Donald Trump's current visit come Iowa - a key state in the presidential nomination procedure - has sustained speculation the he is preparing because that a 2024 White house run. V a base the loves him and Republican political leaders who defer come him, the is tho a powerful force in ~ the party. Yet if the harbours presidential ambitions, he's not alone - and at the very least some conservative aren't totally on board.

You are watching: Can trump do what he wants


There was a telling moment throughout Donald Trump's rally in ~ the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines ~ above Saturday night. Around halfway v his two-hour speech, the previous president invite Senator chuck Grassley top top the stage and endorsed his upcoming re-election campaign.


Grassley, at age 88, is the longest-serving Republican in the us Senate. He was an initial elected come public office as soon as Dwight D Eisenhower to be president. He has won his last four re-election campaigns by an mean of 34% and hasn't challenged a Republican primary opponent since 1980.


If there's one human in the Republican Party who shouldn't require Donald Trump's help to obtain re-elected, it's lining Grassley.


*
Image source, Getty Images
Image caption, The 88-year-old senator claimed it would certainly be stupid for him come not look for Mr Trump's help

Back in January, Grassley - like many prominent republicans - seemed on the verge of cutting ties v Trump. He referred to as the 6 January assault on the united state Capitol by Trump supporters an "attack top top American democracy itself". In February, the issued a blistering push release saying that, if he to be voting to acquit Trump during his impeachment trial because that allegedly instigating the 6 Capitol attack, he condemned the then-president's unwillingness to expropriate his choice loss and also called his language "extreme, aggressive and irresponsible".


But on a balmy night in October, the Iowa senator to be basking in the glow of the previous president's faithful crowd - and also openly acknowledged specifically why he to be doing so.


"I may have actually been born at night, but I wasn't born critical night," Grassley said. "So if ns didn't accept the endorsement of a person that's acquired 91 percent of the Republican voters in Iowa, i wouldn't be also smart."


Grassley to be citing a current survey through the Des Moines Register mirroring Trump much more popular in Iowa 보다 he ever was during his presidency - and also with virtually universal support amongst the state's Republican voters. And also the depth the that assistance was reflected in the rally's speak list. Grassley was joined through Iowa governor Kim Reynolds (also up because that re-election following year) and two the Iowa's 3 Republican members of residence of Representatives.


It was an impressive display of force in a state that, through its first-in-the-nation Republican caucuses, could be pivotal in determining the party's presidential nominee in 2024.


"This is whereby Donald Trump discovered a lot of his support, in alienated countryside landscapes the feels together though they're gift ignored and forgotten by the powers that be in Washington," states Rachel Paine Caufield, a professor of politics at Drake university in Des Moines.


*
Image source, Getty Images

"Donald trump has constantly had a knack because that speaking to those alienated voters, those world who feel favor they're no being listened to, fairly than speaking about them."


After 4 years in the White House, and also despite the choice loss and also how the last days of his presidency unfolded, those "alienated voters" room sticking v their guy.


A trumped rally, in ~ this point, is a political activity distilled into its purest form. It's the kingdom of flag-bedecked pick-up trucks, sellers selling obscenity-laced indicators directed at Biden and also Maga-hat-wearing die-hards sporting T-shirts that claim Democrats stole the 2020 election, that vaccines mandates are federal government dictatorship and - perhaps most importantly - that Trump will certainly be back in 2024.


"Miss me yet?" check out a big sign emblazoned v the president's smiling visage external the fairgrounds.


*
Image source, Getty Images

"We really want him back," claims Shenoah Hanson, that drove 5 hours indigenous Wisconsin to attend her very first Trump rally. "He came from the same kind of civilization we are, therefore I certainly think he has a much better voice than most of the other civilization in office."


Hanson may acquire her wish. Trump has currently hired 2 Iowa-based staffers with campaign experience. His rally speech, while dominated by complaints around the 2020 election and also swipes in ~ members of his very own party, closed through what sounded like a project platform. He promised activity on immigration, tech-company regulation, the economy, veterans' affairs and also education. He even tested out a brand-new slogan, "Make America an excellent Again - Again".


