2024 U.S. elections primaries & campaign

Written by  //  May 19, 2024  //  Politics, U.S.  //  1 Comment

2024 Election Calendar

A Beginner’s Guide to Super Tuesday
(NYT) Super Tuesday….is the day in the presidential primary cycle when the most states vote. The exact number varies by year, but it is common for a third of all delegates to the Republican or Democratic conventions to be awarded on Super Tuesday.

How Biden’s debate performance could blow open the race
He needs to goad Trump to be Trump, while reassuring voters about his own fitness for another term.
By Jennifer Rubin
(WaPo) President Biden took the media and political world by surprise in challenging Donald Trump to two debates — and then swiftly accepting offers from CNN and ABC. Trump accepted the debates, on June 27 and Sept. 10, but whether he will show up is another matter.
Trump has done Biden a favor over the past few months by painting the president as an infirm, doddering old man. If Biden appears even remotely sane, alert and engaged at the debates, he will have defied expectations. Moreover, Biden already accomplished an important component of a successful debate. In getting out in front to reach quick agreements with CNN and ABC, the president might have snagged, for the CNN-hosted June 27 debate in Atlanta, two of the most competent moderators available. Jake Tapper and Dana Bash….
… Biden’s challenge is threefold: Expose Trump’s unfitness, reassure Americans that he can continue to lead the country and remind voters of the horrors of the Trump presidency

25 April
How Arizona became the center of the political universe
(Politico) A half-century ago, when Joe Biden burst onto the national political scene as one of the youngest senators in history, Arizona was little more than an afterthought on the political map. With just six electoral votes and a post-war history of voting Republican, it paled next to California, New York and the Midwestern industrial giants that tended to elect presidents.
Today, as Biden stumps the country on his final campaign, Arizona occupies a very different role — something close to the hub of the 2024 political universe. It is one of seven swing states that will likely decide the presidency. It’s also the backdrop for two toss-up House races and a toss-up Senate contest that could determine control of Congress in November.
Week after week, the state produces more market-moving political action than almost any other.

10-22 April
Republicans are starting to worry about RFK Jr.
Even Donald Trump acknowledged Monday that the independent candidate “probably hurts both” Biden and him.
(Politico) Republicans are waking up to the reality that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. could sink their standard-bearer just as easily as he could hurt President Joe Biden, after a pair of new polls showed the presence of third-party candidates on the ballot might not necessarily benefit former President Donald Trump.
For months, Democrats have been on the defensive over the renegade Kennedy, with Biden surrogates warning openly about the effect Kennedy could have on the election and the Democratic National Committee going so far as to set up an operation solely to counter the threat of third-party and independent candidates.
But recent polling broadly shows Kennedy drawing evenly from both of the major party candidates’ 2020 supporters. And Kennedy’s significantly higher favorable ratings among Republican voters suggests he has more room to eat into Trump’s vote share than Biden’s.
In addition, a POLITICO analysis of campaign finance data shows far more interest in Kennedy from former Trump donors than people who previously contributed to Biden.
Robert F. Kennedy junior doesn’t care if he condemns America to Trump
He’s a tree-hugging conspiracy theorist – and he’s running for president (pay wall)
RFK Jr.’s bump in polling fails to materialize after VP pick
(The Hill) When Robert F. Kennedy Jr. introduced his 2024 running mate last month, his allies expected a bump in excitement that typically follows a big campaign announcement.
That bump hasn’t materialized.
The independent candidate is trailing President Biden and former President Trump by significant margins even after unveiling attorney Nicole Shanahan as his vice presidential pick, leading Democrats to wonder if he’s reached his ceiling.
“I don’t think Kennedy’s support in polls has much to do with him as an actual candidate,” said Kyle Kondik, an elections analyst monitoring the presidential contest this cycle. “It’s just based on dissatisfaction with the major party presumptive nominees.”

