There are numerous ways in which Donald Trump could throw a wrench into the Republican primary leading up to the 2024 election, and one of them is to not survive.
The former president, who is currently 77 and turns 78 in June, recently mourned the loss of his older sister. He also used that event to complain that the “fake news went after her mercilessly.” Trump has also called into question the health of President Joe Biden, who is a few years older than Trump.
If Trump were to die, the change in the election cycle would be dependent upon when in the process that loss of life occurred, according to a Business Insider report. The outlet also reported that such a change would be highly dependent upon the states.
“There are currently eight declared candidates, including Trump, on the GOP side. If Trump were to die before January 1, 2024, there would likely be other Republicans who want to jump into the race,” according to the news report. “Many states’ filing deadlines have already passed, however, meaning that state election officials would need to adjust them to allow new candidates to enter the race.”
There’s also the possibility that Trump dies before the middle of June, when the primary season ends, according to the analysis.
“If Trump died during primary season — which ends in mid-June — some states may postpone their scheduled primaries,” the report states. “There’s some precedent for this; at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than a dozen states postponed their primaries or expanded vote-by-mail options.”
Lastly, there’s a potential scenario in which Trump dies even later.
“If Trump died after the last primary contest but before the Republican National Convention, the other GOP presidential candidates would have to make a case to every state delegation at the convention for why they should be the party’s nominee,” according to the report. “And if Trump secured the GOP nomination but died between the convention and Election Day 2024, the RNC would convene to select another presidential candidate.