FLORIDA’S PALM BEACH — Donald Trump, the former president, declared on Tuesday that he would run for the Republican nomination for president in 2024 despite a number of ongoing investigations into his behavior, the candidates he backed suffering painful losses in the midterm elections, and growing disapproval from within his own party.
Several minutes prior to his scheduled 9 p.m. Trump declared from Mar-a-Lago that he would run for president in 2024 and submitted paperwork to the Federal Election Commission establishing a fundraising account.
Trump intended to use a ceremony at his Mar-a-Lago estate to claim credit for Republican election triumphs, but the GOP’s failure to capture the Senate and troubles in House contests derailed that strategy and put Trump on the defensive in the political arena.
Two years ago, we were a great nation, and soon we will be a great nation again, Trump said during a rambling speech delivered from a ballroom at his Mar-a-Lago country club and residence.
Nevertheless, Trump enters the contest as a formidable Republican force and the favorite to capture the party’s nomination for a third time in a row. His most recent campaign comes just two years after he misrepresented the results of the 2020 presidential election, losing to Joe Biden. His supporters then staged a violent revolt at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, in an effort to prevent the peaceful transfer of power.
Trump’s bid to reclaim the national spotlight as the first contender to enter the 2024 presidential race follows a week of scathing criticism from Republican officials and analysts. They hold him accountable for the midterm election defeats that cost the GOP control of the U.S. Senate as well as a larger margin of victory in the House of Representatives. Candidates who echoed Trump’s allegations of a stolen election in 2020, such as Arizona’s Republican candidate for governor, Kari Lake, lost in dozens of statewide contests.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican from Florida, who defied anti-Republican trends by gaining reelection with more than 59% of the vote, is being looked to by many Republicans looking for a new leader. Because of how well-liked DeSantis is, Trump has already begun to criticize him.
Despite only needing a net gain of one seat to take control of the Senate, Republicans struggled in a number of U.S. House and state office races during last week’s midterm elections. A heartbreaking letdown for party leaders who had envisioned a “red wave” and blamed Trump for a meager trickle, the GOP is still on track to reclaim control of the House, but possibly by less than a half-dozen seats.