The Trump Factor: The Likelihood of The Ex-President To Be Re-Elected 

Although the possibility of an indictment case against former US President Donald Trump’s was widely-known and perhaps inevitable, the news was still world-shattering with the 45th president becoming the first president to face criminal charges. Trump faces this over alleged hush money paid to adult star Stormy Daniels to prevent the news of a sexual affair ahead of the 2016 presidential election.  

Whilst many would assume that the criminality surrounding Trump would surely end any presidential plans in his future, few can truly predict at this early stage how the eventual results will affect such a character with such a partisan support base. The following piece will look at what the billionaire will have to overcome for any chance of electability. 

The Indictment of Trump

The instantly iconic first images of Trump in a New York courtroom to face up to his indictment charges. (Photo courtesy of NPR)

Let’s start off with the reason for this whole piece: the historic indictment of ex-president Trump. 

The stigma of being put on trial for a crime is enough alone to hang around like a bad smell, even without a conviction, sullying Trump’s reputation further. It would also likely impact on financiers, who may wish to see Trump acquitted prior to pouring money into the Trump campaign fund. 

Another problem with Trump’s path to the presidency is the sleaze of the matter for which he was arrested. Paying off a pornstar with £130,000 through his lawyer to silence her is not exactly an ideal that clicks with the Republican ideals of family values and nuclear families. Although this claim could be somewhat overlooked in the past, the very fact that enough evidence was provided for confidence in indictment contradicts a 2018 statement from White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah in which “the president…strongly, clearly, and consistently denied” the claims. 

Speaking on March 31st, the Republican Governor of New Hampshire Chris Sununu stated that in the wake of the indictment: “[Trump] shouldn’t be the nominee; he can’t win in ’24.”   

If he is arrested, he will be unlikely to be pardoned, considering that even if Joe Biden leaves office in 2024, a Republican could not pardon Trump until their resignation years later. 

Yet as much as it may be seen to hinder Trump’s presidential chances, it provides an opportunity – in the words of the liberal news outlet CNN to “leverage political advantage.”   

Trump’s former National Security Advisor noted on CBS’s Face The Nation that he believes most Americans will not want a convict but has stated that “if they indict and fail to convict in New York, I think historians will look back and say ‘That is the act the re-elected Donald Trump.”  

Many swing voters may see this manner as has been espoused by MAGA (Make American Great Again) Republicans: a politically-motivated witch hunt which is a grave and dangerous overreaction, and therefore vote for the Republicans, especially if Trump is at the forefront of the party. 

Moreover, Trump support amongst Republicans has only grown in the wake of this news. A Reuters/Ipsos poll suggests that 48% of Republicans said they wanted Trump as the nominee; figures at just 44% before indictment.  

January 6th: A Dark Day for Congress

NBC News
(Photo courtesy of NBC News)

In the 2020 election, Democrat Joe Biden was crowned the new president, beating Trump. 

With no credible or conceivable evidence, Trump staged an insurrection, with many of his ardent followers following his directive to “fight like hell” to stage an uprising against what he saw as a corrupt and illegitimate election. 

In the aftermath, YouGov data records that 81% of adult US citizens disapproved, only 9% approving, with the events of January 6th

Trump’s insurrection was described by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as “a dark day for Congress and our country” whilst he lost the support of Vice-President Mike Pence, who Trump started a mantra to “hang” after he refused to participate on the Captiol’s insurrection. The Republicans on the January 6th Committee ruled against their party, most famously Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice-President Dick Cheney. Even Trump loyalist Lindsay Graham condoned the attack on the day of January 6th in the Capitol.  

Asa Hutchinson, the former Governor of Arkansas, has called January 6th “disqualifying” for Trump and is running for president on the premise of an anti-Trump candidate. 

Another outcome is that to non-MAGA Republicans, it has given the appearance of Trump supporters to be insane, chaotic, undemocratic, dangerous, and cult-like – all things that the core audience of a president should not be. 

Simply put, the action will make far more enemies than it will allies, with many unwilling to elect a leader who has acted in such an anti-democratic and violent manner.  

Unelectability?: Misery At The Midterms

The Telegraph
(Photo courtesy of The Telegraph)

Viewers of Fox News in November 2022 waited with baited breath for the much-anticipated ‘Red Wave’. With inflation causing economic hardship and Joe Biden’s presidency filled with many oral gaffes from the only ever octogenarian president, it seemed a foregone conclusion that the Republicans would score big, especially since the general trend is that the sitting president’s party suffers heavy losses in Midterm elections.  