8 April
The Tough Sell of the Third-Party Candidate
Fear of handing the election to Donald Trump is making an outsider run radioactive.
By Lora Kelley
(The Atlantic) Many voters are unenthused—even distraught—about the major-party candidates on offer in this election. These negative feelings could inject real volatility into the race. My colleague Elaine Godfrey, who published an article this morning about a group of undecided women voters in the electorally vital suburbs of Philadelphia, found that some—appalled by Trump, wary of Joe Biden’s age—were casting about for other options. A few of them were checking out Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the former Democrat and conspiracy-minded political scion who has shown surprising momentum in his outsider bid.
RFK Jr.’s “We the People” Party is present only on the Utah ballot so far, but he is currently polling around 12 percent—well below either of the major-party candidates, but a number that distinguishes him as the highest-polling independent candidate since Ross Perot ran in 1992 (in what was then the most successful outsider bid in many decades). As John wrote of RFK Jr. last month: “His movement’s potential to ‘spoil’ the election remains very real.” He just announced his vice-presidential pick as Nicole Shanahan, a wealthy Silicon Valley lawyer who was until recently married to a Google co-founder, whom he selected from a bucket of contenders that reportedly included Aaron Rodgers, Tulsi Gabbard, and Killer Mike; Shanahan’s wealth and age (she is 38) could help RFK Jr. bring in new voters.

4 April
Terrified Parents, New Age Health Nuts, MAGA Exiles. Meet the R.F.K. Jr. Faithful.
Michelle Goldberg
(NYT) … Many Democratic and Republican insiders view Kennedy as a danger to Biden’s re-election. Timothy Mellon, the top donor to the Trump super PAC Make America Great Again Inc., is also the top donor to the Kennedy super PAC American Values 2024, suggesting he thinks Kennedy will help Trump. The Democratic National Committee, meanwhile, has recently formed a unit, including veteran Democratic operative Lis Smith, devoted to battling third-party candidates, and Kennedy is getting most of its attention.
But on the ground, I haven’t met many Kennedy-curious voters for whom Biden is a second choice. Instead, Kennedy attracts many of the same sort of alienated political eccentrics who in the past have gravitated to Trump. “They keep saying that he’s pulling from Biden, but most of our people are actually coming from the right,” said Leigh Merinoff, volunteer chair of the finance committee of American Values.
… there’s a gap between both Democratic and Republican assumptions about Kennedy’s appeal and the character of his real-life movement. He’s much more of a wild card than left-wing third-party candidates like Stein and Cornel West. There’s something distinctly Trumpy in his campaign’s mix of New Age individualism, social media-fueled paranoia and intense, aching nostalgia for the optimistic America of the early 1960s….
While there are still some progressive figures in Kennedy’s orbit, his campaign has an increasingly right-wing vibe. Border security has become a central part of his pitch. Since January, his communications director has been Del Bigtree, a leading anti-vaccine activist who doubts that climate change is caused by human activity and who spoke at the MAGA Freedom Rally near the Capitol on Jan. 6. “I wish I could tell you that this pandemic really is dangerous,” Bigtree said then. “I wish I could believe that voting machines work and that people care. You’ve been sold a lie!”
The conservative talk radio host Randy Economy, one of the leaders of the campaign to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, is Kennedy’s senior adviser for ballot access. An opening speaker at the Oakland event was Angela Stanton-King, a Black conservative QAnon promoter who served time for her role in a car-theft ring and was pardoned by Donald Trump.
… A recent Quinnipiac survey shows Kennedy getting 13 percent of the vote; he has support from 9 percent of Democrats, 8 percent of Republicans and 20 percent of independents. The poll shows Biden leading Trump by three points in a head-to-head matchup but Trump ahead by one point when third-party candidates are included. Though both numbers are within the poll’s margin of error, they suggest that Trump could benefit if the election isn’t seen as a binary choice.
Other polls, however, show Kennedy pulling more voters from Trump, and the truth is no one knows how the election will ultimately shake out.

