US: A Divisive Election Campaign

A prolonged presidential campaign will highlight the weaknesses rather than the virtues of the candidates and will be much more negative.

It’s an unprecedented situation: the 2024 presidential campaign began on Wednesday, March 6, eight months before the general election on Nov. 5.

That’s correct. President Joe Biden’s nomination as the Democratic candidate, and Donald Trump’s nomination as the Republican candidate, were were predetermined months ago, albeit without much enthusiasm.

They may be the most unpopular candidates in U.S. history. But they are what they are.

The primary election process and party voting is not over yet. Half of the country’s 50 states haven’t voted, but the reality is that a campaign that usually takes place in September and October began yesterday. Both contenders have a lot of negative qualities; Biden, because he is 81 and apparently frail, Trump, because of his legal problems and, to a lesser extent, the fact he is 77.

There is widespread dissatisfaction with the incumbent president over the state of the country and its future. He leads an economy with positive numbers and falling inflation, but at the same time, there is a high cost of living and he projects an image of weakness.

In turn, people single Trump out because he refused to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election, and is alleged to have cheated.

While it is true that the public rejected him during his term, he now seems to be in a different position.

By many indicators, the public’s memory of the chaos of the Trump years has faded. “One thing is clear,” said Sarah Longwell, a ‘Never Trump’ Republican strategist. “Right now, [voters are] very focused on Joe Biden. They know what they don’t like about Joe Biden. But they have forgotten what they don’t like about Trump. They don’t have the same visceral contempt for him that I saw going into the 2020 election,” At the same time, the contrast with Trump seems somewhat fragile.

The businessman’s critics believe they can count on the Republican hopeful himself to strengthen their case. On the one hand, there is the impact of 91 felony counts across four indictments, ranging from tax fraud against the state of New York to charges connected to his conduct on Jan 6. 2021, when his supporters invaded the Capitol to block certification of the election results.

On the other, his rhetorical tendency to promote causes linked to white nationalism and negative views of minorities is well received by his supporters, while it remains distasteful to Democrats and, at the very least, causes discomfort and unease among independents.

A prolonged presidential campaign, if anything, will highlight the weaknesses rather than the virtues of the participants and will be six months longer and much more negative.

It is, ultimately, a rerun of the 2020 presidential campaign but more politically polarized.

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About Hannah Bowditch 129 Articles
Hi, my name is Hannah. I hold a Masters degree in Translation from the University of Portsmouth and a BA in English Literature and Spanish. I love travel and languages and am very pleased to be a part of the Watching America team.

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