PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Former President Donald Trump is preparing to launch his third campaign for the White House on Tuesday, looking to move on from disappointing midterm defeats and defy history amid signs that his grip on the Republican Party is waning.
Trump had hoped to use the GOP’s expected gains in last week’s elections as a springboard to vault himself to his party’s nomination. Instead, he finds himself being blamed for backing a series of losing candidates after Republicans failed to take control of the Senate. While the party was on the cusp of retaking control of the House on Tuesday, it could end up with its narrowest majority in decades.
“Hopefully, tomorrow will turn out to be one of the most important days in the history of our Country!” Trump wrote on his social media network on Monday. An announcement was expected at 9 p.m. EST Tuesday from his club in Palm Beach.
Another campaign is a remarkable turn for any former president, much less one who made history as the first to be impeached twice. Just one president in U.S. history has been elected to two nonconsecutive terms: Grover Cleveland in 1884 and 1892.
Aides and allies had urged Trump to wait until after the midterms were over — and then until after a Dec. 6 Senate runoff election in Georgia — to announce his plans. But Trump, eager to return to the spotlight, is also hoping to stave off a long list of potential challengers, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who cruised to reelection last week and is now being urged by many in his party to run for president a well.
Trump has tried to blame Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell for the GOP’s performance — and McConnell allies have criticized Rick Scott, the Florida senator who heads the Senate Republicans’ campaign committee.