Five Reasons Donald Trump Will Be Pessimistic About Running in 2024

Former President Donald Trump has repeatedly teased another run at the Oval Office since his defeat in the 2020 presidential election and he's also continued to make unfounded claims that fraud deprived him of victory last year.

Trump has reasons to be optimistic about a 2024 run, including his continued widespread support among Republicans and President Joe Biden's recent difficulties and flagging approval rating.

However, the former president is still a candidate with a lot of baggage that could outweigh his advantages in three years' time. Though at the moment it seems he might sail through the primary process, the general election could prove his undoing.

Here are five reasons why Trump may be pessimistic about another campaign.

1. Same Old Trump

At this point, former President Trump is very much a known quantity for voters. He's been a leading figure in national life since at least 2016 and though he still grabs headlines, many Americans may have become inured to his behavior.

David A. Bateman, an associate professor at Cornell University's Department of Government, told Newsweek even Republican primary voters might want something fresh.

"In 2024 he'll be neither a novelty as in 2016 nor an incumbent as in 2020. He'll be a loser from the past, a twice-impeached president," Bateman said. "It's not an absurd argument to make to a GOP primary audience that maybe they need someone who can actually win more votes than the alternative."

Mark Shanahan, an associate professor at the Department of Politics and International Relations at Reading University and co-editor of The Trump Presidency: From Campaign Trail to World Stage, told Newsweek Trump's status had changed since his first run at the White House.

"Trump' 24 is likely to be devoid of fresh ideas," Shanahan said. "In 2016, he was the outsider. After four years in the White House, that claim is diluted. In 2020 he attacked Biden for being old and slow. In 2024, a visibly aging Trump will be 78.

"In both elections, Trump offered little in new policy other than to roll back his predecessor's actions, largely by way of a snappy slogan. Recent elections in other western democracies have shown an increasing frustration with populism: if policy comes back onto voters' radar, Trump is likely to be outflanked."

2. The Popular Vote

Trump has now lost the national popular vote twice - first in 2016 to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then to President Biden in 2020. His 2016 Electoral College victory was due to very narrow wins in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Biden won all three states in November.

Though it is possible to win the 2024 election while losing the popular vote, if Trump cannot win the most votes it will likely make his path back to the White House more difficult.

"He has twice lost the popular vote and he lost more in 2020 than 2016," David Bateman said. "Democrats won't be caught flat-footed in the Midwest again and will be planning to at least consolidate gains in the southwest and southeast."

3. Mixed Midterm Results

Republicans are hoping to take back the House of Representatives and the Senate in the 2022 midterm elections and it appears they may be on track to do so. It might seem intuitive that this would help Trump, but two years of a politically divided government could potentially play into Biden's hands.

"While Democrats are expected to do poorly in 2022 midterms, that alone will mean two years of a Democratic president proposing popular policies and looking like a competent adult against an opposition party with majorities in Congress that is likely to be even more extreme and out of touch than the Tea Party was," David Bateman told Newsweek.

"So Biden - likely - will be in a better electoral position in 2024 than in 2022," he said.

But if Democrats manage to win the midterm elections, that could provide Biden with a boost heading into 2024.

"Biden may get his infrastructure and economic recovery through in time to hold on to Congress in the midterms," said Mark Shanahan. "In '24, as ever, voters will look to the economy and its impact on their wallets to dictate their voting preference.

"If Biden's policies are driving economic growth, the independents and centrist Democrats Trump needs to win may well stick with the incumbent - be that party or leader."

4. A Sore Loser?

Trump has repeatedly made unfounded claims that the 2020 election was "stolen" from him and pressured Republicans to investigate or audit the election - with many in the GOP agreeing that reviews are needed.

There is no evidence of mass voter fraud costing Trump the election and his continued comments to the contrary could prove a liability for Republicans, particularly as he recently suggested that his supporters shouldn't vote in 2022 or 2024 if voter fraud isn't "solved."

"His own inability to accept that he lost is almost certainly shared by many in the party but surely some are just going alone and recognize that he's got some exceptional weaknesses as a national candidate," said David Bateman.

"They will hope they don't need to coordinate against him, but I expect they are taking seriously the possibility of doing so."

Paul Quirk is a political scientist at the University of British Columbia. He told Newsweek Trump could attempt to overturn the results of the election if he loses.

"Trump does not base decisions on refined estimates of probabilities. He knows the outcome he wants and expects to get it," Quirk said.

"Trump realizes there are three different ways he can succeed. He can win the election legitimately, as he did - apart from the Russian help - in 2016. He can get enough Republicans in enough states, or in Congress, to help him overturn the results of the voting if it goes against him. His ongoing attack on the election system is making serious progress," he said.

It remains to be seen if the Republican Party will view Trump's possible attempts to overturn the 2024 election as a reason to prevent him from getting the nomination - if they can do so.

5. Trump's Legal Woes

The former president is facing a series of legal issues. There is a criminal probe ongoing in Fulton County, Georgia into possible election interference, criminal and civil probes in New York regarding the Trump Organization and fraud litigation being brought by Trump's niece, Mary Trump, among many others.

Earlier this week, a judge in New York ordered Trump to sit for a deposition in a case involving an alleged assault during a demonstration at Trump Tower in 2015. Any number of legal difficulties could potentially derail another presidential bid.

"The law may catch up with Trump before any campaign gathers momentum," Mark Shanahan said.

"From Georgia to New York to Washington D.C., Trump the individual and his wider business organization could face anything from 12 to 29 civil and criminal lawsuits that have slowly gathered momentum since he has left the White House.

"Certainly some of the more politically-motivated prosecutors will push their cases hard if there's any sign that Trump's about to break cover and declare his candidacy. At the very best, any legal proceedings will be a significant distraction from a run at the White House, and may well scare the money away," he said.

Paul Quirk told Newsweek: "If nothing else, [Trump] can use his candidacy to undermine the various prosecutions that he may be facing. If his Plan A is to win 271 votes in the Electoral College, his Plan B may be to win at least one vote of a juror in any criminal trial."

Trump Addresses the Media in Texas
Former President Donald Trump addresses a member of the media after a border security briefing on June 30, 2021 in Weslaco, Texas. Trump has reasons to be pessimistic about a potential 2024 White House run. Brandon Bell/Getty Images