Former President Donald Trump appeared on Fox’s Sean Hannity Show this week where he said he was seriously considering a run for the White House in 2024.
“I am looking at it very seriously – beyond seriously,” Trump said.
The only U.S. President to run and win nonconsecutive terms is Grover Cleveland (D). He won the 1884 election, lost his re-election bid in 1888, and then won the White House again in 1892.
Mississippi voters backed Trump in the crowded 2016 Republican Primary, handing the eventual nominee over 47% of the vote. He went on to top Democrat Hillary Clinton in that cycle winning nearly 58% to 40% in the Magnolia State.
Trump performed equally as well in 2020, defeating now President Joe Biden with just under 58% to 41% in Mississippi.
State Director for the Donald Trump for President Campaign in both elections was Dane Maxwell, the Southern District Public Service Commissioner. Maxwell told Y’all Politics he believes that if the former President runs in 2024 he will once again win Mississippi.
“Mississippi Republicans by and large love President Trump for his openness and his pro-America policies,” Maxwell said. “If he decides to run again in 2024, especially given what we’re seeing from this Biden Administration, President Trump will be the frontrunner in Mississippi and will likely draw equally as high numbers as he has in the last two elections.”
Having Trump on the top of the ticket in 2024 would conceivably help senior U.S. Senator Roger Wicker the most. Wicker received the backing of Trump in his 2018 race where he defeated Democrat challenger David Baria nearly 59% to 40%.
Trump told Hannity his record in races where he has endorsed candidates is 128-2.
“I’m not looking to say, ‘Well, we want super conservative, only Trump.’ I also want them to win after the primaries. But I’m at 128 and 2 when I endorse people,” Trump said. “When we endorse them, it means something.”
That was certainly true in Mississippi in 2018 for Cindy Hyde-Smith.
Then-Governor Phil Bryant had appointed Hyde-Smith (R) to fill the unexpired term of former U.S. Senator Thad Cochran who had retired. Republican State Senator Chris McDaniel jumped in the non-partisan Special Election race along with Democrat Mike Espy.
Some onlookers thought President Trump would either stay out of the race or potentially give a nod to McDaniel. However, Hyde-Smith received the Trump endorsement. That above all else propelled her to the top of the field in the minds of Mississippi voters, essentially handing her the Senate seat.
Hyde-Smith went on to carry the three-person field with just over 41% compared to Espy who drew just under 41% and McDaniel who received over 16%. She then won the runoff 54% to 46% over Espy.
The freshman Senator would then win the 2020 election again over Espy backed by Trump 54% to 44%, securing a full six year term.
Commissioner Maxwell agreed that the former President’s stamp of approval comes after a strong look at candidates and a realistic assessment of the field to see who can run and win.
“Having President Trump’s endorsement means a lot,” Maxwell said. “He and his staff vet candidates and have consistently endorsed those Republicans that best align with conservative values and that can actually win to help set America on the right path. His endorsement carries a lot of weight, not only in Mississippi but across the country.”
Trump told Hannity he plans to actively help win U.S. House races but recognizes the U.S. Senate will be more of a challenge in 2022.
“We are going to help with the House. I think we have a really good chance. I’m working with everybody, including [House Republican Leader] Kevin McCarthy on taking back the House,” Trump said. “I think we have a really good chance in doing it. Likewise, the Senate’s going to be a little bit tougher.”
Here in Mississippi, the only 2022 midterm race that appears to be gaining any attention at this point is in the 4th Congressional District. Incumbent Republican Congressman Steven Palazzo is facing an ethics inquiry in the U.S. House Ethics Committee over campaign spending. A slew of potential Primary challengers are lining up to enter that race.
Trump endorsed Palazzo’s re-election bid in 2020 when the Congressman faced three Republican Primary challengers. Given the nature of the ethics inquiry, it is uncertain as to whether the former President would again throw his backing to Palazzo or look elsewhere in what could be a crowded field.
Palazzo indicated to Y’all Politics earlier this month that he does plan to seek re-election.
“I plan to continue to serve as long as the constituents of the fourth district have faith in me to do so,” Palazzo said.
Any serious 2022 primary challengers for the other two Mississippi Republicans in Congress – Trent Kelly (MS-1) and Michael Guest (MS-3) – have yet to emerge.