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Former President Donald Trump starts the new year in the same political position he ended the old year in – as undoubtedly the most popular and influential politician in the GOP.
With just over 10 months to go in the next White House race, Trump remains the overwhelming front runner in the hunt for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
The latest public opinion figures come from a Reuters / Ipsos national poll conducted in mid-December and published a few days ago. Fifty-four percent of Republicans polled said they would support the former president as their party’s standard bearer in 2024.
2021: THE YEAR THAT THE PRESIDENITAL RACE IS CREATED IN 2024
Two other potential contenders – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence – came in second and third with 11% and 8% support, respectively.
Trump spent 2021 repeatedly flirting with yet another run at the White House.
“I am certainly thinking about it,” he told Fox News in a November interview.
“I honestly think a lot of people will be very happy with the decision,” added the former president, suggesting that such a decision be announced after the 2022 midterm elections.
The Reuters / Ipsos poll is in line with other public opinion polls on the 2024 GOP nomination race. Averaging all recent national polls, Trump averages 52% support, light years ahead of the rest of the rest of the Republican White House’s other possible hopefuls.
But note: Trump’s nomination support in these polls is a good 20-30 points below his overall rank among GOP voters. Trump’s positive rating among Republicans in the Reuters / Ipsos poll was 82%.
WHAT TRUMP FOX NEWS TOLD ABOUT ITS TIMETABLE 2024
Another barometer for early 2024 is fundraising – where Trump was a juggernaut in 2021.
The former president’s top three political fundraising committees reported that they raised $ 82 million in the first six months of 2021, with over $ 100 million in cash as of late July, the most recent submission period for the groups. Much of the fundraising is fueling Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that the 2020 presidential election were “manipulated” and “stolen”.
One thing that Trump’s fundraising, formidable poll position, immense influence on his party, and repeated flirtations have failed to do is discourage other potential White House GOP hopefuls from visiting the states that make up the primaries and campaign calendars President open.
As Fox News recently reported, last year there were 15 trips to Iowa – the state that began the nomination calendar for half a century – by nine potential Republican presidential candidates. That’s not far from the 17 visits out of 11 possible candidates in 2013 at the same early stage in the wide-open GOP nomination race in the 2016 cycle.
TRUMPS 2024 TEASE DOES NOT PREVENT OTHER POTENTIAL GOP WHITE HOUSE HOPE FROM VISITING EARLY VOTING STATES
And according to a Fox News count, there were also eight visits from six potential candidates to New Hampshire in 2021, close to eleven visits from seven possible candidates in 2013 to the state that holds the first presidential primary on the nomination calendar in a century.
“Everyone understands that the president is taking 2024 very seriously,” longtime Republican adviser John Brabender, a veteran of numerous presidential campaigns for the GOP, recently told Fox News. “I think the majority of the candidates would be respectful of Trump if he opted to run in 2024 from time.”
Anniversary of the attack on the US Capitol
Thursday marks a year since the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol by right-wing extremists and other Trump supporters aiming to disrupt Congressional certification of President Biden‘s current electoral college victory over Trump in the 2020 election.
Trump announced two weeks ago that he would hold a press conference at his resort and residence in South Florida on the one-year anniversary of the attack on the Capitol.
“I will hold a press conference in Mar-a-Lago on January 6th,” he said in a statement from Save America, one of its political committees.
When announcing his press conference, Trump reiterated his unsubstantiated claims, again describing his electoral defeat as “the rigged 2020 presidential election” and that “the November 3rd uprising took place”.
In the weeks following the 2020 election, dozens of legal challenges were gunned down by the then-president and his allies in the half-dozen states where Biden narrowly ousted Trump to ensure a convincing electoral college victory. And then Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department had not seen any fraud on the scale that could turn the election around.
CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST FOX NEWS REPORTING FROM JAN. 6 STORM OF THE US CAPITOL
The January 6 attack on the Capitol came shortly after the president urged a large crowd of supporters, whom he had addressed at a rally near the White House, to march to the Capitol and show strength to oppose the affirmation to protest the election by Congress. Five people – four protesters and a Capitol police officer – died during or after the riot.
After the attack, Trump was charged by the House of Representatives with inciting the violence. Ten Republicans in the House of Representatives voted with a majority of Democrats to impeach the then president.
Trump, who refused to admit his electoral defeat, became the first president in a century and a half to skip his successor’s inauguration.
A few weeks later, he was acquitted in his Senate impeachment trial. Seven Republicans joined all 50 Democrats to condemn Trump, 10 votes less than the two-thirds majority required by the Constitution.
Trump travels to Arizona
The former president will hold his first campaign-style rally of 2022 in the major battlefield state of Arizona.
Trump announced Thursday that his event will take place in Florence, Arizona, which is about 60 miles southeast of Phoenix. The rally will be Trump’s first since his major rally in Iowa in early October.
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Biden has marginally ousted Trump in Arizona and is the first Democrat in nearly a quarter of a century to run the state in a presidential election.
Last year, Maricopa County, Arizona’s most populous county, held a Trump-fueled and GOP-driven party vote review. The results of the review revealed that Trump received a few hundred fewer votes than the results of the certified election.