Democrat politicians and consultants say they are more optimistic about the 2024 presidential election now that former President Trump is a leading candidate for Republicans who might claim the nomination.
Brad Bannon, a Democratic political strategist, said he thinks most Democrats see Trump’s announcement as a benefit to their party, and expects them to focus their message on the former president even if his campaign falls behind potential primary challengers.
“If you’re to beat an incumbent, you have to find someone that is significantly more popular, or at least has the potential,” Bannon told Fox News Digital. “And because Trump’s character is so defined, it makes that very difficult.”
Fox News’ voter analysis for the 2022 midterms found 54% of voters have an unfavorable view of Trump and 57% have an unfavorable view of Biden. This data, along with an overall underperformance from Republicans in the midterms, led two prominent Democrats – Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Terry McAuliffe, the former Virginia governor and former Democratic National Committee chairman – to say Trump may be a benefit to their party.
“I think we would all like Donald Trump to run again,” McAuliffe told Gray Television.
“I got to say that as a politician who wants to see that no Republican is elected to the White House in 2024, from that perspective, his candidacy is probably a good thing,” Sanders told The New York Times.
Democratic leaders took a gamble earlier this year as they meddled in Republican primaries to boost candidates with strong Trump ties in hopes they would be more vulnerable in their competitive general elections. An extensive list of these candidates won their primaries and lost to Democrats in the general election, including races for the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, House seats in New Hampshire and Illinois, and the Pennsylvania governor’s contest.
Trump Tuesday touted his winning record of endorsements for the midterms, but in tight races, his candidates struggled on both the House and Senate side.
Kevin Walling, a former Biden campaign surrogate, said he likes the chances of the Democratic Party to defeat Trump again, but warns they should not underestimate him.
“It’s a cautionary tale for Democrats and the anti-Trump wing of the Republican Party, many of whom are celebrating his relatively low energy announcement speech last night,” Walling told Fox News Digital. “A wounded Donald Trump is an even more dangerous Donald Trump for his GOP rivals and even President Biden.”