By: Kalyani Shankar
Will a potential Joe Biden versus Donald Trump presidential race happen in 2024 in the United States? It is the question after the two current and former presidents have thrown themselves in the presidential ring two years in advance.
Democrats and Republicans are already preparing for the 2024 presidential polls. Polls show that though Biden remains unpopular, he still enjoys more support than Trump. According to a recent Emerson College survey, the Democrats have held an edge of four percentage points.
However, there are no cheers from the voters for a re-run of the Biden versus Trump match. According to recent polls, nearly 60% of Americans do not want Trump back in the White House. A Biden- Trump contest would also mean the chances of a woman president fading away.
Trump announced his candidature on November 15 in Florida. Facing several court cases and investigations, the former President is keen to take up the White House challenge to protect against legal challenges. He showed his intention of a re-run right from when Biden defeated him in 2020. “To make America great and glorious again, I am announcing tonight my candidacy for president of the United States,” Trump said at his Florida headquarters. His announcement has dashed the hopes of GOP leaders to find a fresh face.
With his sustained support base and his “white supremacy” concept, Trump is confident of easy path to the White House.
The latest opinion polls indicate Trump remains the front-runner for the GOP nomination and other aspirants – in the single digits. The polls also showed that Trump received 55% of Republican registered voters’ support. In contrast, his potential Republican rival DeSantis got just 25%. De Santis won a second four-year term as governor this month with a solid political base and war chest behind him.
President Biden celebrated his 80th birthday quietly on November 20. He is buoyant after the unexpected midterm poll results from this month, where Democrats held onto the Senate. Not deterred by his age, Biden said, “I have not made that formal decision, but it’s my intention – my intention to run again. And we have time to make that decision,” Biden told an MSNBC interview recently.
There are other hopefuls in both parties. Come 2023, more aspirants might emerge, more might withdraw, and the competition will be tough.
Vice President Kamala Harris, aspiring to succeed Biden, is one of them. Biden might repeat his running mate, but Kamala has not revealed her plans.
Biden’s Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, is yet another probable. He has overseen the passage of significant infrastructure investments. He would be the first openly gay President if elected.
California Governor Gavin Newsom – has a massive campaign war chest and the backing of major Democratic donors. The governor entered a second term earlier this month.
After emerging second to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primary and second again to Joe Biden in 2020, Bernie Sanders has yet to rule out running again in 2024 if the field opens up.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has become a leading political voice on economic and human rights issues. She did well in her 2020 presidential campaign. Some speculate that if Biden were to withdraw from the race, she might reconsider.
Trump’s Vice president, Mike Pence, could be a potential challenger to his one-time boss Trump. He changed his loyalty after January 6, 2021, Capitol riots. Trump has clarified that Pence will not join him on the ticket again if he runs a third time.
The other probable face is Niky Halley-US ambassador to the United Nations under President Trump. Though she called Trump her friend, following the January 6 Capitol riots, she delivered mixed messages on her support of Trump. She is likely to reveal her intention in early 2023.
Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott, 64, who won a third term this month, is another aspirant. He has pursued increasingly conservative policies, opposing Covid-19 vaccine and mask mandates during his second term.
Representing Wyoming in the House of Representatives since 2017, Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter Liz Cheney is also a potential aspirant.
Though it is customary in America that a potential presidential race begins two years in advance, the final picture emerges only after the primaries and the party conventions. With the election expenses increasing, candidates must sustain the momentum and build a massive campaign chest.
Biden can set the agenda on significant issues, like gun control, the economy, abortion, immigration, and climate change, if he wins. A Trump win would only mean going back to Trumpism. If neither contests, the chances of a fresh face becoming the next tenant of the White House is possible after 2024 presidential elections. (IPA Service)