Following the January 6th insurrection and Donald Trump’s second impeachment, speculation mounted that he would be barred from running for public office again. That seems incredibly unlikely, with the former president rated 97% likely to avoid conviction according to our Senate Trial market.
Trump favourite to lead GOP again in 2024
Assuming that rating is vindicated, Trump will continue to loom large over US politics and the 2024 betting. At this early stage, he’s rated 8% likely to be re-elected at odds of [12.0] and 6.6 to be the Republican Nominee.
No doubt he still holds extraordinary sway over his party. That GOP Senators are running a mile from conviction, despite their own lives being endangered during the insurrection, is testament to that. Only 13% of Republican voters supported impeachment. Around half believe his lies that the election was rigged.
Trump has created an ‘Office for the Former President‘, that sounds awfully like a campaign machine. He does not intend to leave politics quietly and it will remain difficult for rival Republicans to be heard above him, take different positions or risk his wrath. Arch-critic Joe Walsh – once a former Tea Party and enthusiastic Trump supporter – does not see much potential for dissidents to return.
Right now, that seems unarguable but there is always a danger in political betting to assume nothing will change. Trump’s current odds are plenty short enough, 45 months out. An awful lot will happen during that time and there’s no reason to think any of it will work to his advantage.
Trump will never restore media profile
Remember where Trump’s power came from. Mainstream and social media. Not just Fox News. CNN gave him hundreds of millions of free airtime in 2016. The Apprentice was an NBC show. Twitter gave him a bully pulpit and platform to shape what journalists reported. Every tweet was a story in its own right.
All that is gone and will never be rebuilt. He may well create a TV project but its purpose will be to monetize and further radicalise his followers. He’s no likelier to pivot to the centre, or reach out to opponents than in office.
Legal, financial woes will weigh him down
Meanwhile politics will go on and his party will take positions. Potential candidates will emerge. Trump’s world though will be one long stream of court cases. Potential charges or legal peril stacked up during his time in office. Particularly regarding his finances but also sexual assault claims.
He will be 78 in 2024. True, Joe Biden is 77. Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi even older. Age isn’t a barrier in US politics. But having watched him on a loop for five years, and re-watched old footage, I’m in no doubt he deteriorated mentally in office. There was a glint in his eye during that 2016 campaign that had long gone by 2019.