An increasing number of signs point to former President Donald Trump running for the White House again in 2024, Politico reported.
Besides taking expected steps — hiring staffers in Iowa, increased fundraising, a presence in the national media — Trump has been buoyed to run after seeing President Joe Biden's declining job approval numbers following the disastrous troops withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the resurgence of coronavirus, Politico reported Tuesday.
"Trump sees Biden is on the ropes. He wants to throw punches as a combatant, not a heckler from the stands," Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., told Politico.
Gaetz added that Trump is in no rush to announce his intentions because "the base is rightly loyal to him. And a good rule in politics is to be a candidate for as short a time as necessary."
Trump's campaign adviser Jason Miller told Politico on Thursday that the chances of the former president running are "between 99 and 100 percent."
"I think he is definitely running in 2024," Miller said. "I had a good conversation with him last night. I'm going to go see him in another couple days here."
Another person who has discussed Trump's plans told Politico that "he really hasn’t decided, but we all think he’ll run … he wants to get in a position to where it’s a turnkey operation once he says yes. So, he's maximizing his position … the super PAC is ostensibly to help win back the House and the Senate. If he does that, it makes his position stronger."
An official announcement likely will not happen before the 2022 midterms, several people close to Trump told Politico.
The former president has been active with statements through the super PAC Save America, and has dropped hints of running in private conversations with confidantes and advisers, according to Politico, which spoke to a dozen Trump associates.
Gaetz declined to disclose details of his conversations with Trump but said it was more likely than not the former president will run again. The Congressman told Politico that the GOP regaining control of the Senate and/or the House in next year's midterms would motivate Trump even more.
While Trump has taken a more hands-on approach with his web ads and has planned several rallies for the fall — including in Iowa and Florida — perhaps the most revealing recent move was the PAC's hiring of two top operatives from Iowa dedicated to "advancing Save America’s goals of electing strong, pro-Trump, America First conservatives."
Iowa traditionally holds the first-in-the-nation presidential contest. Hawkeye State staffers also will help Trump keep an eye on the other potential Republican presidential candidates visiting the caucus state.
A recent Emerson College poll showed Trump defeating Biden in a 2024 rematch of last year's election. Trump was favored by 47% of respondents, while 46% chose Biden.