Is Trump a Lock to Win the Republican Presidential Nomination in 2024?

By in Politics on
7 Minute Read

It may be hard to believe, but it has already been almost a year since the 2020 presidential election. Needless to say, a lot has happened since then. It’s probably noteworthy that Donald Trump, who lost his bid for re-election last November, has still yet to grasp that reality.

Trump and a large swath of the Republican Party at large is committed to the false narrative that the election was somehow unfairly stolen from them. Since leaving office, the former president has held a number of campaign rallies at which he has continued to railroad the way the 2020 election turned out.

A lot of this stems from the likelihood that Trump simply can’t admit defeat. However, the “voter fraud” conspiracy has quickly gone mainstream in the GOP. Since last November, local lawmakers in red states around the country have enacted laws that will limit voter access in future elections. More are likely to follow ahead of the 2022 midterms.

While a number of congressional seats will be up for grabs next year, some are already looking ahead to the 2024 presidential election. We’ll see whether Joe Biden decides to seek a second term, or whether the Democratic Party will look to get younger at the position. On the Republican side, all eyes will be on whether Trump decides to launch a bid for the White House for the third consecutive election cycle.

It’s early, but you can already bet on it. BetOnline has new odds on which person will emerge victorious as the GOP’s presidential nominee three years from now. In news that should surprise nobody that has followed politics for the last half-decade, Trump is a pretty sizable favorite to rise back to the top of the Republican ticket:

  • Donald Trump (+175)
  • Ron DeSantis (+475)
  • Nikki Haley (+800)
  • Mike Pence (+1400)
  • Tucker Carlson (+1400)
  • Kristi Noem (+1800)
  • Ted Cruz (+2000)
  • Mike Pompeo (+2000)
  • Liz Cheney (+2500)
  • Josh Hawley (+2500)
  • Tom Cotton (+3300)
  • Tim Scott (+3300)

Will Trump Run Again?

Despite his defeat last fall, many believe Trump still holds the keys to the future of the GOP. The former president has retained an extremely loyal base of supporters, and his popularity among Republicans does not seem to have been damaged by his checkered political past.

Trump was impeached twice during his first and only term in the White House, and his four-year stint was marred by a seemingly endless array of scandals. Trump was rather fortunate to escape his first three years in office without a legitimate disaster, but that changed last year when the pandemic upended everything.

Trump’s disastrous response to the pandemic may have ultimately cost him his chance at re-election. The economy, which had been Trump’s primary selling point beforehand, subsequently went into the tank. His approval rating among non-GOP voters was questionable to begin with. The pandemic was likely the final nail in his coffin.

However, in spite of it all, Trump may be able to win his party’s nomination again in 2024 if he wants to. While some within the party may have decided to move on, there does not seem to be a very obvious heir to his throne. Trump is still the single most popular Republican in the country.

The +175 odds on Trump to secure the party’s nomination again in a few years are pretty appealing. Of course, things can change between now and then. Let’s not forget that Trump will be 78 years old by the time voters head to the polls in November of ‘24.

Unless Trump Explicitly Says He Has No Plans to Run Again, You Simply Can’t Rule Him Out

If he does decide to throw his hat into the ring, it’s very difficult to imagine another Republican actually beating him in the primary. As a result, there is plenty of upside in those aforementioned +175 odds.

DeSantis Looms

If Trump decides against another run for the presidency, the field of contenders will suddenly explode. However, there is reason to believe that Florida governor Ron DeSantis would emerge as the likely frontrunner if Trump bows out.

DeSantis has made a name for himself, for better or worse, in the midst of the pandemic. The governor has been defiant in his desire to keep his state open at all costs. While Florida has been crushed by the virus, especially recently, DeSantis has managed to gain popularity among GOP voters.

DeSantis’ steadfast opposition to mandates and health precautions has made him a popular alternative option to Trump. In fact, several big-money Republican donors have already decided to invest in DeSantis in the event that Trump decides against seeking a second term. According to NBC News, DeSantis has received millions of dollars in contributions from various donors, including some outside of Florida, ahead of his 2022 re-election campaign.

