Not so. The statement was tempered by the party’s weak performance in the election, in part because of candidates Trump has loudly promoted. The launch event itself was mostly shrugged off, while Trump’s ongoing legal troubles continued to fuel skepticism among some Republicans.
In recent days, polls have shown Trump’s approval rating in the party at or near the lowest point since his first victory in 2016. In theoretical opponent fields, he is ahead, but in one-on-one bouts, he is often behind.
So part of the question is how many opponents Trump will face, and how much his popularity in the party may decline. And inform our understanding of these – unanswerable! – question, it is useful to consider the path Trump is taking at this point, both Republicans and overall.