3 April
Ian Bremmer: Could third-party candidates upend the 2024 US election?
While the polls will no doubt seesaw back and forth over the next seven months, don’t get fooled by the noise. Because of the Electoral College and America’s growing political polarization, the outcome of US elections is determined not by the national popular vote but by the states – and, increasingly, by just tens of thousands of voters in a handful of swing states.
Trump carried most of these in 2016, and Biden flipped most in 2020. The former was decided by about 78,000 votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The latter, by about 44,000 votes in Wisconsin, Arizona, and Georgia. Something similar will happen this upcoming November, with the winner virtually guaranteed to have a narrow path to the White House.
Polls consistently show that most Americans dislike both Biden and Trump and want neither to lead the nation again. The unprecedented unpopularity of both nominees makes 2024 the most favorable environment in a generation for third-party candidates, three of whom are currently in the running: Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Cornel West, and Jill Stein.
…third parties don’t need to win any states or even significant numbers of votes to influence the 2024 result. Even single-digit vote shares could be enough to shift margins in the closely contested swing states that will decide the election, as they have in several recent contests. Indeed, third-party candidates picked up more votes than the eventual winner’s margin of victory in 75% of swing states in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. Insofar as the 2024 race is close, it won’t take many third-party votes in the right places to spoil it.
…the No. 1 reason to think RFK Jr. could hurt Trump more than Biden is that Republicans and Republican-leaning independents like him much more than Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents do. While the exact numbers vary from poll to poll, Kennedy’s average net favorability is positive among Republicans and negative among Democrats. This trend has grown over time as voters have gotten to know RFK Jr. better and realized his anti-establishment views put him closer to the Republican base than the Democratic one. To name just a few, he is a vocal anti-vaxxer, opposes gun control and Ukraine aid, and has a knack for conspiratorial thinking. All these positions are right-wing coded, appealing more to the reactionary populism of Joe Rogan, Tucker Carlson, and Alex Jones than the suburban, college-educated liberals who make up the base of the Democratic Party.
See Byron Haskins Comment below

26 March
RFK Jr. Taps California Lawyer Nicole Shanahan as Running Mate
(Rolling Stone) Shanahan is a California attorney and the ex-wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The Times notes that she has a history of donating to Democratic candidates, including President Joe Biden. She recently forked over $4 million to help finance a Super Bowl ad for Kennedy’s campaign, one in which he compared himself to his uncle, John F. Kennedy. The Kennedy family has largely opposed RFK Jr.’s run, and his cousin Bobby Shriver bashed the ad for using the family’s faces to promote RKF JR.’s “deadly health care views.” Kennedy ultimately apologized for the ad.

14 March
‘Double haters’ might decide the 2024 election
(Politico) If President Joe Biden wants to squeeze out of a polling deficit, he’ll need to secure the votes of some people who don’t like him very much. The good news is, many of these voters don’t like former President Donald Trump either.
They might be the most important group in the 2024 election: Call them ‘the double haters.’
Double haters — voters who are unsatisfied with both Trump and Biden — make up roughly one-fifth of the electorate. Recent polls from the Marquette Law School, NYT-Siena College and Morning Consult all reported the same number: 19 percent. That’s a huge chunk in a race that’s likely to be tight. Demographically the group resembles the general electorate, although it leans slightly younger and more Hispanic; there are also an equal number of Democrats and Republicans.
These double haters have been an important group for multiple election cycles — this year, with both candidates’ favorability ratings plummeting, the number of voters who dislike both major party candidates may surpass the previous high water mark in 2016.
… “Their dislike of Trump seems more durable, more intense, more nonnegotiable, whereas Biden it seems a little milder; perhaps [he has] more ability to turn it around,” Lake said. “So I think it represents an opportunity.”

