More than three years before either major party selects a nominee, speculation about potential 2016 Presidential candidates has already begun, fueled in part by the camp of one potential candidate, New York City real estate magnate and television personality Donald Trump.
On Monday, the New York Post reported that “Trump has spent more than $1 million on electoral research for a potential presidential run in 2016.” Michael Cohen, executive vice president and special counsel to Trump, told the Post the research was conducted to determine Trump’s standing in every state.
“We did not spend $1 million on this research for it just to sit on my bookshelf,” according to Cohen, who added that, “Mr. Trump has not made any decision on a political run, but what I would say is that he is exactly what this country needs.”
Trump spoke at the Oakland County (Michigan) Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner earlier in May, which was attended by a crowd of 2,300, where he sounded a familiar tune:
Everybody tells me, “Please run for president. Please run for president.” I would be much happier if a great and competent person came along. I’d be happy if President Obama did a great job. I’m a Republican, but before anything, I love this country. I would love to see somebody come in who is going to be great.
Trump fueled similar speculation about a possible presidential run in 2012 but ultimately decided not to enter the race. A January 2013 poll by Public Policy Polling showed Trump is viewed more favorably than Congress by a 44% to 42% margin; Congress remains highly unpopular, with a 9% favorable to 85% unfavorable rating.
Trump told the Oakland County audience that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic Party’s nominee in 2016, and warned that Republicans should be ready for a fight:
It seems that everybody who runs for office wants my support. I will say (the Republican Party) has to pick the right candidate because it will not be an easy election in three years. If they don’t pick the right person, it will be a landslide.