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Where the 2024 Presidential Election Stands (Go, Kamala!)

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | August 1, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | August 1, 2023 |


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As we approach the party primaries in the early part of 2024, the expectation is that we will ramp up our political coverage. Surprisingly, political campaign politics have been relatively uneventful, largely due to the lackluster performance of Ron DeSantis. Elsewhere, unless a more formidable opponent than Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. enters the race, Joe Biden essentially has the nomination secured, despite the lack of palpable enthusiasm. The latest polls reveal that, after a series of wins and improved economic outlook, Biden’s approval rating is at 39 percent, an increase from this time last year. Indeed, fewer people now hope for a second formidable candidate to enter the race as Democrats seem to have resigned themselves to Biden’s nomination.

For what it’s worth, with 26 percent of Democrats expressing enthusiasm about the prospect of Kamala Harris running in 2024, she appears to be in better standing within the party than she has been since the early days of the Biden presidency. This is promising. Despite concerns about Biden’s age, the stability he and Harris bring is appealing. As the race heats up and indictments against Trump continue to mount, I anticipate more voters will appreciate the Biden Administration’s relative lack of drama.

Meanwhile, on the Republican side, Donald Trump is gaining ground despite facing two indictments, with at least two more possibly on the way (including one as soon as this week). His continued popularity may be due in part to the media’s diminished coverage of his insane comments on Truth Social. This absence of spotlight benefits Trump, as his poll numbers tend to improve when he’s less in the news. However, staying out of the news during a presidential campaign will be challenging. Will the forthcoming Republican primary debates — which Trump does not plan to participate in — alter the dynamic? Unlikely, although there’s an outside chance that the charming (but batshit) Vivek Ramaswamy could capture some attention. More likely, Trump will be the nominee and could even run for office from prison.

Presently, according to the latest polling, the hypothetical race between Biden and Trump is deadlocked at 43 percent each. This seems absurd, yet as we know, polls can be misleading. That said, even if accurate, a 43-43 tie may favor Biden. With 14 percent undecided, it’s unlikely these voters will lean toward the unpredictable candidate potentially facing prison time and threatening democracy. Claims such as “I guess I’ll vote for Trump” or “Trump is the lesser of two evils” will likely be scarce among undecided voters.

So, where does this leave us with 15 months until the next election? Essentially, we’re in the same position as we’ve been for the last 33 months: anticipating a rematch between Biden and Trump. The silver lining? Biden won last time, and counting the midterms, Trump has lost three in a row. Multiple indictments and potential convictions are unlikely to boost his chances, even if his primary motivation is to evade prison. Issues such as abortion rights and LGBTQ rights will be significant motivators for Democrats. Hence, it’s conceivable that Trump’s Supreme Court reshaping could indirectly lead to his imprisonment. The culture war and Hunter Biden — seemingly the only platforms the Republican party is running on — aren’t likely to motivate independents or undecided voters.

As for Robert F. Kennedy and his 13 percent support among Democrats? Let’s not even go there. Those voters aren’t even Biden protestors. That is just a wing of the party that is either on the wingnut left or secretly Republican.

Source: NYTimes