Donald Trump has beaten the referendum record set by Barack Obama 12 years ago and won more votes than any other presidential candidate in US history except Joe Biden.
At the time of writing, the President received 69,538,777 votes according to the Associated Press, surpassing Obama’s 69,498,516 votes in 2008. But Biden has managed to achieve even more: On Thursday at 9:30 pm the former vice president set a new record with 73,303,957 votes.
The Democrats held the 2020 election largely as a referendum on Trump’s first term, hammering him for mismanaging a pandemic that killed more than 230,000 people and triggered the deepest recession since the Great Depression.
In addition, Trump was indicted last year on charges that he tried to use power to force the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on Biden, despite being acquitted in the Senate. Trump faced relentlessly negative media coverage of his character, behavior and politics throughout his term in office.
The political, economic and media landscape was so hostile that many forecasters and experts spoke of a landslide rejection of Trump. The fact that Trump has received even more votes than in 2016 against such overwhelming odds will strengthen the case for another presidential candidacy, should he lose his battle to remain in the White House. Only one president was elected for a second, non-consecutive term: Grover Cleveland in 1893.
According to a recent poll, many Republicans would support Trump in his attempt to win another term in 2024. The October 30 Washington Examiner/YouGov poll of 1,200 registered voters asked respondents what they would prefer to do to Trump in the event of defeat.
Of all respondents, the most popular choice for him was to “leave politics altogether,” with 48 percent suggesting this.
Among Republicans, however, the most popular response for Trump was to stay in politics and run for president again in 2024, with 38 percent of those polled voting for this choice.
And Trump’s former campaign consultant has suggested that the president will run again in four years if he loses to Biden.
Bryan Lanza, who served as Deputy Director of Communications for Trump’s 2016 campaign, said the President continues to enjoy broad support among Republicans and is unlikely to encounter much opposition within the party if he chooses to run in 2024.
President Trump will remain a hero within the Republican electorate. The winner of the 2024 Republican presidential primary will be either President Trump or the candidate who is most like him.
Sam Nunberg, Trump 2016 campaign strategist
“He has the apparatus, he has the support. If he were to lose a very close election today, he could argue that it wasn’t a fair and free election, that the media interfered in their suppression polls, that the rules were changed, that ballots appeared, and I think he can make a strong case for running again, and I think the Republicans would step aside and let it happen,” he said in an interview with the BBC.
He was told that US voters had not yet seen the end of “Politician Trump”, Lanza replied: “Correct.
“If anything is clear from the election results, it is that the president has a huge following and does not intend to leave the stage anytime soon,” former Republican senator Jeff Flake from Arizona told the New York Times.
Trump’s allies may also point to the proximity of the election, although numerous polls suggest that Biden has strong leadership and the president has been able to gain ground in a number of demographic areas as a reason he may still be competitive as a presidential candidate in 2024.
Sam Nunberg, who was a strategist in Trump’s 2016 campaign, told the New York Times: “President Trump will remain a hero within the Republican electorate. The winner of the 2024 Republican presidential primary will either be President Trump or the candidate who is most like him,” Sam Nunberg, who was a strategist in the 2016 campaign, told The New York Times.
According to a survey by Edison Research, Trump’s share of the vote increased with black men and women, Latin American men and women, and white women. The Latin American voters helped Trump win Florida.