6 March
Biden and Trump dominate Super Tuesday races and move closer to a November rematch

5 Takeaways From Super Tuesday: Trump Wins and Haley Exits
The presidential primaries on Super Tuesday, along with a series of congressional contests in key districts, many still undecided, offered the broadest look yet at the preferences of voters in both parties headed into the 2024 election.
Donald Trump racked up delegates, but also revealed weaknesses. Nikki Haley conceded to cold, hard math. And restive Democrats sent a message to President Biden.
(NYT) … Ms. Haley made it official on Wednesday morning, exiting the race but withholding her endorsement of Mr. Trump. Instead, she said he must work to win over her voters.
That is important because tucked inside Mr. Trump’s often dominant statewide victories on Tuesday were signs of vulnerability for the fall. He showed some of the same weakness in the swingy suburban areas that cost him the White House in 2020.
while Tuesday’s elections served as a stark reminder of the grip both men have over their parties, they also offered the best glimpse yet of each candidates’ general election frailties — from Trump’s struggles with well-educated suburban voters to Biden’s protest votes over his policies in the Middle East in Democratic-leaning places like Minnesota.
Down the ballot, gamesmanship seemed to pay off for Adam Schiff as he coasted through the state’s top-two primary alongside a Republican who he is all but certain to beat. Elsewhere, hard-line Republicans advanced from key primaries, but potentially not without serious liabilities for some, like Mark Robinson, who easily won the North Carolina GOP gubernatorial primary.
Here are seven things Super Tuesday taught us about the general election:
The general election no one wanted …
Republicans may still have a Trump problem down ballot … from Colorado to Virginia, it was clear that the GOP’s down-ballot problems will only be exacerbated by Trump’s problems in the suburbs. In Virginia, the former president lost suburbs like Alexandria and Arlington to Haley, along with the state capital of Richmond and city of Charlottesville, home to the University of Virginia. In Colorado, he lost Denver and Boulder.
Biden’s ‘uncommitted’ hump is real … it was in Minnesota, which hasn’t gone for a Republican for president since Richard Nixon in 1972, where Biden saw a less surprising but more threatening setback. The “uncommitted” option on the ballot there had as big a night as it did in Michigan, winning 19 percent of the vote with 89 percent counted. The state’s politically significant Somali population, concentrated around the Twin Cities, rebuked Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war.
California gamesmanship paid off … California was a test of the candidates’ and parties’ ability to navigate the jiu-jitsu of fighting in the top-two primary. And they appear to have pulled it off.
The House GOP conference inched to the right … Conservatives fighting for greater influence within the volatile House GOP conference are getting some reinforcements.
A disappointing night for the left … “Uncommitted” voters’ strong showing in Minnesota was the biggest bright spot in an otherwise disappointing night for progressives.
25 February
Despite anticipation of a Trump nomination, Super Tuesday demands to be heard
(WaPo) … After basking in the adoration of South Carolina’s officialdom, arrayed behind him like third-graders singled out as teacher’s pets, Trump departed before he learned the fact that the high voter turnout had foretold: His win was less “gigantic” than he had promised. In November 2016, he carried South Carolina with 54.9 percent and in 2020 with 55.1. On Saturday, in a primary in which mostly Republicans participated, he received only 59.8 percent.
… Brookings Institution scholars William A. Galston and Elaine Kamarck write at the Progressive Policy Institute that in the 17 elections from 1920 to 1984, 10 winners achieved a popular-vote victory margin of at least 10 points, and five achieved at least 20 points. In the nine elections from 1988 to 2020, no winner had even a 10-point victory margin. This year, Haley probably would achieve such a margin. And it is highly probable that Trump would lose the popular vote for a third time.
Furthermore, it is pertinent that in 2020 women outvoted men by 4 to 6 percent. According to the AP VoteCast survey, women favored Biden 55 percent to 44 percent; according to Edison data, 57 percent to 42 percent. Women provided Biden’s narrow margin of victory.

24 February
South Carolina Primary: Trump Defeats Haley, Delivering a Crushing Blow in Her Home State
The former president is barreling toward the Republican nomination with a sweep of early states. But Nikki Haley said she was determined to fight on.
(NYT) Maya King: One thing I’m noticing as results from the primary continue to come in is Nikki Haley’s relative strength in Columbia and Charleston — two of the most Democratic-leaning areas in South Carolina. We don’t yet know just how many Democrats skipped their party’s contest on Feb. 3 in order to support her tonight. But it seems her campaign message has broken through to some.

