We are halfway through 2023, and the preparations for the 60th quadrennial US Presidential Elections are in full swing. With the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, the rapid rise of Chinese power, the faltering US economy, and several domestic issues of vital importance; the upcoming Presidential Elections are going to be extremely important.
Experts hint at several key issues that will influence the vote of the Americans, the most important being rising inflation, abortion rights of women across the US after the overturning of Roe V Wade, healthcare, gun laws, and LGBTQIA+ rights.
The most riveting question about the upcoming elections is who is going to be the running candidate of both parties. With time, the race to become the official Republican candidate for the 2024 Presidential elections is heating up. Twelve Republicans, so far, have announced their bid to run for the election. Prominent names from the party include several political stalwarts that have announced their intentions to run for the President's office. The most renowned names in the list include Former President Donald Trump, Florida's Governor and potentially strong competition to Mr. Trump, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley - a daughter of Indian immigrants and the first woman governor of South Carolina, and Former Vice President under the Trump administration, Mr. Mike Pence.
On the Democratic front incumbent President Joe Biden recently announced his reelection candidacy in his 3- minute video urging Americans to support him to “finish the job” he started. President Biden addressed the issues of Conservatives, trying to curtail the rights of women, and LGBTQIA+ communities, and rising taxes for the American middle class, all of which are among the pressing issues on which the Democratic campaign heavily relies.
President Biden, who 2019, launched his Presidential campaign with the promise to fight for the “soul of America” in the course of his approximately 3 years in office, has introduced several plans and initiatives to strengthen the rights of people in the US, support human rights across the world, revive and build a stronger economy, provide for the middle class, support new business ventures, and so on.
One of the youngest senators ever elected in US history, representing Delaware for 36 years in the US Senate and having served as the Vice President under Former President Barack Obama, President Joe Biden has a political career spanning over 50 years. Though many believe that President Biden is the best choice for the Presidential race for the Democrats, there are a few factors that do not work in his favor. The most significant concern about his reelection includes his advancing age.
The once youngest senator, now 80, is the oldest President ever in the US. President Biden, whenever questioned about whether his advanced age is a setback for him, has responded with lighthearted remarks like “watch me” and with great optimism and hope, calling his years in various political offices the ‘wisdom’ he gained over the years.
Though President Biden is one of the oldest politicians in the country, trends show he is liked and supported by all age demographics in the US. Ironically, the American youth relates more with the 80-year-old President than his young Republican counterparts. Studies reveal that an overwhelming majority of youth voted for and continues to back Democratic candidates constituting a major chunk of the Democratic vote.
Most recently in the 2022 midterm elections, Democrats swept away young voters, with the largest support coming from Youth of Color and Young Latino Voters. This hints toward the fact that the inclusive and considerate policies introduced by the Biden administration, targeting the younger generations, and the American Middle-class such as the Student Debt Forgiveness Plan, tax cuts for lower-income groups, progressive taxations, intentions to make community college free, and so on, are all being widely admired and welcomed by the youth.
A major concern for the Democrats could be the descending levels of the youth vote and their participation in the elections. The 2022 midterm elections saw one of the lowest voter turnouts in the 18-24 age demographic, with the national youth turnout at just 23%. The only exceptions were the states of Minnesota, Maine, Oregon, Colorado, and Michigan which registered an average turnout above 30%. As the Democratic Party heavily relies on the youth vote, such a meager voting percentage among young Americans can cost the Democrats the White House in 2024.
Another major problem with Bidens’ reelection is the dipping approval rate. Although the Democratic Party performed well, arguably one of the best midterm performances by an in-power party under President Biden in the 2022 midterm elections, with the gain of one seat in the Senate and marginally losing the House of Congress to the Republicans, Bidens’ approval rate is continuously faltering.
The GOP on the other hand is still far from being clear as to who will become the official running candidate for the Republicans, however, Donald Trump remains an undisputed frontrunner in the race. Donald Trump, if chosen to represent the GOP, would be the most controversial Presidential candidate in US politics. Trump is the only President to be impeached, and indicted twice, and is facing several lawsuits on accounts of illegally holding classified documents, tax frauds by the Trump Organization, his involvement in the January 6th Capitol riots, etc. The serious allegations against the former President have tarnished his image in front of the world and raised questions about his potential nomination for the post.
The Republicans backing radical conservative policies have often spoken against abortion rights, affirmative action, taking measures to limit LGBQTIA+ rights, and have supported gun laws, all of which restrict and pose threats to human rights.
With the clear difference in ideological framework, working patterns, and envisaged policies and programs for the country, the decision now rests with the American people as to whom they choose as their next leader. All eyes are now set on the upcoming months leading to the elections with the world closely following the latest happenings in American politics as the elected President would largely drive the policies of the country including its foreign policy, immigration, stand on international issues, etc. all of which are significant matters of global interest.
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