In certain ways, the 2024 presidential election appears similar and reminiscent of the 2020 election. The most striking similarity between the two elections is the anticipated return of President Joseph Biden and former President Donald Trump as the nominees.
President Biden announced his re-election campaign this past April and will likely secure the Democratic nomination next summer during the Democratic National Convention. In my opinion, the likelihood of another Democratic candidate receiving the nomination is slim, considering how incumbent presidents can usually depend on obtaining their parties’ primary nominations. Historically, modern-times incumbent presidents running for reelection have seldom lost the primary nomination.
On the Republican side, even while Trump faces multiple court cases, it seems as though his base remains unwavering in support. A CBS News Poll reported that 61% of likely GOP primary voters would choose Trump as their 2024 nominee.
When thinking about the 2024 election and the similarities it reflects from the 2020 election, you start to wonder about the candidates’ true electability.
While it seems as though the election will come down to Trump and Biden as the choices, I wonder if political circumstances were different, would voters opt for candidates of a different nature? A complaint I often hear about Trump (77) and Biden (80), is their age and how that translates to their political priorities.
Gen-Z seems to be a particularly politically engaged generation, yet they are decades younger than many elected officials. Of course, there is an argument to be made that the necessary experience required to be a well-informed and educated political leader takes years to develop. However, I think voters struggle when candidates are old enough to be experiencing age-appropriate declines that, while perhaps natural, lead to complications when thinking about leaders of the country.
The current challenges that any political leader must face are only increasingly more complex. Between responses to the climate, foreign affairs and immigration, the future president must come equipped with immense problem-solving capabilities and enduring visions for the country’s success. Both Trump and Biden come with the benefit of already having four years of experience as president, which should lead to less time spent on adjusting to office and more time spent following through with campaign ideals and promises.
While Biden faces scrutiny as the oldest-sitting president, Trump will have to contend with the public’s perception of him if he is convicted. Even if Trump is acquitted, the concept of having a potential presidential nominee facing legal troubles, including but not limited to cases of fraud or election subversion, does not bode well for the political world.
When considering the ethical and moral obligations that holding elected office should promote, I begin to wonder where and how the standards for elected officials diverged.
A recent study organized by the Pew Research Center found that across the board, 65% of Americans interviewed reported that when thinking about political affairs, they often feel exhausted. What concerns me about this statistic is the possibility of that exhaustion transitioning to apathy and detachment from the political process. Although people feel exhausted by politics, the last three elections have demonstrated extremely high voter turnout.
Looking ahead to the 2024 election, it will be interesting to observe whether or not the trend of high voter turnout continues, as well as the policies and platforms people support. Now more than ever, it appears people yearn for inspirational and innovative candidates to rally around.