Will it be Biden vs Trump once again?

Is a Joe Biden versus Donald Trump presidential race on the cards in 2024? The two have thrown their hats into the ring two years ahead of the poll. Polls show that though Biden remains unpopular, he still enjoys more support than Trump. According to a recent Emerson College survey, the Democrats hold an edge of four percentage points. However, there are no cheers from the voters for a re-run of the Biden versus Trump match.

According to recent polls, nearly 60 per cent of Americans do not want Trump back in the White House. A Biden-Trump contest would also mean the chances of a woman president fading away. Trump announced his candidature on November 15 in Florida. Facing several court cases and investigations, the former President is keen to take up the White House challenge to protect himself from legal challenges. He showed his intention of a re-run right from when Biden defeated him in 2020.

“To make America great and glorious again, I am announcing tonight my candidacy for president of the United States,” Trump said at his Florida headquarters.

While Trump, with his sustained support base, is confident of an easy path to the White House, his announcement has dashed the hopes of GOP leaders trying to find a fresh face.

The latest opinion polls indicate Trump remains the front-runner for the GOP nomination and other aspirants — including former Vice President Mike Pence — are in the single digits. The survey also showed that Trump received 55 per cent of Republican registered voters’ support. In contrast, Ron DeSantis, his potential rival from his party, received just 25 per cent. With a solid political base and war chest behind him, DeSantis won a second four-year term as governor this month.

President Biden celebrated his 80th birthday quietly and is buoyant after the unexpected midterm poll results from this month, where Democrats held on to the Senate. Not deterred by his age, Biden said, “I have not made that formal decision, but it’s my intention – my intention to run again. And we have time to make that decision,” Biden told an MSNBC interviewer recently.

There are other hopefuls. The hopes of Vice President Kamala Harris, aspiring to succeed Biden, would be dashed if Biden contests. Biden might repeat his running mate, but Kamala has not revealed her plans. Biden’s Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, is yet another probable. He has overseen the passage of significant infrastructure investments. He would be the first openly gay President if elected.

California Governor Gavin Newsom – has a massive campaign war chest and the backing of major Democratic donors. The governor entered a second term after he won reelection earlier this month. He has a wealth of experience in his home state. After emerging second to Hillary Clinton in 2016 Democratic primary and second again to Joe Biden in 2020, Bernie Sanders would fade away. But Sanders hasn’t ruled out running again in 2024 if the field opens up.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has become a leading political voice on economic and human rights issues. She did well in her 2020 presidential campaign. Some speculate that if Biden were to withdraw from the race, she might reconsider Trump’s Vice president, Mike Pence, is one of the aspirants. He is seen as a potential challenger to his one-time boss. He changed his loyalty after the 6 January 2021 Capitol riots.

Trump has clarified that his former deputy will not join him on the ticket again. The other probable face is Nikky Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President Trump. Though she called Trump her friend, following the Capitol riots, she delivered mixed messages on her support for Trump. She is likely to reveal her intentions in early 2023.

Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott, 64, who won a third term, is another aspirant. He has pursued increasingly conservative policies, opposing Covid-19 vaccine and mask mandates during his second term.

Representing Wyoming in the House of Representatives since 2017, former Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter, Liz Cheney is also an aspirant. Though it is customary in America that a presidential race begins two years in advance, the final picture emerges only after the primaries and the party conventions. Those aspiring candidates will have to sustain until then.

With election expenses increasing, candidates must also build a massive war chest. Biden can set the agenda on the significant issues dividing the country, like gun control, the economy, abortion, immigration, and climate change, if he wins. A Trump win would mean going back to Trumpism. If neither contests, the White House will see a fresh face. Come 2023, more aspirants might emerge, some might withdraw, and the competition will be tough. 

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