Donald Trump is expected to announce he will seek the Republican nomination for President on Tuesday night (US time) despite senior politicians from the party begging him not to do so.
One Republican has said it would be a “bad mistake” for the “dishonest” and “incompetent” Mr Trump to become the nominee.
Reportedly Mr Trump, 76, is even struggling to get some of his own family members to support his presidential tilt.
Mr Trump signalled before the US midterm elections last week that he was going to make an announcement imminently about standing for President again following his defeat to Joe Biden in 2020.
The presidential elections are due to be held in November 2024.
But there are concerns in the party that if the polarising Mr Trump steamrollers his way into the nomination – potentially by scaring other Republican candidates away – it could give a boost to Mr Biden’s attempt to remain as President.
It’s been reported that the former President had been hoping to ride on the momentum of solid results for the Republicans in the Congressional midterm elections, held last week, to cement his fresh bid for the White House.
But despite the party of opposition generally doing well at the midterms the elections have been widely been seen as a disappointment for the Republicans.
The results are so close that some have yet to be called a week later. The party may take – by a slither – the House of Representatives. This would be a boost to the Republicans who can stymie the President’s plans. But the Democrats have unexpectedly held on to the Senate.
Trump blamed for disappointing poll result
A number of reasons have been put forward as to the Republicans’ poor performance. These include anger at the Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year to strip the constitutional right to an abortion.
This decision was made possible due to the conservative judges Mr Trump appointed during his time in office.
But Mr Trump’s outsizes role in the campaign, his continued reference to unfounded allegations of electoral fraud, his backing of a slew of hard right candidates, the continued investigation into the, Capital riots and his ongoing legal troubles are also thought to have put off voters in key races.
While the former President has insisted most of the candidates he backed were elected, in many of the most high profile battles his picks lost.
Most recently ardent Trump supporter Kari Lake failed in her attempt to become Governor of Arizona. Not only had Ms Lake backed Trump’s claim he won the 2020 election but she has also cast doubt on the election process in her home state as it became clear she was in trouble.
It’s been pointed out that following his 2016 White House win, the Republicans have fared poorly in every election in which Mr Trump has played a high profile role.
It’s thought Mr Trump will announce his run on Tuesday evening (Wednesday lunchtime, AEST) from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
“Hopefully TODAY will turn out to be one of the most important days in the history of our Country!” Mr Trump posted overnight on his Truth Social platform.
Republican Party divided on Trump run
Last week, Mr Trump received the endorsement of New York Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik – the party’s third highest ranking politician in Congress – before he’d even announced his presidential bid.
“I fully support Mr Trump running again. Under his presidency, America was strong at home and abroad, our economy was red hot, our border was secure, our neighbourhoods were safe, our law enforcement was respected, and our enemies feared us,” she said.
But so far, Ms Stefanik is in a minority. While many Republicans (GOP) are keeping their power dry, there is a deep feeling in the party that Mr Trump should delay any announcement until the midterms dust has settled and at least until after an election in December that will decide a Senate seat in Georgia.
The concern is a continued focus on Mr Trump, his gripes and mudslinging, could push votes to the Democrats.
Website Alabama Live has reported that once staunch Trump supporter Congressman Mo Brooks has turned his back on the former president.
“It would be a bad mistake for the Republicans to have Donald Trump as their nominee in 2024,” he said.
“Donald Trump has proven himself to be dishonest, disloyal, incompetent, crude and a lot of other things that alienate so many independents and Republicans.”
Senior Republicans Marco Rubio and Josh Hawley have both cautioned against Mr Trump announcing a bid.
“I don’t know why Senate GOP would hold a leadership vote for the next Congress before this election is finished,” Mr Hawley said.
Struggle to get Trump family on-board
According to reports Mr Trump is even finding it a challenge to get his own family members to support his bid.
The New York Post has said that Mr Trump’s eldest daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner – both key figures when he was in the White House – may not stand on stage with him when he announces his presidential plans.
“Trump thought he could convince Ivanka this weekend to come back and campaign for him as she was the most requested speaker after the president himself last time around … but so far she’s resisting his entreaties and holding firm, as is Jared,” a source told the paper.
“They both feel they got burned in Washington and don’t want to go back and expose themselves and their children to another bitter campaign.”
Mr Trump’s sons Donald Jr and Eric are said to be all on board with the plan.
But Ms Trump and Mr Kushner’s reticence has created “extra behind-the-scenes tension,” the source added.
While Mr Trump still has a loyal base of voters, there are increasing signs his popularity is waning even among Republicans let anyone voters more generally.
Polling commission by a conservative organisation released on Monday showed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is now more popular than Mr Trump in the key states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Georgia and Florida among GOP voters.
Mr DeSantis was one of the few bright spots for the Republicans in the midterms. He retained the Governor’s office in a landslide and increased the GOP’s Congressional seats in a state that has been traditionally divided.
It’s possible the Florida gains alone will push the Republicans to retake the House of Representatives.
Conservative but without the drama of Mr Trump, Mr DeSantis is now considered a front runner for the Republican presidential nominee.
An enraged Mr Trump has dubbed the Florida governor has “Ron De Sanctimonious” and demanded he rule out a presidential run.
The vice president in the Trump White House Mike Pence told the US ABC TV News on that Mr Trump was “reckless” on the day of the January 6, 2021, insurrection and that he had told the President they had no authority to unilaterally block certification of the election, as Mr Trump sought.
Mr Pence is also seen as someone who could make a bid for the White House.
Story Credit: news.com.au