Donald Trump has been non-committal when it comes to whether or not he’s going to make another White House run, but it’s clear he’s closely watching the developments within his party while working with his operatives to ensure that he would dominate the 2024 Iowa caucuses if he decided to run again. But some Republicans warn that Trump doesn’t have the state locked down.
Trump’s continued looming presence within the GOP is still doing little to discourage other potential Republican candidates from stepping up their activity in Iowa, the state that will formally launch the 2024 nomination process.
Several Trump cronies are already exploring their own chances for a 2024 run. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a quiet fifth trip to Iowa last week, and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is making plans for a statewide trip this summer. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the 2016 Iowa GOP caucus winner, has also visited and endorsed candidates for Congress, and Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton owns the early lead for Iowa visits at six, with a seventh planned for July.
The Trump rally in the pivotal state of Iowa this weekend was a clear signal:
1. Dangerous lies are getting worse
2. Major party leaders like Grassley (who condemned Trump after 1/6) were there and giving him full support
3. He's going to run in 2024
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) October 13, 2021
Former Vice President Mike Pence, meanwhile, is expected to visit the heart of conservative western Iowa this weekend. Pence’s trip is particularly notable since he spent the better part of four years mirroring Trump’s messaging and behavior. It provides further evidence that Pence, whose life was threatened by Trump supporters during the violent January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, is considering his political future without regard to his former boss. Trump continues to criticize Pence for not stopping the certification of the Electoral College vote totals that made Joe Biden the winner even though vice presidents play only a ceremonial role in the counting of Electoral College votes. Any attempt to interfere in the count would have represented an extraordinary violation of the law and an assault on the democratic process, sparking a constitutional crisis.
Because they’re trying to win the 2024 Iowa caucus. https://t.co/mwLBnq36Jy
— THEE Tío Sam 🇺🇸🇨🇺🇺🇦 (@TioSamSays) April 19, 2022
The GOP’s full-court press in Iowa won’t likely begin until after the November midterm elections. But the party has already committed to maintaining the state’s status as home to the first nominating contest.