Donald Trump’s “alpha move” which was meant to see off Republican rivals remains a risk as major donors wait for Ron DeSantis’ next move, GOP strategists have claimed. The 45th President launched his 2024 bid in Florida last night as supporters gathered in Mar-a-Lago for Mr Trump’s “big announcement”. The ex-POTUS already started the countdown to the next election minutes after it was revealed he had submitted his official paperwork with the Federal Election Commission.
During his announcement speech, Mr Trump said: “In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for President of the United States.”
He added: “I am running because I believe the world has not yet seen the true glory of what this nation can be.
“We have not reached that pinnacle, believe it or not.”
However, two Republican strategists have suggested that the Grand Old Party might not be ready to embrace Mr Trump for a third successive general election.
The 45th President entered the Oval Office after defeating ex-First Lady Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Mr Trump then became just the tenth POTUS to fail to win re-election when Joe Biden won by more than seven million votes in 2020.
Republican fundraiser Noelle Nikpour suggested Republican donors were waiting for Mr DeSantis’ next move and would not be reassured by Mr Trump’s campaign launch.
She told Express.co.uk: “They’ll stand by the sidelines but the small donors and his base will send lots of small-dollar contributions because they’re excited and he rallies his base.
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“This puts pressure on DeSantis to gear up for a run.”
Ms Nikpour, who contested Florida’s 18th district Republican primary in 2016, added: “The party is divided and they’re fatigued with his presence but love his policies.
“They need someone fresh to deliver these good policies.
“I don’t see a change in the major donors supporting him. Everyone I know is waiting on DeSantis.”
Minnesota’s former majority Senate leader Amy Koch warned Mr Trump that his announcement would go down poorly with American voters.
She told Express.co.uk: “I don’t think it will sit well with Americans and I don’t think it will sit well with most of the GOP.
“It will sit well with the people that already think he’s the greatest President ever.”
Looking ahead to the looming Republican primary, Ms Koch claimed Mr Trump’s “alpha move” could make his path to winning the GOP nomination more difficult.
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The Air Force veteran said: “I do think it’s going to be an interesting and a very different primary to his first time in 2016 because back then it was very divided.
“There were 12 or 13 candidates and he took turns taking each of them out.
“I think a head-to-head battle will be a very different situation for Donald Trump.
“He may have inadvertently hurt himself by clearing the field to a point but leaving maybe one of the stronger competitors.”
She added: “I never count out Donald Trump but I am confident he will not win re-election but I don’t know about the primary.”
Ms Koch also said the ex-POTUS speech was “hard to watch” and compared it to having a “thanksgiving dinner with your uncle”.
Mr Trump’s decision to declare his intention to run in his third successive general election comes at a time when leading donors wait for DeSantis’ next move.
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GOP megadonor Ken Griffin revealed he would back DeSantis’ White House bid ahead of the US midterm elections last week.
The Club for Growth, a group of wealthy tax-cutting campaigners, also indicated it would move its support towards Florida’s Governor.
According to a series of opinion polls conducted by WPA Intelligence, the Sunshine State’s Governor leads the 45th President in Republican primary contests in Georgia, Florida, Iowa and New Hampshire.
Amid speculation about a potential DeSantis bid, Mr Trump took aim at his Republican friend-turned-foe just before DeSantis won re-election by almost 20 percent.
Speaking on election night, Mr Trump said: “If he (Mr DeSantis) did run I could tell you things about him that won’t be very flattering.
“I know more about him than anybody, other than perhaps his wife, who’s really running his campaign.”
Ex-Vice President Mike Pence also suggested he could enter the Republican primary race.