Voters want a new president in 2024, and both parties should listen
Both parties should run a new candidate for president in 2024 instead of nominating President Biden and former President Trump again. The party which recognizes this has the best chance to win the presidency and help reduce the level of divisiveness in the country. This article does not address either man's record by reciting their accomplishments and personal shortcomings.
Here are six reasons why both parties should listen and nominate someone new:
Voters don't want them to run
Both men are unpopular with heavily unfavorable personal ratings. In November 2020, 61% of voters nationally felt the country was on the wrong track under Trump’s leadership, and that sentiment has edged up to 68% today under Biden.
They are too old to serve until January 2029
Both Biden and Trump need to get off the stage. If elected, either man would become the oldest person to win the presidency. Ronald Reagan was only 74 when he was reelected in 1984 and three living former presidents are younger than Biden and Trump. The United States needs a vibrant leader to manage our adversaries. In 1945, a frail, sick and worn-out President Franklin D. Roosevelt negotiated the future of Europe with Stalin and Churchill in Ukraine. Pictures of the three men taken at the Yalta meeting are haunting. Roosevelt sits wrapped in a blanket and died a few weeks after returning to the U.S.
Independent candidacies and unstable outcomes are more likely if both men run
When voters are dissatisfied with government and the candidates offered by the two major parties, independent candidacies are more likely to occur. Progressive activist Cornel West and Jill Stein of the Green Party have announced their candidacies for president already, along with former Democrat Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Stein received enough votes in several states in 2016 to affect the Electoral College outcomes there. While Stein’s support in national polls taken over the past month involving the five announced candidates has been only around 2%, Kennedy’s support exceeded 15% in two of those polls.
The proliferation of candidates increases the likelihood of two problematic outcomes. First, it creates the possibility that the closely divided House of Representatives could decide the winner. An independent candidate could win a few states, as George Wallace did in 1968 and Ross Perot almost did in 1992, and potentially block any candidate from receiving 270 Electoral College votes. Second, even if one candidate wins 270 electoral votes or is "elected" by the House, the winner could end up with a low percentage of the popular vote. Unlike many other countries, the U.S. does not have a runoff to ensure the winner has 50% support. A president elected with 35% to 40% of the popular vote would struggle to implement his or her agenda.
Neither Trump nor Biden can restore civility in Washington
Policy divisions between the two parties have been aggravated by the breakdown of personal relationships. The political system used to reward officials with the skill to blend contrasting approaches into workable policies. However, people who compromise today are likely to be criticized as lacking principle by their own party and opponents. Meanwhile, each side refuses to restrain acts of extremism and incivility in their own camps. The proven inability of Biden or Trump to restore a climate of compromise, civility and progress in Washington suggests that a new president would have a better chance of doing so.
Republicans have viable alternatives to nominating Trump
Republicans have viable alternative candidates for president who also have a path to victory in 2024. Former UN Ambassador and Governor Nikki Haley, 51, has the foreign policy and executive experience to be president. She communicates well on issues with unaffiliated voters and is running far ahead of Trump when matched against Biden. A nationwide poll released on Dec. 9 by the Wall Street Journal had Haley leading Biden in a head-to-head matchup by a staggering 17%.
That lead is greater than most other national polls have shown for Haley. However, another highly publicized poll of registered voters conducted by the New York Times and Siena College in November showed Haley with an average lead over Biden of 12% in six key battleground states.
Meanwhile, Ron DeSantis, 45, demonstrated his political skill by winning the Florida governorship twice. He is running even nationally with Biden when tested in polls as the Republican nominee but has improved as a candidate now that the Republican field has narrowed.
Despite winning the nomination twice before, Trump was averaging only 44% in three recent polls taken in the upcoming primary state of New Hampshire and was averaging only 50% in three recent polls taken in Iowa.
These results show weakness not strength. The Republican governor of Iowa has now endorsed DeSantis and the governor of New Hampshire endorsed Haley. In 1968, President Johnson dropped out of the race for reelection after winning the New Hampshire primary with 50% of the vote.
Democrats have viable alternatives to nominating Biden
The two alternative candidates currently seeking the Democrat nomination, Congressman Dean Phillips and author Marianne Williamson, have not generated much enthusiasm, but Democrats have other viable candidates. Vice President Kamala Harris is known nationally, and Democrat base voters overwhelmingly prefer her to Trump.
She has not gained many friends in the current administration but could still run on Biden’s accomplishments while proposing her own agenda for the future.
A second potential candidate is California Governor Gavin Newsom, who has been meeting with foreign leaders and campaigning for other Democrats. Newsom also participated with competence in a televised “Governors Debate” with DeSantis. Economic and social problems in California are potential vulnerabilities, but California is a global powerhouse that provides a strong base. A third dark horse candidate is Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, the former governor of Rhode Island. She has managed a broad range of finance and technology issues in her career, and frequently appears at international forums on behalf of the administration.
One thing that is certain is that the identity of the next president is not clear a year before the election. In November 1967, November 1979 and November 1991, Presidents Johnson, Carter and Bush each had large leads in the polls, and none of them were reelected.
Glenn Carberry is a retired attorney who writes on foreign policy and economic matters. He worked as a Senate intern in the Washington office of Hubert Humphrey almost 50 years ago and ran for the House of Representatives in 1988 as a Republican in Connecticut's Second Congressional District. Today, he enjoys traveling, reading world history, and sharing his experiences and thoughts with interested readers.
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