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2024 rematch: Biden, Trump, deadlocked in new poll

It was one of the biggest applause lines in former President Donald Trump’s roughly hour-long speech this weekend.

The former president, speaking at a rally Saturday night in Florence, South Carolina, once again flirted with launching another White House campaign in 2024, saying that “we may have to run again.”

TRUMP HEADS TO SOUTH CAROLINA TO TAKE AIM AT TWO HOUSE REPUBLICANS

“In 2024 we are going to take back that beautiful, beautiful White House,” Trump said, repeating a well-used line.  “I wonder who will do that. I wonder. I wonder.”

And with President Biden saying that he’ll run for a second term in the White House if he remains healthy, we may be headed for a 2024 rematch of the 2020 presidential election.

According to a national poll released Friday by the Wall Street Journal, it’s all tied up between the president and the former president at this extremely early point in the next presidential election cycle.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST POLLING FROM FOX NEWS 

Voters were split at 45% in a hypothetical matchup between Biden and Trump, when asked who they would vote for in 2024. The poll was conducted March 2-7 and the results on the 2024 matchup question remain unchanged from the Journal’s previous poll conducted in November. 

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden answers a question and President Donald Trump listens during the second and final presidential debate Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool)

Trump latest 2024 GOP hopeful to stop in South Carolina

Trump remains the most popular and influential politician in the Republican Party as he continues to play a kingmaker’s role in the GOP 2022 primaries.

And South Carolina plays an important role in presidential politics, as it holds the first southern primary and votes third in the GOP’s presidential nominating calendar.

PENCE BOOKS BACK-TO-BACK TRIPS TO SOUTH CAROLINA 

Dave Wilson – the president of the Columbia, South Carolina based conservative Christian nonprofit the Palmetto Family Council – told Fox News that Trump’s rally “is much about impacting Washington DC in 2022 as it is about 2024.”

He suggested that Trump could use the rally to “see exactly where the voters are to make an informed choice about what he’s going to do in 2024.”

But Trump’s far from the only potential Republican White House hopeful to stop in the state over the past year. 

Former Vice President Mike Pence takes part in a 'fireside chat' with approximately 400 pastors gathered at the First Baptist Church of Columbia, in Columbia, South Carolina on April 29, 2021.

The other possible contender who’s made the most visits – former Vice President Mike Pence, who’s scheduled to return to the Palmetto State twice this spring.

Wilson spotlighted that anyone interested in running for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination “recognizes the importance of South Carolina” and “how important South Carolina is to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue becoming your place of residence.”

Pence grabs spotlight with stop in Ukraine 

Pence met on Thursday with Ukrainian refugees flooding into Poland as they escaped Russia’s military assault of their country. Pence, who has condemned Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s deadly invasion, was in Ukraine along its border with Poland. 

“The impact of the Russian invasion on these families is heartbreaking and the need for support is great,” Pence emphasized in a tweet.

Pence was accompanied by his wife, former second lady Karen Pence. The two traveled to the region with Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian humanitarian organization. They were joined by the group’s vice president of operations, Edward Graham, who’s the son of the organization’s president, the nationally known evangelical pastor Franklin Graham.

Pence, who’s mulling a 2024 GOP presidential nomination run, was on an overseas trip that also took him to Israel on Wednesday.

PENCE MEETS WITH WAR REFUGEES DURING VISIT TO UKRAINE-POLAND BORDER

The former vice president a week ago made headlines regarding the Russia-Ukraine war, when he told a Republican National Committee gathering of top donors that “there is no room in this party for apologists for Putin. There is only room for champions of freedom.”

A Republican source in the room at the appearance by Pence in New Orleans, Louisiana, told Fox News that the line received applause from the audience at the event, which was closed to press.

Pence didn’t refer to Trump by name in his comments, but his targeting of those in the GOP who haven’t fully condemned Putin follows multiple remarks made last month by Pence’s former boss describing Putin’s “genius” and “savvy” in launching the attack.

But Trump has also argued that he was “tough” on Putin during his four years in the White House and has repeatedly claimed that Russia would not have invaded Ukraine if he were still president. In recent days the former president’s also described the horrific pictures of Russian attacks on Ukrainian civilians as a “holocaust.

