President Joe Biden did things a certain way to win the election in 2020. Can he win in 2024 by doing things the same way?
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At the present time, it appears the most likely general election scenario for 2024 is a rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. It would mark a rare matchup between candidates who have been president before, and also between the two oldest people ever to be president.
Greg Sargent of the Washington Post this week looked at how the dynamic of the 2020 race could repeat itself in 2024.
“Independents backed Biden by double digits, with polling showing that nonpartisans viewed Trump’s presidency broadly negatively. Biden won in large part because he was not Trump and because he was palatable, if not exciting, to a lot of people who wanted anyone but Trump as president,” Sargent wrote. “That might not be enough for Biden to win again.”
He went on to cite the latest ABC/Washington Post poll, which found that a majority of voters appear not to want either Biden or Trump to win in 2024.
“Our poll also asked how people would feel if Biden or Trump won the nomination and, subsequently, the election. More than 6 in 10 respondents said they’d feel dissatisfied or angry if Biden won, with more than 9 in 10 Republicans holding that position,” Sargent wrote. “More than half of respondents said they’d be dissatisfied or angry if Trump won, including more than 9 in 10 Democrats. A plurality of respondents said they’d be dissatisfied if Biden won. More than a third said they’d be angry if Trump did.”
Sargent went on to look at how the dynamics have changed.
“Biden and many in his party seem to think that a rematch of 2020 provides Biden with a distinct advantage. It’s probably true that Trump has so much baggage that he enters a potential 2024 race at a disadvantage relative to Republicans who haven’t earned as much animus. But even in this case, Biden can’t breathe easily.”
It doesn’t appear that Biden will face any major competition for the Democratic nomination, with no one yet having declared their candidacy. Pete Buttigieg, the Transportation Secretary, confirmed over the weekend that he will back Joe Biden in 2024 and doesn’t plan to run for office in that cycle.
But what if Biden’s opponent isn’t Trump?
Bloomberg News reported last week that while Democrats are happy about the prospect of getting to face Trump again in 2024, there’s some “angst” about the prospect of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis emerging from a Republican primary as Biden’s general election opponent.
“While Biden advisers and allies haven’t yet settled on a strategy to thwart DeSantis, the White House hasn’t missed an opportunity to knock him in an effort to weaken him before he can announce a presidential bid, according to conversations with Biden advisers and Democratic strategists,” the Bloomberg story said. It went on to describe the governor as “a near-daily fixture in Democratic National Committee attack emails.”
But there are reasons for the Democrats to fear DeSantis. Among other things, he is only 44 years old, while Biden is 80 and Trump is 76.
“Democrats worry that DeSantis, who presides over a large, diverse and former swing state, could appeal to possible Biden voters, those who would otherwise lean Republican, but were repelled by Trump’s baggage,” the story said, citing Democratic “advisers and strategists.”
Ron DeSantis has not announced that he is officially running, but is expected to get in the race this spring, following the completion of Florida’s legislative session.
“Right off the bat, you’ve got such a contrast on age. It’s one thing for Biden to stand side by side with Trump because Trump’s not actually that young. The age difference between Biden and DeSantis is very noticeable,” Brad Coker, managing director of Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy, told Bloomberg.
Expertise and Experience: Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.