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Democrats spooked by Trump’s upcoming Iowa rally increasingly anxious about a possible run

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The overriding factor about Donald Trump, from a political standpoint, is the unpredictability that he brings — especially when the odds are stacked against him. While Democrats would like to think that, with two sham impeachments and their furtherance of an “insurrection” narrative that frays at the seams more and more as we learn the details of what actually took place on Jan. 6, they have stymied any remaining political ambitions that Trump may still harbor, the party nonetheless frets over a potential 2024 run.

That’s according to a piece from The Hill, which states that Democrats are worried about another White House bid by the former president, who’s set to hold a rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines on Saturday. While Trump has not announced that he’s running, it’s surely not by accident that this is a key battleground state.

“Democrats say Trump can’t be taken for granted,” the article declared. “While some are confident a new Trump candidacy would bring out a wave of Democratic voters to defeat him, others are worried he could return to power. And that’s enough to bring shudders to most in the party.”

There’s little doubt that the national media would be amped over another Trump run, feeling confident that they defeated him in 2020 rather than a dull, befuddled 78-year-old Joe Biden.

But that does not mean that the opposition sees him as a weak candidate, Democratic pollster Rachel Bitecofer told The Hill.

“There’s not a strategist or insider that I’m hanging out with who would like to see Donald Trump running again,” Bitecofer said. “Nobody should think he would be a weak nominee.”

According to the pollster, Democrats are still traumatized by Trump’s surprise win in 2016 and how close he came to being reelected, despite the concerted effort to defeat him.

“He almost re-won the White House in 2020 even after four years of scandal after scandal, and then the pandemic and the mismanagement of that,” she added. “That never affected him. And he almost won and his party picked up seats in the House.”

Bitecofer’s spin on events betrays the relentless effort to undermine Trump throughout his four years in office. An effort that included the U.S. intelligence apparatus, a so-called White House whistleblower and a weaponized U.S. House of Representatives under Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., not to mention the national media that sacrificed what remaining journalistic integrity it may have had at the altar in the quest to destroy Trump.

Mike Morey, the Democratic strategist who served as an aide to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., echoed Bitecofer’s concerns.

“No one should underestimate his ability to energize the base with grievance politics,” Morey told The Hill. “Democrats would be foolish to think he would be easy to take down.”

The article cited a quote from Trump during a visit to New York City on Sept. 11 about a run: “We’re not supposed to be talking about it yet, from the standpoint of campaign finance laws, which frankly are ridiculous. But I think you are going to be happy. Let me put it that way.”

Last week, the former president’s comment about a possible run by Florida’s popular Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis was seen as clearing the field for himself.

“If I faced him, I’d beat him like I would beat everyone else,” Trump said of DeSantis, who he considers a friend. “I think most people would drop out. I think he would drop out.”

On that note, the New York Times, stirred by the Iowa rally, remarked on a possible Trump run — to sow seeds of division:

With all the subtlety of a bullhorn, former President Donald J. Trump has been hinting that he plans to run for office again in 2024. And Republicans are so far treating him with the deference they displayed while he was in the White House as they wait to see if he makes his move.

Mr. Trump’s unwillingness to cede the spotlight has cast doubt on the political futures of an entire group of Republican politicians who have suggested that they might someday want to run for president. And while they — like the rest of the country — can’t be sure what the notoriously fickle former president might do, some of them are trying to stake their claims as leaders in the party.

 

A new Pew Research polling showed that 44 percent of Republicans want former Trump to run again in 2024, and about 67 percent of the party would like Trump to remain a national political figure for the foreseeable future.

Tom Tillison

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