In the end, the Democrats held the Senate 51-49 whilst a few days after the Midterms, the Republicans barely eked the House 213-222, a majority but far less than the Republicans would have desired (something highlighted by Speaker nominee Kevin McCarthy’s failure to be elected, taking 15 rounds of voting to secure the position). Many put this result down to the fresh-in-the-memory overturning of Roe v. Wade, a decision promoted and fueled by Republican lawmakers; Trump himself promised to appoint pro-life justices – of which he did, selecting three – during his presidency.  

Naturally, the blame fell for the shoddy showing on the shoulders of de facto party leader Donald Trump.  

Some of the biggest losses were of Trump-endorsed candidates such as television quack Dr. Mehmet Oz, who lost out to the progressive Democrat John Fetterman. Making the win even more notable was the fact that Fetterman had recently suffered a stroke, which hindered his performances in debates. Fetterman was the first Democrat to win the seat since 1962. In the aftermath, he reportedly was “furious” at his wife Melania for telling him to endorse Oz.  

Elsewhere, controversial nominee Herschel Walker lost out in Georgia to Raphael Warnock. The ex-NFL star’s race had the eyes of the nation on it due to Georgia’s – a state which was overtaken by the Democrats in 2020 – unique run-off vote which occurred weeks after the election. Described by Bill Maher a “fucking idiot on a scale almost impossible to parody,” Walker made a number of ridiculed statements which did not help considering a dark past filled with domestic violence, stalking, and death threats. A scandal also broke which revealed that Walker did not even reside in the state he was running for, receiving tax breaks from his main residence in Texas. Unsurprisingly, he lost. 

Despite the publicity of the losses of celebrities Oz and Walker, perhaps the most devastating loss was in Arizona over the governorship. A MAGA Republican supporting the supposed ‘rigging’ of the 2020 election, Kari Lake was the nominee for governor – a woman so close to Trump that many believe she would be “The Donald”’s running mate. Creating opponents from her own party, Lake had attacked the largely-beloved war hero John McCain and publicly expressed reservations over Covid-19 vaccines. She lost, with the Associated Press noting that 11% of Arizona Republicans voted for her opponent, Democrat Katie Hobbs. Ironically for someone who stating that Arizona was filled with losers, she herself turned out to be one although kept to her promise of refusing to accept her defeat, filing court cases against her loss in an attempt to overturn the result. 

All of these loses reflected poorly on Trump. Pointing out his losses in the 2018 Midterms, and 2020, the Republican Governor of Maryland Larry Hogan – a long-time critic of the ex-president – stated “this is the third election in a row that Trump has cost us.” He also remarked: “Donald Trump kept saying that we’re going to be winning so much we’ll get tired of winning; I’m tired of losing.” This is not even including the 2016 election, in which Trump lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes to Hillary Clinton – who scored the most votes for a failed presidential candidate.  

Senator Pat Toomey commented: “The facts of the election in 2022 are just indisputable. The ultra, pro-Trump, handpicked by Trump, based on loyalty to Trump? Those candidates wildly underperformed. It’s pretty clear that he’s become a toxic force and that’s going to diminish his influence a lot.” 

Trump’s own words speak for themselves: “I think if they win, I should get all the credit, and if they lose, I should not be blamed at all,” something CNN called “the Trumpiest thing possible.” Trump instead blamed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, with the party spending $400 million on candidates whilst picking up no seats. 

Naturally, questions are raised over Trump’s ability to lead a successful party especially when those he specifically singled out for great things ended up crashing.  

Another factor of the Midterms was that it further placed Trump’s primary win in doubt with a new challenger rising… 

Primary Challenger: Ron DeSantis

The Times
A once Trump-endorsed candidates, the challenge posed by DeSantis in the Republican Primaries serves as a hurdle in his re-election ambitions. (Photo courtesy of The Times)

The main Republican winner of the 2022 Midterms was Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Narrowly winning governorship in 2018 without over 50% and with only a 0.4% margin over his opponent, by 2022, DeSantis’s popularity shot up, attaining a 14% lead, the largest margin in the state since 1982. 

A Republican highlight on an otherwise dismal night for the party, many saw DeSantis’s electability as superior to that of Trump’s.  

One of Trump’s great supporters, Rupert Murdoch, turned his media empire against Trump, refusing to back a 2024 re-election bid. Instead, Murdoch’s News Corp decided to side with DeSantis, losing the support of writers such as Piers Morgan. The November 10th edition of The New York Post depicted Trump as Humpty Dumpty falling out of favour; the day earlier, they had run with the headline “DeFuture.” 

