2024 presidential election campaign is already on-going and at this point, it looks like it will be a repeat of the 2020 election between Biden and Trump. Eventually this period in U.S. politics will come to an end. It is remarkable that these two candidates are likely selected again. There are many key issues that will define and determine the result of the election, but there are four key issues that stand out. Two of them are important, two are critical.
The two important issues are immigration and foreign policy, and the critical issues are abortion rights and the economy. Biden and Trump have different opinions in all issues.
Biden is for an open border immigration policy; Trump is for building a wall on the southern border to minimize immigration. Foreign policy has a major differentiator between the candidates. Biden is for NATO eastward expansion; Trump has limited interest in NATO, except that he wants Europeans to pay their fair share. Biden’s position is resulting in an unprecedented military support for Ukraine, where the U.S. is heavily involved in a de facto proxy war against Russia. The U.S. has already spent more than $100 billion in Ukraine. Voters will likely question if the U.S. should spend money on foreign wars instead of taking care of their own citizens. Given the high level of crimes, poverty, and homelessness in the U.S., this seems to be a fair question.
However, immigration and foreign affairs might be important, but for the American voters, they will ultimately not decide the election. Two more critical issues are abortion rights and the economy. Since the Supreme Court officially reversed Roe v. Wade last year, ending the federal constitutional right to abortion, the issue has galvanized and energized many voters, primarily young voters, and women. As the decision is linked to the conservative republican Supreme Court majority, this issue marks a sharp divider between the two presidential candidates and parties. To many voters, the decision in the Supreme Court seems out of touch with reality, but one should remember that most of the Supreme Court judges are conservative Catholics.
The democrats will make sure this becomes a major election issue, wisely so. In recent elections in Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky abortion was an election issue and in all three states, the democrats won easily. Should abortion become the key 2024 issue, then the democrats will likely win both the house of representative and the presidency. The senate is still leaning republican as democrats are up for 23 seats, republicans only 11.
Finally, the other critical issue is the economy. The combination of a high-spending Biden administration and an uncertain and indecisive Federal Reserve has led to large budget deficits and high inflation. Voters are paying attention as it is hitting their wallets hard, and it is estimated that the full effect of Biden’s spending spree will materialize in 2024. Analysts predict a mild recession. This will certainly have an impact on the election next November. People remember the Bill Clinton campaign phrase “The economy, stupid” from 1992 and this is still true. Voters main concern will be the state of the economy. Voters have more positive view on Trump handling the economy than Biden and this will likely help republicans across the board.
Should the four issues be ranked in order of importance for the 2024 election results, the most impactful issue is abortion rights. This issue will energize voters like no other issue and democrats will benefit greatly from this. As a close second is the economy. Voters will not mobilize with the same emotional intensity, but the issue is clearly important and will benefit republicans. Then follows immigration that has spiraled out of control during the Biden presidency and is overwhelming many states and cities. This issue will again benefit republicans. Finally, the Biden foreign politics seems both expensive and dangerous. Voters are reluctant to view Biden as a president focused on stability and peace. Advantage republicans again. The countdown towards the November 5th election has started…