Biden-Trump, the inevitable revenge that no one wants

From our correspondent in the United States,

In an America more divided than ever, voters agree on at least one point: two out of three want neither Joe Biden nor Donald Trump for the 2024 presidential election, according to a poll for Reuters. But, while the American president formalized his candidacy on Tuesday, and Donald Trump remains the favorite of the Republican primary, we seem to be heading for the great revenge of 2020, with a ballot that will be arbitrated by the age of Biden, Trump’s legal troubles, inflation and abortion.

A highway for Biden, Trump’s favorite in the primary

The Democrats have learned the lesson of the 1980 debacle. The party was torn apart with a disputed primary between the very unpopular incumbent Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy. If Carter had survived, he had then experienced a rout against Ronald Reagan. Despite his relative weakness in the polls, with 42.6% of Americans satisfied, Joe Biden has a boulevard in front of him. Kamala Harris is alongside him in the announcement video – and clarified on Twitter that she is indeed his running mate for 2024 – and California Governor Gavin Newsom sided with Biden following the official announcement.

The candidacies of the priestess of self-love Marianne Williamson and the vaccine-skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr are anecdotal. Barring a health glitch, and barring a slingshot from Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden should be crowned without having had to debate, during the convention to be held from August 19 to 22, 2024, in Chicago.

Donald Trump will have to go through a fratricidal primary. Its ex-ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has already started, as has the ex-governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, who denounced, with force, the violence of the Capitol. But eyes are mostly on former Vice President Mike Pence, and especially Ron DeSantis. The governor of Florida, who is making the suspense last, is looking to boost his international CV with a visit to Japan. If he broke through in the polls after the poor performance of the Republicans supported by Trump in the midterms, the soufflé DeSantis quickly fell: a MorningConsult study, published on Tuesday, places him 37 points behind Trump (21% against 58%).

On Truth Social, the former president questioned his participation in the first two debates of the Republican primary, asking why he would risk exposing himself to “slander”, when his lead is, according to him, “insurmountable”. The Republican convention will take place in Milwaukee, in the crucial state of Wisconsin, from July 15-18, 2024.

Biden’s age, Trump’s court cases, inflation and abortion as an arbitrator

At 80, Joe Biden is already the oldest US president in office. If re-elected, he would be 86 at the end of a second term. Worrying figure for him: 61% of Democratic voters consider him too old to hold presidential office, according to an Ipsos poll for Reuters. Opposite, only 35% of Republicans have the same opinion for Donald Trump, who will be 77 years old in November 2024, and 81 years old at the end of a possible 2nd term.

Biden, who often gets tangled up in speech – partly because of his stutter – and sometimes gives the impression of looking for his way, will have to reassure on his cognitive functions. Nikki Haley, 51, is calling for an aptitude test for any candidate over the age of 75, which would apply to Biden, but also Trump.

Donald Trump must campaign surrounded by court cases. After his criminal indictment, a historic first, before the justice of New York in the case of the payment to the ex-pornstar Stormy Daniels, the candidate is currently sued for defamation, in civil, by a former columnist who accuses him of rape.

The Georgia prosecutor, who is investigating pressure from the Trump campaign in the 2020 presidential election, said she would announce between July 11 and September 1 whether to file charges. Above all, Special Prosecutor Jack Smith, who has taken over the investigations into the Capitol storming, the 2020 ballot and the management of classified documents, should soon be able to have Mike Pence testify before a grand jury. If indictments — and even a conviction — can’t stop Donald Trump from running, he could find himself weakened in the primary.

On the political side, inflation remains a thorn in the side of Joe Biden, who is trying to make his re-election a battle for freedoms, in particular for the defense of the right to abortion. While the Supreme Court reversed the Roe v. Wade decision last year, the Democratic electorate mobilized in force during the midterms, and the showdown now continues on the abortion pill. Donald Trump poses as a defender of firearms and a champion in the fight against illegal immigration. He is still betting on his “MAGA” program (“make America great again”, “make America great again”) while Joe Biden wants to “finish the job”. The campaign, which should accelerate at the end of the summer, and stretch over eighteen months, already promises to be endless.

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