14 February
What happens if Trump or Biden can no longer run for president?
1 If there is a calamity between now and the party conventions
2 If the unthinkable happens after the convention but before the election
3 If disaster befalls a president-elect before the electoral college meets
4 If something happens between the electoral college vote and Inauguration Day

The Global Stakes for Human Rights in America’s Election
American leadership impacts human rights globally through the hard power of institutional leadership and the soft power of example — a fact underscored by the contrast on human rights between Joe Biden’s presidency and that of his predecessor.
(Policy)  Executive director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, Kyle Matthews brings his expertise to the question of ‘What if?’ (24 August 2023)
Michigan may soon show just how badly Biden’s cease-fire stance is hurting him
(Politico) Joe Biden and his campaign know they’re paying a political price with some voters by not calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza.
But inside the critical battleground state of Michigan, some Democrats fear the president’s team doesn’t appreciate the depths of discontent from Arab American and young voters over Biden’s response to the Israel-Hamas war. And they worry that even a widely expected protest vote in next week’s primary won’t give them the wakeup call that’s needed.

Trump Defeats Haley, Fueling His Drive Toward G.O.P. Nomination
The former president’s win raises questions about Nikki Haley’s path, but she vowed to stay in the race. President Biden was carried to victory by his supporters’ write-in campaign after he declined to appear on the state’s ballot.
A ‘Jarring Political Message’ for Trump?
(NYT) While Trump isn’t the incumbent president, he is the incumbent nominee, and he’s running a version of a classic incumbent campaign. Yet he cleared only 51 percent of the vote in Iowa and, as of this writing, has 54 percent in New Hampshire.
It’s a number big enough to show that he has a strong grip on the G.O.P., but it’s also small enough to expose meaningful Republican discontent. Trump’s team will hype the result as a mandate and try to bully Haley out of the race, and she might leave.
New Hampshire tells us the G.O.P. is still Trump’s party, but it also tells us that Trump’s party is fractured, and fractured parties struggle to win the White House, especially when an incumbent is under fire. Just ask Gerald Ford in 1976, Jimmy Carter in 1980 and Bush in 1992. Each incumbent confronted a credible primary challenger, and each incumbent lost. (11 January)
Move over GOP presidential primary. The real action is down-ballot.
Massively important primary races lurk just below the surface next month, including fights for House, Senate and governor.
(Politico) There has never been much suspense in the presidential primaries. But the future of both political parties is at stake in the nominating battles further down the ballot.
Some of the biggest contests are in March, when eight states are holding their primaries for Congress, four for Senate and one for governor. There’s plenty of action if you just scroll down the ballot.

16 February
The gathering storm at your dinner table
(Politico) New research suggests a fascinating trend with implications for politics — and family dinners: Daughters from conservative families are voting for Democrats at levels much higher than sons.
According to an extensive 2023 survey of over 5,000 Americans from the Survey Center on American Life, most children with politically engaged parents end up with similar political beliefs. But daughters of Republicans have become a notable exception.
25 January
Why Republican Parents Raise Democratic Daughters
More young women are rejecting the politics of their conservative parents
— New research suggests a fascinating trend with implications for politics — and family dinners: Daughters from conservative families are voting for Democrats at levels much higher than sons.
According to an extensive 2023 survey of over 5,000 Americans from the Survey Center on American Life, most children with politically engaged parents end up with similar political beliefs. But daughters of Republicans have become a notable exception.
… The partisan symmetry of political inheritance is notable. Overall, Democrats and Republican parents pass on their political views with roughly equal effectiveness.
But there’s a critical exception to this rule. Young women raised in Republican households are far less likely than young men to identify as Republican as adults. Less than half (44 percent) of young women with Republican parents report that they are Republican compared to two-thirds (67 percent) of young men.
It’s not that young women are less interested in politics or have a distinctive independent streak. If anything, young women are somewhat more politically engaged. A 2015 Pew study found that young women engaged in political discussion with their parents more often than men:
Young women were far more likely than young men to say they most often talk about politics with a parent: 62% of 18- to 29-year-old women who have at least one political discussion partner named a parent, compared with 42% of men the same age, a 20-percentage-point difference.

