Is Donald Trump Backing Down From Running In 2024?

Following the results of the months-long audit in Arizona — which concurred that the votes former President Donald Trump baselessly said were the product of fraudulent tampering were actually and verifiably in current President Joe Biden's favor from the very beginning — one could easily presume Trump's focus will shift from a past election to a future one. While Trump has spent a large chunk of his post-election time and political clout on GOP endorsements and fundraising for the 2022 midterms, 2024 has never been too far from his mind, either. Since exiting the White House in January, Trump has frequently teased officially announcing his intention to run again in 2024, though, as of this writing, has not outright thrown his hat into the ring. 

Now, the reason for Trump's constant wind-ups in relation to a future bid might make more sense. According to an October 4 report published by The Washington Post, it seems those close to Trump are doing everything in their power to stave off any sort of public declaration of that ilk. However, as disclosures by these sources also seem to suggest, it might only be a case of delaying the inevitable. It could also be a reflection of a shifting tide in the Republican party itself. So what's really going on here? 

Sources close to Trump say they're urging him to focus on 2022, not 2024

Per The Washington Post, sources close to Donald Trump told the newspaper under the condition of anonymity that Trump has increasingly spoken about officially announcing a 2024 bid following the chaos and ensuing public response to President Joe Biden's decision to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. Rather than spurring Trump's fervor, however, sources stated that Trump's advisers have continuously advised against it, urging him to hold off. Primarily, an announcement would invigorate Democrats in making the midterm elections yet another referendum on Trump, which could serve Democrats and ultimately harm Trump's potential run if the midterm election doesn't go in Republican favor. Speaking with the Post, one source put it bluntly: "The biggest point we drove home was that he doesn't want to own the midterms if we don't win back the House or Senate."

Despite this, Trump has up until now spoken freely about his attention to run with other GOP members. Trump's eagerness to state his intentions for 2024 could also be the origin of comments made by Republican Ohio Representative Jim Jordan earlier this year, who told reporters in an interview earlier this year he was certain Trump would announce his campaign "any day now." (Though Jordan retracted his assertion soon after the interview went live, a reporter posted a recording of Jordan's remarks on Twitter.)