Tuesday, April 25, 2023


With his formal announcement, Joe Biden appears to

have locked up his renomination as the Democratic

nominee for president in 2024. With his current big lead 

in the polls, Donald Trump appears now to be the likely

nominee for his Republican Party for president in 2024..

Considering the negatives in public opinion for the

re-election of the Biden-Harris ticket or for a comeback

win by a Trump-led ticket, it seems that the current

conventional wisdom that next year will see a replay

of 2020 is a defiance of common sense and political


I would suggest that, far from any certainty, both races

for the presidential nomination are far from over.

On the Democratic side, we have likely not seen the

end of the challenge to the frail and rapidly aging

president. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is not going to be the

Democrat who defeats him, but the Kennedy scion’s

growing appeal, like Eugene McCarthy’s 1968 challenge 

to Lyndon Johnson, mighy lead to a delayed entrance

of at least one or more conventional Biden challengers.

On the Republican side, Donald Trump’s current lead in

the polls is almost certainly the result of his recent legal

indictment, and the fact that his major GOP rival, Florida

Governor Ron DeSantis, has not yet announced his

candidacy. While Trump currently leads DeSantis among

Republicans in most national and state polls, those same

polls show DeSantis doing better than Trump against

Biden in almost every case. This curious divergence

suggests that DeSantis is the stronger GOP nominee

against a Democrat in 2024.

In addition to the major party campaigns, the weakness 

of the frontrunning candidates, and the widespread

economic and international uncertainty, makes it very

likely that serious third party candidacies could soon

emerge. A centrist “No Labels Party” effort is already

underway, and it could easily attract well-known

figures if one or both parties seem unusually vulnerable

in the November, 2024 campaign.

Governor DeSantis, now on his obligatory international

tour that includes Japan, Great Britain and Israel, is the

most serious potential Republican challenger, but his

timetable for entrance into the race has narrowed with

the first debates only months away. There are already

some credible other figures in the GOP race, but the

political reality is that only Mr. DeSantis could defeat

Mr. Trump in the upcoming primary campaign contests.

Although the obvious political nature of the timing of the

New York indictment of Mr. Trump has rallied Republicans

to his side for now, it is not at all clear this and his other

looming legal problems will sustain support for him.

Every public opinion poll indicates that voters of both

major parties, and independent voters, want younger and

less controversial choices than Biden and Trump. By

keeping Kamala Harris as his running mate, the president

is also offering voters a choice even more unpopular than

he is, and who has been decidedly unimpressive as vice

president so far.

Perhaps, after all, it will be Biden vs. Trump next year.

But public dissatisfaction with that prospect is so great

that the possibility of surprise in one or both parties’

tickets is higher than any presidential cycle in memory,

perhaps ever.

This presidential nomination campaign cycle has just begun.


Copyright (c) 2023 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment