Looking at the 2024 Presidential Election
Usually announcing that you are running for president requires a lot of fanfare. The presidential hopeful usually goes to his old hometown to make the announcement; followed by a day full of rallies in critical states like Iowa and New Hampshire.
This isn’t the Biden Strategy. This week President Biden announced that he was running for reelection- although few noticed it because it came as a video sent out at 6:30 am. And, instead of a positive note about lower gas prices, foreign policy issues, domestic situation, and a reduced risk of war – a necessity for an incumbent president, the ad opened with riots and protests and the message that a vote for Biden was a vote for freedom, while his opponent was a dangerous radical.
There was no mention that the US military was unable to rescue many Americans from Sudan. Nor did he mention the higher gas prices and America’s new reliance on foreign oil. There was no mention about inflation, a disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the unpopularity he is suffering in most polls.
How does he think he can beat Trump if his polling numbers are worse than Trump’s and he doesn’t want to talk about his accomplishments?
The Biden Strategy
Biden has a hard road to hoe. Polls show that most Americans do not want Biden to run again (70%). 46% of Democrats have negative feelings about Biden. Most Americans also think Biden is suffering from dementia.
So, how are Biden’s handlers planning on winning the nomination?
The answer is to rig the primary process with the help of the Democratic National Committee. Instead of following the traditional schedule of Iowa holding the first caucuses and New Hampshire the first primary (where Biden did poorly) the first primary is South Carolina, which gave Biden a big win in 2020. Pro Biden states of Georgia, Nevada and Michigan will have their primaries within that first week. That should give Biden the momentum to win the nomination.
There will not be any Democratic primary debates where Biden can have one of his senile moments.
Biden’s team is also counting on a bloody Republican presidential primary battle. However, that may not come to pass. The Trump/DeSantis battle is fading as DeSantis’s support is eroding and there may not be the bitter feelings that will keep Republican voters away from the polls.
Another advantage for Biden is that the Democratic challengers to the president aren’t strong.
One candidate does have some name recognition – Robert F. Kennedy Jr. the nephew of President John F Kennedy and the son of assassinated Senator Robert Kennedy.
For decades, the Democrats have wanted another Kennedy at the top of the ballot. However, they now have a chance, and they are avoiding RFK Jr. like the plague, partially because of his public campaign against vaccines as being dangerous. Although he has a message that is reminiscent of JFK, which speaks of American greatness and freedom, he is disliked by the Democratic leadership (and even the Kennedy clan). Like Tulsi Gabbard, he is too far outside the modern progressive Democratic mainstream.
The Democratic leadership doesn’t like RFK Jr., but he is gaining traction amongst many regular Democrats who don’t like Biden’s agenda. A Fox News poll this week showed RFK Jr. with 19% of Democrats. That’s not much, but it can grow into a serious challenge if Biden stumbles.
In many ways, he sounds like Trump. When he announced he was running he vowed to “end the corrupt merger of state and corporate power.”
Despite the Democratic leadership preferring Biden, RFK Jr. has the name and message that could wound Biden in the primaries. He is the candidate to keep an eye on.
Marianne Williamson. She is 70 years old and an author and spiritual advisor. She is the first to declare her candidacy this year. She ran in 2020 but dropped out before the Iowa Caucasus. She is seen as a very long shot.
Biden’s general election strategy is basically a rerun of 2020 – stay out of sight and paint Trump and MAGA Republicans as a threat to America. Expect to see loads of videos of the January 6th demonstrations.
Don’t expect Vice President Harris to be taken off the ticket. As Biden ages, there will be more pressure to invoke the 25th Amendment and make Harris the acting president. Obviously, an ambitious VP would be likely to do that since the 25th Amendment gives the VP most of the power to unseat the president.
Since Biden (or his handlers) see that Harris is unlikely to make such a move, she remains the best choice for Biden to remain president if he is reelected.
The Trump strategy
Although regularly hit with negative news and indictments, Trump is heading towards another nomination. Unlike Biden, he crosses the country on campaign trips, where he finds enthusiastic crowds although not like previous run.
While he campaigns, he gains in popularity polls and endorsements from influential Republican politicians.
Polls show that Trump is doing better than Biden – although that isn’t saying much. An NBC poll showed that 70% of voters said Biden shouldn’t run. 60% of voters said that Trump should not run.
Trump does have a record to run on that compares well with Biden. Trump’s lower inflation, lower gas prices, and a desire not to wage wars abroad, versus Biden’s declining respect for America, senility, military failures in Afghanistan, the unpopular LGBT+ agenda, and the radical anti-gun agenda.
There’s also the growing unease with the conflict in Ukraine.
Trump’s biggest problem is his brashness, which goes down well for a New York businessman, but poorly for a presidential candidate. He also has a field of challengers that are solid contenders with good political credentials.
Nikki Halley. Haley is the former governor of South Carolina and US ambassador to the UN. She was the first to throw her hat into the ring.
Haley is the daughter of Indian immigrants and at 51 is one of the new GOP generation of politicians.
Although Haley has crossed swords with Trump, she would be a good addition to the ticket as a VP choice.
Vivek Ramaswamy. He is a former biotech executive and worth about $600 million. He is a long shot, but comes from Ohio, which is a critical state for Republicans.
Larry Elder. He is a conservative talk show host. His best credential is that he was a candidate in the 2021 recall effort to oust California Governor Newsome. He received the most votes to replace Newsome, but Newsome retained his post.
Asa Hutchinson. Former two term governor of Arkansas. While in Congress, he was a manager for Clinton’s impeachment.
Hutchinson has said that a Trump nomination is “the worst scenario.” That makes him a long shot with the Trump supporters who control the party.
Ron DeSantis. The Florida governor is considered the best chance to take the nomination from Trump. However, he has not done well in the last few months. Although he has managed to push several pieces of conservative legislation through the legislature, several Florida politicians have endorsed Trump and DeSantis’ polling numbers against Trump have fallen. In a head-to-head matchup with Trump, he trails the former president by 33%.
DeSantis hasn’t declared yet that he would have to quit as governor according to Florida law. Consequently, he may decide to wait until 2028 to take a shot at the White House. He is well financed and might jump into the race if Trump campaign faltered.
The 2024 Election
If the 2024 election is between Biden and Trump, expect an election that’s much like 2020. Biden will stay out of sight and send out surrogates who will paint Trump as a dangerous radical. That message will be repeated by the national media.
Trump will try to moderate his message so those who are wary about another Biden term will feel more comfortable with Trump. He is likely to pick a woman as a VP nominee as there are many potential female Republicans who will boost his chances.
The electoral battlefield remains the same. Trump will try to pick up some states that he lost like Arizona, which has the second highest gasoline prices in the nation under a Democratic governor. There is also Pennsylvania, which is facing growing violence. Virginia drifted back towards the Republicans in the year off elections.
Americans are downbeat about the direction of the US. An NBC poll taken this year shows 71% of Americans believe America is on the wrong track. That usually means the incumbent is in trouble. Unless Biden and his team can tame inflation and high gas prices, along with erasing questions about his mental capability, Trump will have a good chance to return to the White House.