2024 Election Speculation Rises As Election Dust Settles

The dust has barely settled on the 2020 US Election. In the end, by American election standards, it wasn’t a particularly close-run thing. Democratic candidate Joe Biden won over eighty million votes, to Republican incumbent Donald Trump’s 73. It was almost twice the margin that 2016 Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton had won in the popular vote in the last election. However, this time around, the Democrats were able to collect the necessary electoral votes.

The seventy million people who voted for Trump are now preparing for four years of democratic mandate in the executive, while the House (Democratic) and Senate (Republican) remained in the hands of their respective dominant parties, although there Senate runoffs which could tip the balance. It seems the world could barely wait for the ballot-counting to end before speculation began on the 2024 race, and the potential candidates it might feature.

The Remaining Republican 

Despite declaring victory numerous times before the results were in, it seems almost guaranteed that Trump will declare himself for the 2024 election, likely around the time Biden can finally – officially – declare victory this time around. In Republican circles, it’s difficult to think of anyone who would hold quite as much sway over the party members as he has managed. He is currently priced at 8/1 in the political odds to win in 2024, with only Kamala Harris and Biden above him.

A recent interview from Bryan Lanza, Trump’s communications director throughout his transition into the office argued that his old boss was in a “good position to run again.” 

Certainly, the popular vote margin wasn’t close. But US elections are decided in the electoral colleges, and so Trump focusing his efforts on those states he lost previously might be the strategic focus. Meanwhile, his son, Donald Jr. has been quietly, or perhaps not so quietly, winning support amongst conservative circles as a fresh, younger version of his father.

A confident speaker, he holds the third strongest polling amongst Trump’s children and inner circle, alongside current VP Mike Pence, as a successor. The prospect of running against his father, however, might be too absurd to expect. Other sideliners, at least amongst the betting circles, are 2016 Republican candidate Marco Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who both understandably would want to try and reassume control of the party they’ve lost to the Trump movement. 

Back in Blue

The Democrats are, for now, satisfied. Biden and his VP Harris are likely to have quite a job ahead of them, unifying a nation that is suffering from real political division. Trump currently holds 53 per cent of polling support among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in a hypothetical 2024 Republican primary – which points to the unification felt in the ‘Grand Old Party.’ 

Democratic lines are far more blurred. Kamala Harris is a front-runner in the political odds, with 5/1 odds to be a candidate, outperforming the aging Biden at 7/1. New York Senator, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, ruffled many feathers with her progressive policies and ability to handily challenge corporations in questioning in her first term in the Senate. After winning a second term, she not only reaches the legal age to run for president but might also stand out as one of the Democratic party’s most influential voices.      

It seems somewhat pre-emptive to start speculating over the next presidential election before the new administration has even begun. However, the reality remains that after the shock win Trump claimed four years ago started a powerful shift in the way American politics operated. Without a doubt, the next four years, and the effectiveness of Democrats to repair the tears in social discourse, will have a major impact as they attempt to unify their own party and the nation.