Can Trump run again in 2024 election?

Chantal da Silva and Louise Hall
·3 min read
<p>President Donald Trump has been accused of  “incitement to insurrection” by the House</p> (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

President Donald Trump has been accused of “incitement to insurrection” by the House

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Donald Trump’s promise that he would be “be back in some form” upon his departure from the White House has prompted a number of questions over whether the divisive Republican could run for office again in 2024.

On 13 January, the House ratified an impeachment article that officially accused the president of “incitement to insurrection” following the deadly siege on the US Capitol by pro-Trump supporters on 6 January.

One month later, Mr Trump was acquitted of inciting the violent attack on the Capitol after a vote of 57-43, including seven Republicans, failed to reach the supermajority needed to convict.

While a second impeachment trial could have changed Mr Trump’s ability to run in 2024, his acquittal, in theory, leaves the door open for the former president to once again run for office.

Notably, impeachment by the House alone would have not prevented Mr Trump from running for office a second time, with this being a decision rested with the US Senate.

The Senate needed a two-thirds majority of its 100 members to vote in favour of the conviction of the former president and the penalty is removal from office.

If convicted, the Senate would then have had the option to vote to disqualify the former president from holding public offices in the future, in which case he would be prohibited from running again in 2024.

The president has not commented publicly on any intention to run in the next election but has in the past reportedly told allies that he may plan to do so.

Following his acquittal, Mr Trump asserted that his movement to “Make America Great Again” has “only just begun” and will emerge “with a vision for a bright, radiant and limitless American future”.

Allies of the president have often speculated that Mr Trump desires to run for office again in 2024 following his loss to Mr Biden this year's election.

Ardent Trump supporter Senator Lindsey Graham previously encouraged Mr Trump to run again to “keep his movement alive."

However, riots at the Capitol have also been particularly divisive within the Republican party and have led some House members to turn their back on the president and vote in favour of impeachment.

The shock over the president’s actions towards the attack has polarised the party even further, and commentators have suggested that a Trump 2024 nomination could “split the GOP for good."

Notably, the insurrection at the Capitol could also have an impact on Mr Trump’s public popularity as his approval rating plunged following his role in encouraging violent action.

A Politico and Morning Consult poll revealed that 40 per cent of Republicans and conservative independents now say that they would vote for Mr Trump if he ran for President in 2024 in the GOP primary.

If Mr Trump does follow through on a bid to run again, he would not be the first US president to do so, with President Grover Cleveland making a successful second election bid in 1892.

Cleveland became the 22nd president of the US in 1884, but was defeated in his re-election bid against Republican rival Benjamin Harrison. In 1892, Cleveland made a comeback and became the 24th president.

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