Can Trump Win, again?

The echoes of 2016 are still ringing in the ears of US Democrats as, for the third time in a decade, they comprehend the possibility of a Donald Trump presidency. Surely the disgraced vainglorious, impeached, and indicted real estate tycoon can’t win a second term in the highest office there is? Well, like a phoenix […]

Benjamin Moore
20th February 2024
The echoes of 2016 are still ringing in the ears of US Democrats as, for the third time in a decade, they comprehend the possibility of a Donald Trump presidency.

Surely the disgraced vainglorious, impeached, and indicted real estate tycoon can’t win a second term in the highest office there is? Well, like a phoenix he has risen from the ashes of his 2020 defeat and attempted insurrection to lead the incumbent President Joe Biden in the national polls, making him the favourite to be the next President of the United States.

"[Trump's] main opposition has not come within his party or opposing party, but from the legal system"

In the age of post-truth, deglobalisation and populism: Trump has personified all these qualities in abundance. Such is the loyalty and strength of his voter base, he has so far dominated the Republican Primary. With all his opponents, bar former South Carolina Governor Nicky Haley, getting blown away.  While Trump looks poised to win the Republican nomination his main opposition has not come within his party or the opposing party, but from the legal system.

The main scourge on Trump’s campaign has been his painful series of legal battles across the United States. Having just lost a defamation case in New York, Trump has been ordered to pay journalist E Jean Carroll $83.3m. He also awaits the verdict of a New York civil fraud case, as well as 13 counts of election meddling crimes including racketeering and forgery in Georgia, a federal case in Washington over the January 6th insurrection, classified documents charges in Florida, and a Hush-money case in New York. The series of litigations have fuelled Trump’s base and raised questions such as: can Trump run from prison and can Trump pardon himself if elected?

These questions may well decide the results of the November election. Should Trump be convicted and serve jail time, polling suggests that independents in key swing states would sway towards Biden. If he is somehow able to dodge all his legal trouble, then the election would be very difficult to call at this stage. While Trump polls exceptionally poorly with women due to his radical abortion stances, which could see a national abortion ban if the Republicans win both House and Senate in November, his polling among Black and Latino voters has improved significantly from 2020. Concerns over Biden’s age (81) and control over immigration have driven his unpopularity, causing  voters to question whether they will be better off under a Trump administration.

"2024 is set to be a defining year for world politics with 1.5 billion people heading to the polls."

2024 is set to be a defining year for world politics with 1.5 billion people heading to the polls. The US has perhaps the most important decision to make. It looks virtually certain now that we will have a rematch of the 2020 election, a choice that the majority of voters would rather not make. It is still a choice which could dramatically change the course of world history. The geopolitical landscape is precarious as ever, with rising tensions and conflict in the Middle East, along with Putin’s Russia posing a severe threat to Europe. The American Presidency will play an important role in navigating this landscape over the coming years, the possibility of Trump’s ‘America First’ foreign policy along with his volatile personality could set of chain reaction of populism, division and conflict throughout the world. Can Trump win? Of course he can. Is the world prepared? That remains to be seen.

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