former US President Donald Trump waves while walking to a vehicle in New York City on August 10, 2022. The FBI search of his home has triggered speculation that he could announce a 2024 run sooner rather than later, dividing the Republican party
Donors including Eric Levine (left) are wary of an early Trump announcement, fearing it would upend Republican efforts to win back the Senate and House in the midterms, while MAGA allies such as John Fredericks believe the former president can help defeat Democrats
FBI agents arrived at Trump’s Florida headquarters of Mar-a-Lago in Florida, where the searched the premises as part of an investigation into classified documents
FBI agents entered Trump’s home as they investigated the removal of classified records from the White House when his term ended in 2021.
The result was outrage among Republicans, who accused the Biden administration of politicizing the FBI and the Justice Department.
Allies have been urging Trump to jump straight into the campaign to retake the White House.
John Fredericks, radio host and chair of the Trump Virginia campaign in 2016 and 2020, said he should announce ‘today’ and launch a tour of swing districts immediately.
‘It leads him to a landslide victory in November 2024, it leads to a massive 50-70 House gain and three in the Senate,’ he said.
‘This has activated the Trump MAGA base like nothing I’ve ever seen. It has activated independents and this is going to backfire on the administrative state and the leftwing Marxists who are now in charge.’
Trump insiders have been divided for months on when to announce. Some have pushed for weeks to announce quickly in order to head off possible opponents, particularly Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis who has been making headline and gaining ground.
Secret service members stand guard outside former U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home after Trump said that FBI agents raided it, in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., August 8, 2022
Others prefer a more conventional route, announcing after November’s midterms.
But Trump himself has floated the idea of announcing ahead of this year’s elections in order to create the biggest splash.
That fills Republicans working on fall campaigns with dread.
A senior strategist, working on several midterm campaigns, said an early announcement would be a disaster for hopes of winning back the House and the Senate, diverting fundraising from candidates to Trump.
‘By taking this action, the FBI has greatly increased the likelihood that Trump will announce his candidacy before November, which Democrats would absolutely love to see,’ said the source, who worked on the 2020 Trump campaign and asked for anonymity to avoid drawing fire on his candidate.
‘If Democrats retain control of the House, the FBI will remain safe from oversight and accountability.’
Conservatives release the results of their straw poll at CPAC Texas on Saturday. If Trump does not run, DeSantis would be their overwhelming choice
The results show Trump strengthening his grip on the conservative grass roots. He increased his lead over second place DeSantis to 45 points since the last poll was done in February
There is also horror on the Hill that it would let Biden off the hook. He is deeply unpopular and, if the elections follow the usual historical pattern of thumping the party in power, Democrats can expect to lose seats in both the House and Senate.
‘That would be a significant gift to Democrats. he would suck up so much oxygen and remind voters of why he lost last time, instead of thinking about the multiple failures of Joe Biden.’
For his part, Levine said the raid on Mar-a-Lago was outrageous.
‘But the fact that this was outrageous doesn’t necessarily qualify Trump to become president,’ he said.
‘So I don’t think it changed the landscape for running for president at all, but it may change the landscape for when he announces.’
Trump’s grip on the activist base remains tight.
At the weekend, the Conservative Political Action Conference in Texas revealed that 69 percent of attendees want Trump as their candidate in 2024.