The fact that some donors are coming from outside of Florida goes to show that DeSantis is gaining a national following. Back in February, DeSantis finished second behind Trump in a poll conducted at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) asking voters to choose their top choice to represent the Republican Party in the 2024 election. DeSantis may have had a bit of home-field advantage with CPAC taking place in Orlando, but it was still a noteworthy development.

Trump has been a vocal supporter of DeSantis, as well. Obviously, given Trump’s own massive popularity, that won’t hurt his case. If Trump doesn’t run, the former president may well decide to give his coveted endorsement to DeSantis if the latter chooses to seek a higher political office.

If Trump backs out, DeSantis’ odds to win the nomination will come down considerably. As a result, taking a shot on his current +475 chances looks like an outstanding value proposition.

Tucker Carlson?

Yes, that Tucker Carlson. Carlson has become the most popular talking head at Fox News since Bill O’Reilly left in disgrace. As the host of a show that consistently ranks as the highest-rated show on nightly cable news, Carlson has managed to develop quite a following over the past few years.

Carlson is about as controversial as they come, but Republican voters seem to like those kinds of candidates these days. The longtime TV personality has never held any sort of political office, but the 52-year-old may eventually try to parlay his growing popularity into a bid for the presidency. Trump took a very similar path from TV stardom to the White House, so this kind of thing isn’t exactly unprecedented.

Carlson was quick to latch onto Trumpism after emerging as a skeptic initially. His willingness to commit his nightly show to supporting the former president during his lone term likely endeared him to Trump’s base. If DeSantis and Carlson both announce their plans to run, it will be fascinating to see which candidate will generate more enthusiasm from Trump loyalists.

People were quick to write-off Trump as a viable candidate back in 2015, and look what happened. That year’s election taught us that anything is possible in politics, especially these days. If Carlson does throw his hat into the ring, he will be a force to be reckoned with. At the very least, the +1400 odds on Carlson earning the GOP nomination in 2024 offer some upside.

Non-Trump Contenders

While the most viable contenders to the Republican Party’s nomination will presumably try to ride Trump’s coattails, there is another faction of the GOP that has decided to take another path. More traditional Republicans that did not approve of Trump’s way of doing things still exist, even if they have shrunk in numbers over the past few years.

Liz Cheney is the most vocal Trump critic from within the party. The GOP has tried to distance from the Wyoming congresswoman since she denounced Trump’s actions after the January 6 attack on the Capitol, but she has pledged that she will try to get the party back on track. Whether there are enough Republicans that agree remains to be seen.

Nikki Haley, Trump’s former Ambassador to the UN, is another potential candidate. It’s obvious that Haley has higher political aspirations, but she can’t seem to decide what she wants to be. She declined to support Trump’s candidacy before ultimately joining his administration. She was another Republican that chided Trump after January 6, only to flip to the other side of the issue following immediate backlash.

Mike Pence, Trump’s own vice president, is another name that has dreams of occupying the White House one day. The events of January 6 likely opened an irreparable divide between the two men, though, and it’s not clear where exactly Pence’s support will come from if he decides to run.

Just about any Republican looking to win the White House will need to win over the Trump wing of the party. Haley (+800), Pence (+1400), and Cheney (+2500) are going to have a very difficult time doing that.

Who Will Be the GOP Nominee in 2024?

In the end, all roads lead right back to Donald Trump. If Trump launches another campaign, any other Republican candidate is likely doomed. Some optimistic Republicans may try to get a head start and begin early bids of their own, but the field will likely thin out in a hurry if Trump decides to get back onto the campaign trail.

If Trump sits out, the nomination is likely DeSantis’ to lose. Carlson cannot be counted out, either. I’d much rather wager on DeSantis at +475 to win the nomination than Carlson at +1400, however. Being a traditional candidate didn’t help any of the challengers seeking to defeat Trump in 2016, but DeSantis’ experience in politics may prove to be an asset among GOP voters and donors this time around.

Clearly, the nomination is Trump’s if he wants it. That alone makes him a reasonably good bet at the current +175 odds. At this point, though, I do think he’s less likely to run, especially given his age. That makes DeSantis the best combination of value and upside at +475.

Who Will Be the GOP Nominee in 2024? –Ron DeSantis (+475)
Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...

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