22-23 January
Yes, Trump is dominating the primaries. That doesn’t mean he’ll beat Biden
Robert Reich
Why is the media making such a big deal of this? Trump will be the nominee, but the general election is a different matter
Headline after headline offers the same breathless, spellbound story: “Trump is dominating.” “Disciplined”. “Ruthless”. “Hugely effective”. “Remarkable”.
Earth to the mainstream media: this is dangerous nonsense.
Why should Trump’s dominance be surprising? He’s dominated the Republican party since 2016. He dominates by ridiculing opponents, blasting anyone who stands in his way, bullying, browbeating and bellowing. The media eats it up. He’s outrageous and entertaining.
Trump’s success in last week’s Iowa caucuses wasn’t a “stunning show of strength”. It was a display of remarkable weakness. He got just 56,260 votes. There are 2,083,979 registered voters in Iowa. Fewer than 3% of Iowans voted for him.
According to an entrance poll, only 46% of the Republican caucus-goers considered themselves part of the Maga movement. Nearly 50% said they were not. Three-quarters of these non-Maga Republican voters opposed Trump.
Over 30% said they would not consider Trump fit to be president if he were convicted of a crime.

Deepfakes on are on the campaign trail too
(GZEROmedia) Ahead of presidential primaries Tuesday night in the Granite State, the New Hampshire Justice Department said it is investigating reports of robocalls impersonating President Joe Biden. The calls, allegedly featuring an AI version of Biden’s voice, encourage voters to stay home on Tuesday and instead save their vote for November.
“Your vote makes a difference in November, not this Tuesday,” the faux Biden said. It’s the first-known case of someone using generative AI to suppress the vote in a presidential election. The robocall was also “spoofed” to seem like it was sent by a New Hampshire Democratic operative, the government said in a press release. The state justice department reminded voters that voting on Tuesday doesn’t preclude them from voting in November’s general election.
We Talked to the Dixville 6, the Midnight Voters Who All Went for Haley
(NYT) The township, just 20 miles from the Canadian border, was once heralded as a near-magic bellwether: The winner of its Republican primary went on to win the party’s nomination in every election cycle from 1968 to 2012. Whatever predictive powers it may have possessed were exposed by Donald J. Trump, who lost in Dixville Notch, 2 votes to 3, in 2016 to former Gov. John R. Kasich of Ohio.

22 January
New England’s primary
(Politico Nightly) The first-in-the-nation primary is New Hampshire’s quadrennial time in the national spotlight, its cottage industry and its opportunity to have an outsized role in determining the next president.
What’s less appreciated is the role neighboring Massachusetts is playing in shaping Tuesday’s primary. From the electorate (filled with Massachusetts ex-pats) to the ads they are watching (nearly all of them purchased in the Boston media market) to the polls (The Boston Globe, Boston’s Suffolk University and NBC10 Boston are among those polling the race), there is a subtle Massachusetts imprint that gives the election a more regional feel than any of the other early state contests.
‘Don’t … bring your liberal [expletive] to my state’: N.H. GOP voters perceive Mass. negatively, poll shows (Boston Globe)

21 January
How DeSantis collapsed in the glare of a presidential campaign
His once promising candidacy came to an abrupt end Sunday.
(Politico) …reality set in after his recent distant second place showing in Iowa and grim polls showing him in single digits in New Hampshire. DeSantis on Sunday afternoon exited the presidential race and endorsed former President Donald Trump, saying: “I can’t ask our supporters to volunteer their time and donate their resources if we don’t have a clear path to victory.”
It’s a bruising end for a candidate looking to take his winning streak in Florida national and demonstrate to Republicans that he could continue the MAGA-favored policies of isolationism and cultural conservatism without the signature Trump chaos.

