It is yet another election year, and familiar faces are going against each other on the ballot. The frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, former President Donald Trump, and his counterpart, incumbent President Joe Biden, from the Democratic side, are both vying for the presidency. However, the electorate does not seem enthusiastic about a rematch between the two. A poll by Berkeley IGS shows that.

“Republicans are overwhelmingly against the President running again (87% to 9%), while the state’s registered Democrats are evenly split, with 46% in favour and 46% opposed.”

A survey done by Reuters shows that the public, also, does not favour either candidate running for office, with 70% against Biden’s re-election and 60% opposed to Trump’s bid for the presidency. The political race between both has sparked great debate among voters, centred on the age of the candidates and Trump’s legal issues.

Is another Trump administration favourable?

Social psychologists have argued that former President Donald Trump and the incumbent President Joe Biden view and wield power differently. Their use of varying forms of power is evident in their language patterns. President Biden draws on collaborative power and a reliance on his prestige as a seasoned political player as a pathway to his win in the campaign. Former President Trump is more authoritarian and thus settles for coercive power. His language style is often egocentric and derogatory. He tends to be more negative and uses fewer phrases, thus depicting analytical thinking. Individuals who use coercive power prefer dominance and use it to disrupt power systems. Trump’s use of the campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” in his presidential run shows his perception that the country needs a change in the status quo.

A second term for the former president will likely be even more norm-shattering than his first presidency. Trump’s talks about possibly suspending the Constitution or using the military to suppress legitimate protests are a testament to his idea of power. His public remarks, such as being a dictator on day one, or rooting out “the radical-left thugs” in the country, suggest that he may wish to weaponize the government against his political enemies. Trump’s misogynist remarks, such as calling Rosie O’Donnell a slob with a “fat, ugly face,” might also trickle down to the public, reducing the wins women have made in the past few years. An example of his dehumanising women is his active role in the ban on abortion rights.

Concerns about Trump’s leadership style, his approach to policies, and the conflict-ridden nature of his former presidency are the key factors determining the favourability of a second tenure. Many are opposed to his run for the presidency because of his extreme measures while in office. According to a CNN report on Trump’s abuse of power, one key issue was his attempt to politicise the Justice Department. His conduct is far from the expectations placed on presidential candidates, as it does not depict the values of public service or military discipline. To many Democrats, Trump is the least likely candidate. However, despite their opposition, Trump is still running for office and might win since he is more trusted on issues that voters deem important, such as immigration and the economy.

Can Trump win the 2024 elections?

On the surface, Donald Trump might seem like he may lose the elections. President Biden appears to be a more stable candidate for the presidency because he has fewer scandals and his tenure in office has not been as shaky as Trump’s. Critics might propose that Trump is not suitable due to his numerous failings. A political head who has faced impeachment twice, criminal charges on numerous occasions, and public outcry while in power cannot be re-elected, can he? Yet the former president could still reclaim his past role at the White House.

One factor that might lead to Trump’s win is the state of the US economy during the elections. While Biden’s administration might boast of inflation cooling, with unemployment rates going down, economic indicators are not what the average US citizen links to a good economy. According to the BBC, Trump’s campaign is using this to its advantage. Public interest rests on how much people have to spend on groceries, childcare, or their mortgage. Voters perceive the past economic times under Trump to be better compared to the present status.

In addition, the age or perceived age of the candidates makes it likely that Trump might win. While both individuals are above 75 years old, Biden is older in both physical and perceived age. Biden’s age has been a great debate, especially following his mix-up of the presidents of Egypt and Mexico. Trump too has shown signs of memory lapses, confusing his presidential nomination rival Nikki Haley for former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Is America ready for an older president who might have some memory issues? Trump, despite only being three years younger than Biden, appears to be a much younger individual. His age has not been an active aspect of media reporting on the campaign. He is avidly active on social media and exhibits maniacal energy that downplays concerns about his age or capacity to serve as president.

Donald Trump is adept at capitalising on voters’ fears and concerns to gain votes. Despite not being a seasoned politician, he has a greater sense of which issues are essential to grass-roots conservatives. Voters are concerned about security and border control, which are central to Trump’s strategy. Illegal crossing at the border and the fear it sparks have made immigration a central theme in the 2024 election. His campaign is working towards attacking the Biden administration and presenting Trump as someone outside the political system who is here to save America.

May the best man win?

Currently, Trump seems to be ahead by a slight margin (48% versus Biden’s 43%); however, only time will tell who between the two will be president. The current presidential race seems to be a battle between blue and red. Democrats are calling for the defeat of the Republicans, promoting a liberal agenda that is essentially aimed at raising fear among the voters. Conversely, Republicans are defending former President Trump, saying his judicial issues are a mere witch-hunt and that his agenda to make America great again is what matters. The 2024 presidential race is a political dilemma where voters are forced to think critically about their next president.

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