DeSantis has been accused by some of copying some of Trump’s policies, including in his disregard of the Russian invasion of Ukraine (something met with a level of Republican criticism), therefore making DeSantis a collation pool for Trump voters who may be turned off from Trump.  

DeSantis’s popularity was compounded by a February poll which found that DeSantis was more popular than Trump amongst various groupings such as independents, women, and Hispanics.  

Prior to the indictment, even the Trump supporters at Fox News started to increasingly move away from Trump whilst pushing forward DeSantis as a potential candidate (more on Fox later). 

Moreover, Trump has already lost to Biden; DeSantis has not. And now that the electorate has seen Biden’s performances, DeSantis may have an advantage, especially since Biden’s approval ratings are currently below 50% (perhaps as expected). His relative unpopularity makes him less popular than Democrats like Bernie Sanders (technically an Independent) who stands at 51%. An unpopular Biden – or even Kamala Harris, who is even less popular – helps DeSantis. Meanwhile, polling shows a 3% loss for Trump in 2024. 

Yet could this also be advantageous in improving Trump’s stock? 

After all, many see declared candidates such as Nikki Haley and those undeclared but potentially running such as John Bolton likely to split the DeSantis vote, serving up a Trump win on a platter. After all, Trump is Trump and with his devoted following, Trump voters may be unlikely to vote for anyone besides the 45th president.  

It should be noted that even on the now unlikely off-chance that Trump loses to DeSantis, he has promised hell for the Republican Party. It is not out of the question he may form his own party (perhaps the MAGA Party) to run in the election, which would definitely hamper the Republicans’s chances.  

Trump has even repeatedly called out his opponent his nicknames such as “Ron DeSanctimonious” and the equally lame “Meatball Ron”. Meanwhile, DeSantis – who notably has not yet stated he will even run (even if it is a foregone conclusion by this point) – has stayed out of the fight, unwilling as of yet to trade barbs with the former president; something risking making him look imperiled and weak.  

Other Factors

Trump was much-criticised for a dinner service with noted anti-Semities Ye and Nick Fuentes. (Photo courtesy of CNBC)

In brief, there are many other factors – including unhinged actions taken by the president since taking office – that have also led to widespread criticism and a cause for degradation of his popularity. 

Ripping Up The Constitution

In early December 2022, taking to his flagging social media site Truth Social, Trump made one of his most controversial and condemned statements since leaving office. In a post he ranted about the 2020 election results, calling for the “termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.” 

The comment was universally panned by Democrats such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who called the comment “wholly disqualifying,” as well as many Republicans, and even Fox News.  

Perhaps the most prophetic comment by a Republic in opposition to the comment was from one of his most famous inter-party detractors, Mitt Romney. The ex-2012 presidential candidate was vocally opposed to Trump’s presidential nomination from the very start, not voting for him in 2016 or 2020, and was the only Republican to vote for Trump’s 2019 impeachment (also voting to impeach in 2021). After his comments about tearing up the Constitution, he stated: “The Republican Party has long been the party of the Constitution, so when President Trump says he wants to suspend the Constitution, he goes from being MAGA to being RINO [Republican In Name Only].” 

A Night With An Anti-Semite and A White Supremacist

No, this is not the name of the worst Disney production (well second: Song of The South will be hard to top), but instead a disastrous event that took place at Mar-a-Lago in November 2022.  

For context, Nick Fuentes is a white supremacist, Holocaust-denier banned from YouTube for violating hate speech policies. Meanwhile, the other guest was Kanye West, known calling himself Ye, a man who had lost multi-billion dollar contracts with associated brands after the rapper made a number of anti-Semitic comments; within a few months he was making Alex Jones look sane when appearing on his podcast, calling himself a Nazi and speaking of his admiration for Adolf Hitler.  

The New York Times noted: “supporters who looked past the former president’s admirers in bigoted corners of the far right, and his own use of antisemitic tropes, now are drawing a line,” as many groups, even those supportive of Trumps such as the Jewish members of the Zionist Organisation of American criticised the legitimisation of anti-Semitism.  


Nearly 30 years after the Waco siege in which religious cult leader David Koresh as well as 81 followers (28 children) was killed, Donald Trump decided to hold his first rally in the same city. Need I say more of how this accentuates the image of Trump’s cultism?  

Trump’s Cards

A promotion so bad that even Trump’s close ally Steve Bannon ridiculed it, a promised major announcement from Trump turned out to be a number of crudely made NFT trading cards priced at $99 per card.  

