Trump as president in 2024 is ‘not only possible’ but likely: historians
Historian and Hoover Institution senior fellow Niall Ferguson argued that former President Donald Trump is not only a strong candidate for reelection in 2024, but also the person most likely to win and retake the White House.
“A second Trump act is not only possible. He’s fast becoming my base case,” Ferguson wrote in an op-ed for The Spectator.
Ferguson explained that even an ongoing “lawfare campaign” by his political enemies against the former president is not enough to deter him from returning to the White House. In fact, “the prospect of him doing the perp walk draws media coverage, and media coverage is the free publicity that Trump has always benefited from,” he said.
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Trump was found guilty on May 9 of sexually assaulting writer E. Jean Carroll. The verdict fell short of the rape allegations made by Carroll. Carroll claimed Trump sexually assaulted her at a Manhattan department store nearly three decades ago, although she doesn’t recall “whether the alleged assault took place in 1995 or 1996,” Ferguson said.
But even that verdict is helping draw attention to Trump, according to Ferguson. “Every inch or minute of airtime that his litigation earns him an inch or a minute less for his Republican rivals for the nomination,” he wrote.
Ferguson also argued that Trump is the “clear frontrunner” among Republicans in 2024. A Fox News poll in April found that Trump maintained a solid 53 percent lead in the Republican primary in April, trailing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis by 32 percent points.
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DeSantis has not yet officially declared himself for the presidency, although it is highly anticipated.
But even DeSantis’s popularity with some members of the Republican base doesn’t guarantee him a chance to beat Trump. As Ferguson explained, “The Republican primary process favors candidates with early leads because most states assign delegates on a winner-takes-all or winner-takes-most basis.”
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It’s a “history lesson” that is clear, Ferguson said, and one that bodes well for Trump: “The Republican front runner usually wins the nomination, and an incumbent after a recession usually loses the presidential election.”
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That’s because a recession would also help increase Trump’s odds of winning in 2024, Ferguson added, writing that it “doesn’t have to be as severe as the Great Depression that shattered Herbert Hoover’s presidency. A simple recession will do.”