15-16 January
Voters Look Past Legal Problems to Give Trump a Big Victory
The possibility of a two-person race remains elusive for Trump foes, who fear a split field will ease his path to the nomination.
5 Scenarios for What Might Come Next in New Hampshire
The history of the presidential primary offers a roadmap for 2024.
Jeff Greenfield
(Politico) Donald Trump won twice in Iowa last night — first by securing an overwhelming margin of victory, and second because Nikki Haley’s claim as the only real alternative was damaged by her third-place finish behind a limping Ron DeSantis.
So now what? Is the 2024 GOP presidential race effectively over, or can something approaching a fight for the nomination still emerge? New Hampshire will provide an answer.
In the seven decades since New Hampshire decided to put the names of candidates on its primary ballot, the Granite State has offered every conceivable result. It has made losers out of winners and winners out of losers; it has ended the battle for the nomination and turned coronations into pitched battles; it has turned underdogs into contenders, triggered months-long contests and delivered results that proved by turn decisive and irrelevant. Whatever happens next Tuesday, there’s a model for it.
What Trump’s Victory in Iowa Reveals
The result also offers him some warning signs.
By Ronald Brownstein

10 January
Christie ends his anti-Trump crusade
But he did not make an endorsement.
Chris Christie is ending his longshot presidential campaign. He suspended his campaign late this afternoon in a move that could be a major boost to Nikki Haley’s chances in New Hampshire. The former New Jersey governor, a vocal critic of frontrunner Donald Trump, had staked his campaign on the first primary state. But his path narrowed as Haley started surging in polls on the heels of several strong debate performances and with the backing of popular GOP Gov. Chris Sununu, who also opposes Trump.
Pressure had been rising on Christie, who draws from a similar pool of more moderate Republicans and independents as Haley, to drop out before the Jan. 23 primary to avoid splitting the anti-Trump vote. New Hampshire is the only early state where Trump polls under 50 percent on average — and where Haley has come within striking distance of him in some surveys.
Don’t Be So Certain Trump Has the Nomination Locked Up
Here’s the path for a Nikki Haley upset.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, Nikki Haley doesn’t have to win New Hampshire, or even South Carolina — she just has to keep it close enough to keep donors and voters convinced there might be a real nomination fight and move forward.

9 January
Congress is back. There’s a ton of unfinished business.
(Politico) … Did we mention that the congressional primary election season begins in about two months?
The current congressional calendar has members back in their districts during October to enable them to campaign in the final weeks before the election. That’s in addition to the month-long break in August.
Meanwhile, more and more members are calling it quits after being home over the holiday break, adding to the long list of retirees announced last year. Just this morning, Rep. Greg Pence (R-Ind.), brother of Vice President Mike Pence, announced his retirement, joining Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) and Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.) who announced their retirements earlier this week.
That makes 43 House members who are not running for reelection next year.
Poll: Trump thumping Biden in Michigan — but losing to Whitmer
(Politico) Donald Trump is trouncing Joe Biden in Michigan — but the state’s Democratic governor would fare much better against Trump in a hypothetical matchup, a new poll showed.
California governor Gavin Newsom also performed better than Biden in a hypothetical matchup with Trump, but still trailed the former president. Forty percent of respondents said they would vote for Newsom compared to 45 percent for Trump.

