Joe Biden and Donald Trump are surely both facing some major problems that no one running for president would ever want to even think about. So what happens when they do have to face off – supposing that happens? What will America think and is the electorate getting tired of them?
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The frontrunners for both parties in the 2024 presidential campaign are dealing with special counsels–for the same alleged crime.
But even before that anomaly, polls found a majority of Americans wanted neither President Joe Biden nor former President Donald Trump to run again. There is little appetite for a 2020 rematch.
Who wants to be reminded of anything about 2020 anyway?
What if Donald Trump and Joe Biden Are Doomed?
Still, Donald Trump already declared, and putting cognitive issues aside, Biden seems poised for another campaign. It’s difficult to imagine a general election with neither on the ballot. But could the dual docu-gate scandal torpedo the presidential campaigns for both?
As much as Donald Trump and Biden sharing a cell would make a great modernized version of The Odd Couple, or make SNL funny again, it’s highly unlikely either will be indicted for mishandling of classified information,
But political consequences are entirely different.
These investigations respective special counsels Jack Smith and Robert Hur must be making Vice President Kamala Harris and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis very eager.
The same goes for California Gov. Gavin Newsom and former Vice President Mike Pence.
The list of names could keep going and would grow massively if Biden and Trump are effectively knocked out of contention. I say effectively because now that Trump is in, he won’t drop out, but it could hurt him significantly. There is still time for Biden to decide, eh, he wants to spend more time with his family.
The criminal investigations might particularly inspire Republicans to back a non-Trump candidate since Biden or Harris are likely the most beatable Democrats. Trump, on the other hand, could be the only Republican that either Biden or Harris could beat.
That’s far from a guarantee. Remember, Democrats were tickled pink about running against Trump in 2016 and look how that turned out.
The effect with Democrats could be a little different. For all of Biden’s problems, it’s unfathomable the party would want Harris, Newsom or Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg as a candidate.
So, this theory that Joe Rogan and others have floated that maybe the documents are a ploy by Democrats to keep Biden from running is a bit ridiculous. Who else does the party have?
Kamala Harris is, well, Kamala Harris. What is Newsom going to run on? Making America more like California? Buttigieg’s running of the Department of Transportation has been disastrous. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s state has become a crime-consumed fiscal mess.
Much like in the 2020 primary fight, Joe might not be much, but he’s the best they’ve got.
That’s not the case with Republicans. DeSantis, Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and others all have significant strengths.
Whether it’s DeSantis or someone else that emerges as the clear non-Trump GOP candidate by January 2023, Republicans that don’t want to see Trump nominated should take one for the team and set their presidential ambitions aside to consolidate around a single candidate.
One of the reasons Donald Trump won in 2016 is because there were 16 candidates running on the Republican side. When you need two separate debates, you simply have too many candidates.
The most likely way Trump loses in a primary is if the race becomes a one-on-one match up. Maybe the closest runner up, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, couldn’t have beaten Trump in 2016. But he never had a chance as long as Ohio Gov. John Kasich unnecessarily hung around to split the anti-Trump vote. And Florida Sen. Marco Rubio hung around longer than was practical.
It will definitely take some ego checks for potential GOP candidates to get that done.
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Barbara Joanna Lucas is a writer and researcher in Northern Virginia. She has been a healthcare professional, political blogger, is a proud dog mom, and news junkie.