Opinion: Donald Trump Is the Establishment Frontrunner in 2024

Daniella Cressman

"In 2015, Donald Trump burst on the scene with a megaphone, a populist message, an army of grass-roots supporters — and not much else. If he runs for the Republican nomination again, as seems likely, it will be different." —Rich Lowry

This time, Mr. Trump has built an even more loyal following that will support him no matter what he does—or has done.

His shadow looms large over the American ethos.

"Early in his first presidential campaign, he had to be grateful for every small crumb of support from Republican officialdom — an endorsement from then-Sen. Jeff Sessions or former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Now, Trump is a former president of the United States who looms incredibly large over his party. He and his loyalists have forged a new establishment, a MAGA establishment, that will have his back when no such pro-Trump structures existed the first time around." —Rich Lowry

In short, he effectively owns the Republican National Committee...

"He effectively owns the Republican National Committee, which fundraises relentlessly off his name and image and pays his legal bills." —Rich Lowry

He is already playing mind games with the American public.

"His record of endorsements in the runup to the midterms isn’t as strong as he likes to portray it, and he’s played games to bolster his record — endorsing ERIC in the Missouri gubernatorial primary between Attorney General Eric Schmitt and disgraced former governor Eric Greitens. Lo and behold, Eric won — Schmitt, that is." —Rich Lowry

No matter how corrupt Trump might be, he's generally quite good at networking, which means he would stand a strong chance of winning the 2024 election.

"...there are Republicans he’s backed scattered all over the landscape. Not all of them will win in November, but many will, and occupy offices from governor to dog-catcher. Even the ones who aren’t sincere Trumpists will feel some debt to their endorser." —Rich Lowry

Basically, Trump will be a force to contend with if he runs in 2024.

"Trump will be lavishly funded. He’s sitting on a war chest of more than a $100 million. And he’s created a government in waiting centered on the America First Policy Institute, giving him off-theshelf policy and personnel options that establishment candidates typically have, but Trump didn’t in 2016." —Rich Lowry

If the majority of the American people believe in Mr. Trump's mission vehemently and are determined to elect him as the President of the United States in the forthcoming election, he will be difficult to compete with.

"Trump will be in a formidable position if he runs. He’ll be the antiestablishment candidate who can still tap grassroots passion while bringing to bear much more organizational oomph than when he campaigned on the strength of rallies, tweets and TV appearances during his inaugural run.Yet, there are limits to how much institutional advantages matter, as Trump proved in the course of defeating every other Republican candidate in 2016." —Rich Lowry

Still, there is hope: Trump had the advantage of being a new face in the previous election, and many have grown tired of his bravado, especially since the January 6 insurrection along with the very revealing legal trouble he is in—If America wants something else entirely and is determined to elect a more progressive candidate, than all of the bells and whistles to the man's name won't matter.

"If people are fundamentally looking for something else, all the name identification, money, endorsements and organizational apparatus in the world mean nothing. It is always a peril of establishment candidates that they appear stale. As for Trump, there’s no way he can seem as fresh as he once did out of the gate. In 2024, he will have spent nearly a decade at the top of national politics, the kind of longevity that makes a political figure vulnerable to the interesting new thing." —Rich Lowry

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM
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