Freddy Gray Freddy Gray

Brace yourselves for the Great American Election Freak-Out of 2024

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‘If Trump wasn’t running,’ said Joe Biden last week, ‘I’m not sure I’d be running.’ That’s a curiously uninspiring remark for an American leader seeking re-election to make. Yet ever since 2019, Biden’s pitch for the presidency has been essentially negative: if you don’t support me, you’ll get him.

The trouble for Joe is that, as we approach the start of another election year, it’s beginning to look as if he can’t stop Trump. Brace yourselves, then, for the Great Election Freak-Out of 2024.

For Democrats, the numbers are alarming. Biden’s job-approval rating has just dipped below 40 per cent again; in December 2019, at the same stage in his presidency, Trump was on 43 per cent.

Voters care less about the 91 felony counts facing Trump than they do about the immigration crisis

The 77-year-old Donald may still be widely loathed and feared, but the 81-year-oldJoe has not brought the ‘normalcy’ he promised. Under Trump, there was no war in Ukraine or Israel. Biden’s most significant foreign-policy action, by contrast, has been the shambolic withdrawal from Afghanistan.

At home, Americans have experienced runaway inflation. Voters care less about the 91 felony counts facing Trump than they do about the immigration crisis on the southern border. In fact, the blatantly politicised ‘lawfare’ against the Donald appears only to have increased his rebel appeal.

The primary process hasn’t even begun, and everything could change after the Iowa caucuses on 15 January, but for now Trump appears to have the Republican nomination wrapped up. The latest polls suggest that he would go on to beat Biden in November. Bookmakers now have Trump as the favourite to be the next president – and the latest media meltdown about the return of Dictator Donald is already under way.

‘A Trump dictatorship is increasingly in-evitable,’ says Robert Kagan, the right-wing intellectual, in a long essay for the Washington Post.

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