Nikki Haley headed to New Hampshire

Former two-term South Carolina Nikki Haley, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the first two years of the Trump administration, will return to the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state of New Hampshire early next month to campaign with a former official in Trump’s State Department who’s running for Congress.

The trip by Haley, which was first reported by Fox News, will spark more speculation about her possible national ambitions. 

FIRST ON FOX NEWS: NIKKI HALEY RETURNING TO FIRST PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY STATE

Haley will spend April 4 in New Hampshire, teaming up with Republican congressional candidate Matt Mowers at multiple stops including a fundraiser in the southern town of Salem. Mowers is one of the top contenders in the crowded GOP primary in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District, a longtime premiere House swing district that the GOP’s aiming to flip from blue to red in November’s midterm elections.

Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley campaigns with GOP congressional candidate Matt Mowers in Bedford, New Hampshire, in October of 2020.

The stop in New Hampshire will be Haley’s first since October 2020, when she campaigned with Mowers during his first bid for the seat. Mowers won the GOP nomination but lost the general election to Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas by five points. The two-term Democratic incumbent is running for reelection again this year.

Pompeo back in Iowa 

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo returned to Iowa on Friday night for the second time in a month. And it was Pompeo’s fourth trip over the past year to the state whose caucuses for a half century’s kicked off the presidential nominating calendar.

Pompeo, a former congressman from Kansas who served as CIA director and later as America’s top diplomat during former the Trump administration, headlined an Iowa GOP fundraising dinner in eastern city of Davenport along with former longtime Hawkeye State Gov. Terry Branstad, who served as ambassador to China under Trump.

Fox News learned last month that Pompeo will head back to Iowa again in April for events in the western part of the state.

POMPEO HEADS BACK TO IOWA FOR FORUM ON AMERICA’S GLOBAL STANDING

Asked about 2024, Pompeo, told Fox News last summer in Iowa that “my wife and I will pray and we’ll think our way through it and when we hit 2023, we’ll figure our way through it.”

Iowa’s lead off position takes incoming fire at DNC meeting

While Pompeo was in Iowa, the state’s lead off status in the Democratic presidential nominating calendar was facing serious scrutiny at a meeting of the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) Rules and Bylaws Committee Friday evening in the nation’s capital.

While there were no final decisions – that will likely come at the DNC’s summer meeting later this year – many of the party members who spoke at the gathering were clearly open to reordering the presidential nominating calendar to better reflect the party’s growing diversity and values.

WITH TWO YEARS UNTIL CAUCUSES, LITTLE GOP APPETITE TO UPEND PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATING CALENDAR

The knock against Iowa and New Hampshire – among some Democrats – for years has been that the states are too White, lack any major urban areas, and aren’t representative of a Democratic Party that’s become increasingly diverse over the past several decades. Nevada and South Carolina are much more diverse and have larger metropolitan areas than either Iowa or New Hampshire.

FILE - The Iowa Caucuses exhibit in Des Moines, Iowa

And Nevada Democrats last year passed a bill into law that would transform the state’s presidential caucus into a primary and aim to move the contest to the lead-off position in the race for the White House, ahead of Iowa and New Hampshire. Compounding Iowa’s issues was the botched reporting of the 2020 caucuses, which became a national and international story, and an embarrassment for Iowa Democrats as well as the DNC.

Among those speaking at the meeting was DNC member Mo Elleithee, who’s long been a proponent of shaking up the calendar. He emphasized there’s a need for changes, “not four years from now — now.”

“I think states like New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina can make a compelling argument as to how they fit into that picture,” Elleithee, who’s also a Fox News contributor, said. “I have a harder time seeing it with Iowa, but Iowa should have the right to make that case to us.”

Causing controversy ahead of the meeting was a leaked DNC draft proposal, which called for having all the early voting states reapplying for their place in the nominating calendar, with an emphasis on diversity and holding primaries over caucuses.

While there’s plenty of drama regarding the DNC’s 2024 calendar, there’s apparently little desire at the Republican National Committee (RNC) to make alterations. At last month’s winter meeting, which was held in Salt Lake City, Utah, was the unanimous passage by an RNC panel of a report that makes no changes to the traditional top of the party’s presidential nominating calendar. 

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