Public perceptions about the 2024 election
As the election season draws near, the United States of America faces a choice of who the flagbearer will be for the next four years. Will it be Joe Biden or his immediate predecessor, Donald Trump? However, the Americans do not seem particularly enthusiastic about it. In fact, according to an AP/NORC poll, most of the country is somewhat hopeless and feels that the country is headed in the wrong direction either way.
To carefully deliberate whether the upcoming elections can bring about course correction, we need to focus on three major areas, as stated below.
Is Biden convincing enough?
The first question that needs some deliberation is whether Joe Biden can prove to the voters that he is, in fact, up for the job. The incumbent president’s approval rates remain stuck at 41% as per CNN’s Poll of Polls, despite numerous policy wins and aversion of major financial default. Interestingly, Biden’s approval rating at this stage is slightly lower than that of Trump at the same point in his term.
By bringing about reforms concerning the debt ceiling, both Biden and Kevin McCarthy exceeded the expectations of Americans. In fact, Joe Biden completed what Obama began in 2011 by signing the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023. Obama had tried to bring about such legislation in 2011 when the US was suffering from its first credit downgrading.
Many voters even feel that 80-years old Biden is too old for the presidency, which has been reflected in a Reuters/Ipsos poll. Americans do not wish to see their commander-in-chief physically unfit, and it is now up to Biden to change the public perception in his favour.
Can anyone among the many Republicans running for office bring together the support of people seeking a new post-Trump era?
As per popular data, currently, Trump enjoys a wide lead, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is in second place. By travelling to several states, he is gaining support, and his campaign is doing well with the populace. Three more seasoned contenders have joined the race this week: former vice president Mike Pence, former governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, and former governor of North Dakota Doug Burgum. They have illustrious resumes. They have joined a group comprising respectable individuals like the former governor, UN ambassador Nikki Haley, and US senator Tim Scott.
However, the persistent challenge is that the ones who once worked under Trump have difficulty distancing themselves from Trump’s ideology without offending Trump’s loyal voters. However, nowadays, many leaders, especially from his right flank, are standing up to Trump on various issues.
Could the investigation by the Fulton County district attorney into the accusations of Trump’s interference in the 2020 Georgia election be the legal action that ultimately brings about his downfall?
Trump’s electoral momentum was unaffected by the accusations made by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in April or the subsequent jury verdict on his alleged inappropriate behaviour with novelist E. Jean Carroll. These situations increased Trump’s appeal since they were viewed as weak or gave him a chance to present himself as a victim. Trump is appealing the jury’s decision in the Carroll defamation action and denies any misconduct in the Bragg case.
On the other hand, the Georgia case has always been regarded as being more severe because it is based on alleged conduct that Trump committed while he was president. The prosecutor in charge of the inquiry in Fulton County, Fani Willis, has hinted that she may make a statement this summer regarding whether or not she will file charges. She also sparked concerns by declaring that her team will work remotely in August, maybe to maintain order through any potential backlash from Trump-related news.
Republicans would likely feel uneasy about choosing a presidential candidate formally accused of wrongdoing in at least two areas and may face charges in another jurisdiction.
The truth is both parties have a lot of work to do to convince voters. While Biden has to address concerns regarding his age and willingness to lead the country, Republicans have to present voters with the best Trump alternative. Needless to say, the outcomes of the upcoming election shall define the future roadmap for America, and voters are eagerly counting on it.