The potential for Trump to regain access to Twitter could have a significant impact on the 2024 Republican primaries, assuming the former President is planning to run again. Twitter was integral to Trump’s political success, and if his accounts are restored, he would have immense leverage to secure the Republican presidential nomination and enhance his position in a general election.
Trump depended on Twitter to communicate directly to the public in an informal and unedited way. Though we still don’t know how much was scripted, and whether certain tweets were written by White House staffers, Trump’s Twitter account was a source of constant commentary. He used the platform to attack his opponents, spread disinformation to his political advantage and taunt foreign leaders such as North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.
Indeed, the campaign to delegitimize the 2020 election relied in part on Trump’s repeated Twitter blasts that fueled his narrative. What we saw on January 6 was a real mob that came together through the world of social media, chanting slogans that grew out of Trump’s Twitter feed as they stormed Capitol Hill.
If Trump is going to make a political comeback in 2024, Twitter could prove to be a game-changer for him. Without access to this medium, it will be enormously difficult for him to recreate the strategy that propelled him to the White House in 2016, especially with a new generation of Trumpian Republicans like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ready to stir up controversy and feed red meat to the base.
If Musk’s presence on the board does somehow lead to a change in policy, the Republican primaries — and the future of the country — will likely look very different.