The trailer for the cards opened with an animated Trump firing lasers from his eyes as the man himself appears, stating that he is “hopefully your favourite president of all time – better than Lincoln, better than Washington.” The promotional video did feature a rare bit of Trump self-deprecating, questioning if the potential prize of dinner with Trump was much of a reward, stating “I don’t know if it’s an amazing prize but it’s what we have!” Although quite respectable in its self-mockery, it does undermine the product you are trying to sell. 

With crudely removed watermarks from images nicked from websites and with some even sniffing criminality or deviousness amongst the sale of the cards, the announcement was panned even more due to the belief that the big announcement was going to be announcing his running mate. No, instead he was flogging comedically bad cards to earn quick money and jump on the bandwagon of a currently-popular trend.

Just an embarrassment all round. 

The Fox News Saga

One of Trump’s biggest supporters has been mentioned many times in this piece: Fox. 

As well as Murdoch turning against Trump, the recent Dominion lawsuit against the news corporation has revealed insider texts and messages revealing the true feelings of Fox presenters toward the 45th president. Many of the best-known news anchors were, behind the scenes, venting about Trump. 

In March 2023, perhaps the most famous presenter Tucker Carlson presented the January 6th attack in a more muted way, showing footage that he claimed debunked the myth of the actions of that day as a violent riot, compounding his 2020 election fraud claims. Yet this was far different from what Carlson was saying two years earlier. After Trump’s 2020 election loss, leaked exchanges revealed what he really felt, calling Trump “a demonic force.” He continued that there “isn’t really an upside to Trump” and “I hate him passionately.” 

One of the other famous names on the news channel is the tenured Sean Hannity. Hannity peddled claims he “did not believe for one second” in his own words, claiming that Trump was acting like “an insane person.” Murdoch noted how he was “privately disgusted” by Trump but due to not wanting to lose viewers, did not publicly divulge his views, fearing he would lose viewers. 

Revealed to be knowingly lying to their audience, these claims from one of Trump’s biggest allies serve to undermine the support of Trump for those who believed Fox’s deceit. Betrayed and deceived, Trump supporters may soon stop drinking the news channel’s Kool-Aid in the future. 

Is History Against Him?

For many reasons, Trump will go down as a notable president in US history, one being his singular term. Trump’s single term, sandwiched between Obama and Biden makes him the first president since Jimmy Carter to be president with his party only serving one term – and the chances or re-entering office are not great historically. 

The only president to re-enter office was Grover Cleveland, the first Democrat elected in the post-Civil War era. Elected in 1884, Cleveland lost re-election in 1888 in dubious circumstances; not only had he won the popular vote but there was evidence of voter fraud in states such as Indiana. Cleveland conceded and was courteous at his opponent Benjamin Harrison’s inauguration. However, in 1892, he ran again and this time won. According to this site’s great writer Hakeem Fullerton, Harrison became the first Republican to lose re-election as Cleveland became the first non-consecutively serving president in USA history. 

By a weird coincidence, if Trump is chosen, the Trump/Biden rematch would be the first since 1956. In that Eisenhower defended his presidency against Adlai Stevenson II – the son of Cleveland’s 1892 running mate. 

No president has run for primary election for nearly a century. The last to attempt was in 1940 (the year FDR controversially ran despite having already served two terms) by Herbert Hoover. Perhaps like Trump might attempt, Theodore Roosevelt’s 1912 fail led to the creation of the Bull Moose Party, which split the 1912 vote and ended with a Democrat victory. 

History seems to be against Trump on this one.  


Can Trump possibly win? Well, yes. 

We are entering unchartered territory at the moment, as to how well a president can function with the dagger of indictment hovering above his head. It seems to have bolstered his popularity amongst Republicans who see him as a victim of Liberal treachery, tyranny, and political prosecution.  

Although many political commentators follow the line of Trump winning his primary but losing the election, it is not impossible for 2024 to see a locked-up Trump serving as the commander-in-chief yet again. 

After all, he technically did not ‘win’ the first election and survived several scandals in office. He even courted controversy on the campaign trail before presidency such as viciously attacking opponents (doxxing Lindsay Graham’s phone number, accusing Ted Cruz’s dad of conspiring with Lee Harvard Oswald, etc.) and the infamous Access Hollywood tape where he stated he would “grab [women] by the pussy” amongst other events that would ruin the chances of any lesser candidate.  

To conclude, although it may appear that Trump’s chances of re-election are beyond the wildest dreams (or nightmares, for that matter) of many, the future is still very much up in the air. The sentiment of Eric Garcia of The Independent rings true:Many are convinced that the former president has a way of turning every perceived disadvantage into an advantage.” 


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