Image Courtesy of ABC News
By John Maggio
While it is still early in the primary season, the 2024 Presidential election will likely be a Trump-Biden rematch. The last time back-to-back presidential elections had the same two people leading each party was when Dwight D. Eisenhower beat Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and 1956. While it is still too early to say definitively, each of the two likely candidates has enough in their pockets to help get to the magic number of 270.
President Joe Biden is heading into 2024 as the clear leader of his party even before the first Democratic primary. While his unfavorability is way ahead of his favorability, there are key factors that will help the Democrats hold the White House.
Appeal to Youth – While Trump is currently beating Biden in those under 35, this seems to be largely due to the single issue of the conflict in Israel and Gaza. While this is an important issue, it is just one difference compared to the many overlaps between Biden and young voters. Issues such as abortion rights, the climate, gun control, and LGBT rights are important to young voters, all of which the Democrats align with more than Republicans. If the Biden campaign can demonstrate to young voters that this election will be more than just the war in Gaza, his chances to regain support of the youth will likely increase.
The Trump Factor – With the Republican nomination in all likelihood going to Trump, this could be a plus for Biden’s chances of reelection for numerous reasons. The results of Trump’s legal cases may affect his chances of running and his opinion of the public. His actions on Jan. 6 still are a factor in voters’ minds. The GOP is divided, with some supporters of Nikki Haley saying they would vote for Biden over Trump. While Trump has attacked Biden for his age and mental strength, Trump’s age is catching up with him as well, most notably when he recently confused Nikki Haley with Nancy Pelosi.
Democratic Incumbency – For President Biden, history is in his favor. The last time a Democratic incumbent lost their reelection bid was in 1980 when President Jimmy Carter lost to Republican Ronald Reagan in a major landslide. At that same time, there were two Republicans who lost their reelection – George H. W. Bush and Donald Trump in 1992 and 2020 respectively.
While it did look early in Biden’s first term that much of his time in office was a parody of Carter’s – low approval ratings, historically high gas prices and inflation, Middle East tensions, domestic opposition to facing climate change, Russia invading a neighboring nation. Fortunately for Biden, the tide is shifting. The Dow recently reached record highs, there is an increase in Americans who are optimistic about the economy, and the Inflation Reduction Act is helping the economy grow while reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. While there is still much against him, this leads to his last advantage: time.
Time – President Biden can start singing the words of Mick Jagger because time is on his side. While this could be an advantage for either candidate, this will most likely help the incumbent. While the Republicans are in control of the House, their ability to wield power has been called into question.
This is due to the 15 rounds it took to elect California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the historic removal of McCarthy from the speakership (he has since stepped down from elected office), the three-week battle to replace McCarthy, the multiple near shutdowns due to House Republican infighting, and the long-awaited expulsion of New York Rep. George Santos from the House. If Republicans continue to show their inability to govern successfully, many voters may not be willing to hand them the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
While there are 9 months until the election, there are many unknown factors and events in the remaining months that could affect President Biden in positive or negative ways in his reelection chances. These factors are key to helping him get to 270 on election night, keeping the White House blue for at least four more years.