Short of announcing 2024 run, Trump works to energize voters

Politics

(NewsNation) — Speaking to a packed house Saturday night at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, Former President Donald Trump closed out the convention by calling on Republicans to get to the polls and win big in the November elections.

“So to win in November this election needs to be a national referendum on the horrendous catastrophes the radical Democrats have inflicted on our country,” Trump said.

Many are feeling energized to do exactly that.

“President Trump is pro-America, pro-United States, and if we’re strong we can lead the rest of the world,” said CPAC attendee Don Hammel.

Even so, the question remains if Trump is going to run again in 2024. He was non-committal on Saturday.

“I think you and a lot of people will be very very happy. You know why? Because our country is going to hell and it’s a very sad thing to watch,” Trump said.

A straw poll found 69% of CPAC attendees want the 45th president to be their presidential nominee in 2024. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was a distant second. But if the former president opts not to run, DeSantis is the runaway favorite with 65%, according to the straw poll.

Outside of CPAC, many don’t want Trump to run at all. A recent NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ poll found 57% of all voters do not want him on the 2024 ticket, and 26% of Republican voters say the same.

Former Attorney General Bill Barr said he believes the GOP needs a new face to find long-term success.

“I think we could achieve decisive victory with the right candidate, but I don’t think he’s the candidate,” Barr said Friday on CBS News. “The day he’s elected he’ll be a 78-year-old lame duck president bent on revenge more than anything else.”

Former Vice President Dick Cheney this week called Trump a “coward” in a TV ad in support of his daughter Liz Cheney, who is up for reelection in Wyoming. Liz Cheney has drawn the ire of the former president for voting to impeach him and serving on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the Capitol. She’s expected to have an uphill climb to get reelected.

The imminent focus remains on the November midterms where the GOP is hoping to take back the House and Senate. Trump continues to barnstorm across the country — campaigning on behalf of Republicans running for office.

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