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2024 Presidential Outlook Op-Ed


As election season kicks off, the possibilities for who will challenge incumbent Joe Biden and Democrats in the 2024 presidential election are somewhat uncertain. For a long time it seemed almost guaranteed that former president Donald Trump would be set to run a third time as the Republican candidate, but with the recent and extensive cases facing Trump, this now seems less and less sure. 

 Trump’s lies regarding the results of the 2020 Presidential Election have not only landed him in hot water in terms of legal trouble, it has only further pushed him away from mounting a legitimate run for another term in office. The question now seems to be how far Trump is willing to push his campaign for presidency even while potentially facing time behind bars. It seems as though the polarizing personality that helped Trump win the 2016 election may be the same one to split Republican voters and ultimately hurt other Republicans’ chances at making runs for office in the future. 

It is difficult for some Republicans to accept that the reign of Trump has now passed and Republicans must now turn to new faces inside the party for leadership. As it turns out, this is more difficult than it seemed to be on paper. Trump is undeniably still the main force driving the Republican Party; it is still very much his party. FiveThirtyEight still shows Trump capturing 50.3% of Republicans votes with a sputtering Ron DeSantis at just 14.8%, as of the end of August. 

The truth is that Trump is failing to capture swing voters crucial to winning any election. Trump’s initial meteoric rise to office came seven years ago, since then, his overall support has slowly dwindled. What exactly has Trump done since 2020 to strengthen his chances in 2024? Trump faced a perfect storm in 2020 when trying to defend against Biden; a global pandemic, failing economy and supply chain, and widespread social unrest helped clear the way for Biden to win. Since losing, Trump has severely damaged his chances at ever winning another election and has disenfranchised many would-be voters with his continued lies. 

 The Republican primary, notably without Trump’s presence, offered the first glimpse into what the party could look like moving forward. The field looked like something out of a Democrat politician’s worst nightmare; a diverse stage of Republican candidates with different backgrounds, ages, and races.  It also highlighted an obvious clash of styles between candidates that clearly sided with Trump, candidates who want to get as far away from Trump as possible, and candidates still caught in between. 

On paper, Republicans do seem to have one advantage over Democrats heading forward; they have a strong set of legitimate candidates capable of winning elections as well as Chris Christie. Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis on a good day, and somehow even Vivek Ramaswamy have all positioned themselves as contenders for the future of the Republican Party. If any of them can find a way from emerging from Trump’s shadow while still holding on to his loyal base, they would have a good chance in the 2024 election and beyond.

 Shift this now to the Democrat Party, and the pickings are slim. Looking at the leaders from the 2020 presidential election, Bernie Sanders is too old and liberal to ever work outside of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren is stuck in political purgatory. It only gets worse from there, Kamala Harris is perfectly suited for the job she has now, so is Beto O’Rourke (he doesn’t have one), and Pete Buttigieg can also be thrown into that category, bonus points for the people that know what job he has and why he is qualified for it. 

Aside from the older aging out group of politicians, Democrats have very few choices to vote for. Republicans have the same problem, but they are being forced to address it four years sooner. While most Republicans still seem to put their support behind Trump, the rest of America has moved on. They would be better suited to get behind a different candidate, like a Ron DeSantis, and hope with that support he can find more mainstream appeal. Remember, Democrats did this exact thing in 2020, when they decided there was no better option than Joe Biden and threw all of their support to him. In 2020, Democrats main concern was in defeating Donald Trump, leading up to 2024, Republicans are still in the midst of tearing each other apart. 

The Republican Party is coming to a crossroads; the once promised “Red Wave” has largely failed to live up to expectations and it seems as though the momentum the Republican Party has had is running out. While Republicans hoped to control both the House and Senate after the midterm elections, they ended up settling only for the House, a feat they have largely failed to take advantage of. 

The importance of next year’s election cannot be understated for Republicans. If Republicans nominate Trump, it will be a repeat of the result from 2020. Democrats have no other choice than to nominate Biden again for 2024, and while he isn’t anyone’s perfect candidate, he is safe. If Republicans decide to go with someone else, they may find that they are better set for 2024 and beyond.

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About the Contributor
Jeremy Young, Staff Writer
Jeremy Young: Jeremy is a junior going into his third year on staff for The Voice. He enjoys writing about politics, policy, economics, and sports. In his free time, Jeremy plays baseball and runs cross country. Jeremy is ready to contribute to The Voice staff this 2022-23 year.   

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