The Washington short article reported critical week the Trump even considered announcing his bid in August, as soon as Joe Biden to be mired in the turmoil of the united state withdrawal native Afghanistan. He was ultimately encouraged to organize off till after following year's congressional mid-term elections, lest the vote become a referendum top top his politics rebirth and he danger garnering several of the reprimand if republic underperform expectations.


*

If trumped is dipping his toe once much more into presidential politics, the prospect hasn't to be universally welcomed exterior the friendly boundaries of his rallies.


A recent Pew research study poll discovered that, if two-thirds of republicans in the united state want trump to continue to be a "major political figure", under than fifty percent want that to look for the Republican presidential nomination a third time.


It's what the new York Times' Jonathan boy name has dubbed the "gold watch" constituency - a section of the party that wants to give thanks to Trump for his service and then water level him into retirement through a glowing gift and a beat on the back.


That is a sentiment shared by Iowans like Josh Luedtke, a an elderly at the college of Iowa and also a member of the school's university Republicans.


"I think there are far better options the end there for the Republican Party," that says. "Yes, Donald Trump go a many of an excellent things for our country. But he additionally did a many of splitting of the people."


If trump card is walking to run again, he'll need to convince people like Luedtke that he can win in 2024, states Bob Vander Plaats, a prominent Iowa evangelical leader.


"His vital is going to be, deserve to I get past that base," that says. "Is Biden's such a failed leader that, yes, we will certainly go there again. And I'd recommend to him the you have to emphasis on her accomplishments."


*

Image caption, Republicans could only have the ability to defeat mr Trump by attack him indigenous the right, says Bob Vander Plaats

Vander Plaats, chairman of The household Leader, has actually an opinion the carries substantial weight in the state. He has endorsed the eventual Republican winner that the Iowa caucuses in 2008, 2012 and also 2016 (when Texas senator Ted Cruz quickly beat Trump).


He claims there are various other appealing Republican presidential hopefuls manoeuvring behind the scene in Iowa, including previous Vice-President Mike Pence, previous Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, southern Dakota governor Kristi Noem and also Florida governor Ron DeSantis. They space acting choose it will be a wide-open nomination race - although they're all walking a well line in between laying the groundwork because that a future project while not angering trumped or his supporters.


To be sure, over there are factors Trump may end up on the sidelines come 2024. If he regulated to store a vigorous project schedule last year, his age - at this time 75 - could end up being a factor. Then there are the criminal investigations, right into his businesses in new York and also his post-election pressuring that Georgia choice officials, that can present legit obstacles.


If trump card does go into the race, Vander Plaats says, the should have the ability to clear many of the field. However if someone like DeSantis or Pompeo stays in, things might get interesting.


"You're not going to beat trump by attacking him indigenous the left," that says. "The problem won't be the they're against Trump. The concern would have to be, we believe we have the right to win, and we have to win."


Of course, in 2016 there to be plenty of republic - a majority of main voters, in reality - that didn't support Trump's march to the party's nomination. Trumped won through a plurality, and also he can do therefore again. This time around, he will have also greater advantages - including an created fundraising network, a much more experienced campaign team and a party pecking order at the state and also national level that, unlike 2016, is now filled v Trump loyalists.

See more: Can You Get Unemployment After Failing Drug Test Ing, Drug Testing Regulation


"I think if Donald Trump wants the Republican nomination because that 2024, he's gained a very great chance of gift able to obtain that nomination," Caufield says. "The fact that that hasn't graciously stepped aside and also said it's time for new leadership in the Republican Party, the he has actually such a organize on the base, it provides him a really serious contender."


The Biden presidency is just nine months old. It's still more than three years till the next presidential election. But in the US, a effective presidential project is a multi-year, near-billion-dollar undertaking - and also the roadway to the White residence runs with Iowa.