Arizona Rally: Trump is Always There For Voters Who Just Don't Trust Biden and Harris, Analyst Says
14:35 GMT 25.07.2021 (Updated: 16:08 GMT 25.07.2021)
© REUTERS / Jasen VinloveA fan displays a flag in support of former president Donald Trump in the upper deck after the game between the Miami Marlins and the San Diego Padres at loanDepot park
© REUTERS / Jasen Vinlove
Donald Trump has been publicly flirting with the idea of a 2024 presidential run but has not yet officially signalled his intentions. “It’s not that I want to. The country needs it,” Trump hinted back in June.
Thousands of Americans gathered in Phoenix on Saturday to take part in the "Protect Our Elections Rally" with ex-POTUS Donald Trump the much-anticipated headliner, as his supporters hoped to learn about his 2024 presidential plans. However, the former president decided not to reveal his intentions for the time being.
But as Trump took to the stage to bash President Joe Biden for “wreaking” the nation and repeat his claims about the “corrupt” 2020 presidential election, the rally proved once again that the 45th president's popularity is still sky-high and his agenda remains as relevant as ever.
“Trump spoke to an enthusiastic audience that already distrusts the government headed by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and which also believes that questions about the legitimacy of the 2020 elections are both valid and relevant,” says Vlad Davidiuk, a GOP strategist and political analyst.
According to Davidiuk, when Trump speaks about his concerns for the midterm election and 2024 presidential vote, he's basically “echoing a significant portion of the American electorate – one that sees the 2020 election as tainted.”
Voters Keep Trump ‘in Mind’
During the rally, Trump slammed the Biden administration for turning America into a weak “communist state” that's being “pushed around” by other countries.
“Trump has worked to maintain his position as one of the strongest voices against the administration, big tech and big media - the elements in which many Americans have lost significant amounts of trust and confidence over the last decade, accelerating since the 2020 election,” Davidiuk believes.
All of this has helped the ex-president to keep him “in the mind of voters” who are desperate to see him reinstated in the White House, the political strategist concludes.
But it may take years for Trump to finally confirm his presidential run, says Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.
“Since Trump enjoys the power and limelight which come from him being the prospective 2024 candidate, he could possibly wait until as late as the fall of 2023 to make a formal decision one way or another,” Jones notes.
The professor is doubtful, however, that Trump could win the vote in 2024 if he becomes the Republican party’s candidate. Meanwhile, “a candidate like Florida Governor Ron Desantis would give the GOP a better prospect of taking back the White House,” the professor adds.
© AP Photo / Evan VucciPresident Donald Trump speaks with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as he arrives at Southwest Florida International Airport, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Fort Myers, Fla
President Donald Trump speaks with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as he arrives at Southwest Florida International Airport, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Fort Myers, Fla
© AP Photo / Evan Vucci
Gov. Desantis has been gaining popularity among Republican folks for pushing against illegal immigration but has not signalled any intention for a White House run. But even if he decides to try his luck as a challenger to Biden, at the moment there's no “clear path” for Desantis to capture the Republican presidential nomination as long as Trump remains in the picture, says Jones.
For Republican primary voters, Trump is still “a household name” and “the most popular politician” who will continue to play the role of “kingmaker” for any upcoming GOP runners, the analyst explains. Therefore, his endorsement remains crucial.