Donald Trump, The Comeback Grandpa?

Donald Trump could announce his third presidential bid “any day now.” Bill Clinton famously declared himself “The Comeback Kid” in 1992. Will Trump be “The Comeback Grandpa?”


According to media reports, Donald Trump could announce his third presidential bid “any day now.” Bill Clinton famously declared himself “The Comeback Kid” in 1992. In 2024, will Donald Trump be “The Comeback Grandpa?”

  • Politico reported the former president is hosting secret donor dinners to consult his high-dollar contributors on a potential 2024 bid. While many have been supportive, not all of even his biggest supporters are keen on a Grover Cleveland-style comeback attempt.
  • Republican leaders are nervous about an early announcement from the former president, concerned that a return of Trump to national media attention would distract from their attacks on President Joe Biden’s economic and foreign policy ahead of November’s midterm elections.
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump’s strongest potential primary opponent, has convened his own donor summit with dozens of funders from across the country and “the most significant assembly of Republican governors” this year outside of official functions.
  • Trump’s margins in 2024 primary polling have slowly declined over the year and a half since he left office. This week’s New York Times/ Siena College poll found half of Republican voters wanted another option, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis emerging as the most popular option.
  • Other potential Republican candidates like former vice president Mike Pence, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, and Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton are preparing to run whether Trump does or not.

reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times reported on young voters’ frustrations with “their (much) older leaders.” Nearly 1 in 5 young voters would not vote in a 2024 Biden v. Trump rematch, the largest of any age group. Discontent with America’s gerontocracy is bipartisan: “young Republican voters were the least likely to say they want Mr. Trump to be the party’s nominee in 2024.”
  • The Washington Post speculated that Trump could wait till the fall to launch his 2024 bid, an announcement that could “potentially upend” the midterms. Republicans fear Trump’s decision to prioritize his campaign over the party’s midterm strategy could hurt them in November.
  • CNN reported Trump plans to return to Washington D.C. for the first time since his pre-inauguration departure in January 2021 to deliver a “major policy speech.” Trump will speak at the America First Agenda Summit on July 26.



  • The Wall Street Journal covered the recent spat between Elon Musk and the former president. Trump mocked Musk’s attempted Twitter takeover. Musk countered, saying, “I don’t hate the man, but it’s time for Trump to hang up his hat & sail into the sunset.”
  • Fox News spoke with Trump rally attendees at the former president’s recent event in Arizona. Most voters who spoke to Fox News said they prefer Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over Trump for 2024.
  • The former president told Breitbart News “I don’t know” if Joe Biden will be the Democratic nominee in 2024. Trump continued, “You have to do at least a reasonable job, and so far I don’t believe our country has ever been at a lower point than it is right now.”

Author’s Take

Presidential candidates typically wait until after the midterm elections to launch their campaigns. Trump himself did not announce his 2016 bid until June 2015. Republicans are right to be concerned that a premature Trump announcement could hinder the party’s efforts to take back the House and Senate in the fall. A Trump comeback bid could give the flailing Biden White House the foil they need to gain back ground in the suburbs and with college-educated voters, and increase turnout among their base.

Donald Trump is the most famous man in America, and wouldn’t want for money or name recognition should he run for president again. In theory, he could wait until the last minute if he wanted to – but given his gradually declining poll numbers and the January 6 hearings, he may believe an early announcement could help staunch the bleeding. If Trump announces his comeback bid before the midterms, that’s a sign of weakness, not strength.

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© Dominic Moore, 2022