5 January
Biden, in Valley Forge speech, hits Trump hard as threat to democracy
The address marks a new phase of the Biden campaign that will emphasize Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election
Biden warns against Trump reelection after Jan. 6 Capitol riot, a day ‘we nearly lost America’
The speech, the president’s first political event of the election year, was intended to clarify the expected choice for voters this fall. Biden, who reentered political life because he felt he was best capable of defeating Trump in 2020, believes focusing on defending democracy to be central to persuading voters to reject Trump once again.
(AP) Speaking near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, where George Washington and the Continental Army spent a bleak winter nearly 250 years ago, Biden said that Jan. 6 2021, marked a moment where “we nearly lost America — lost it all.” He said the presidential race — a likely rematch with Trump, who is the far and away GOP frontrunner — is “all about” whether American democracy will survive.
The speech, the president’s first political event of the election year, was intended to clarify the expected choice for voters this fall. Biden, who reentered political life because he felt he was best capable of defeating Trump in 2020, believes focusing on defending democracy to be central to persuading voters to reject Trump once again.

2023

7-8 November
Playbook: What last night means for Joe Biden
We’re beginning to sense a pattern here. Never mind Americans’ nagging concerns about the economy. Never mind an expanding portfolio of global crises. And definitely never mind those year-out presidential polls.
There’s no two ways about it: It was another good election night for Democrats, nearly across the board. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear notched a solid reelection win in a ruby-red state. A clean sweep of the Virginia legislature showed the party still packs a punch in the suburbs. And the triumph of Issue 1 in Ohio (plus, well, nearly every other major race) proved that abortion is still motivating voters in a big way, and the GOP’s stabs at counter-messaging aren’t working.
So what does it mean for 2024? Democrats are waking up this morning to two theories of the case as it relates to President Biden’s quest for reelection:
Time to chill out. Polls are one thing, actual votes are another. These are not election returns consistent with a president whose approval numbers are struggling to break 40% and who is falling badly behind [Trump], the most divisive politician of his generation. Beshear won despite tons of GOP money being spent to tie him to Biden, so there’s plenty of room for the incumbent to recover.
Time to freak out. The polls are absolutely right: The problem isn’t the Democratic brand; it’s Joe Biden. The anti-MAGA coalition that showed up in 2018, 2020 and 2022 is still intact, sure, but it’s not going to show up for just anybody. Trump is certain to bring out his own special universe of voters next year, and Americans are giving every possible signal that they won’t be happy if the alternative is an 81-year-old Biden.
At the White House, Biden himself basked in the moment — making call after call to the night’s big winners, from Beshear to GABE AMO — the former Biden staffer who will be the first Black person to represent Rhode Island in Congress. And in text chains everywhere, we’re told, lots of Dark Brandon memes were being exchanged.
Expect a big push from Biden’s allies in the coming days to reset and reframe. As one Biden adviser told Playbook last night: “I have a hard time squaring all the negativity around the president and his agenda and then the continued performance tonight in Kentucky and all the other special elections in ’23. … The best predictor of voting behavior is voting behavior.”

A night of historic firsts
Former Biden White House aide Gabe Amo will become the first Black member of Congress from Rhode Island after winning the special election in that state’s first congressional district.
And Philadelphia will have its first female mayor after Democrat Cherelle Parker defeated Republican David Oh in the overwhelmingly Democratic city.
Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says his reelection victory “sends a loud, clear message” that there should be an end to “anger politics.”
Beshear defeated Republican challenger Daniel Cameron, who had been endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
Ohio becomes 7th state to protect abortion rights in post-Roe era
With Tuesday’s vote to enshrine abortion rights into its state constitution, Ohio is the seventh state where voters have protected abortion access since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year.
Daniel McCaffery, a Democrat and Pennsylvania Superior Court judge who ran in support of abortion rights, has won an open seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Joe Hogsett, a Democrat, won a third term as mayor of Indianapolis.
Ohio voters pass constitutional amendment protecting access to abortion
Virginia Democrats win full control of statehouse, dealing blow to GOP ahead of 2024

The off-year election getting even-year attention
PROSECUTORS IN PERIL — It’s in an off-year election, but there’s no shortage of high-stakes contests across the nation today. … local prosecutor races haven’t received much attention. But there are a slate of prosecutor races today that will give us a glimpse into how Americans feel about crime going into 2024 — and test whether the left can continue its successful campaign of electing progressive district attorneys. In recent years, several prominent progressives have won local district attorney elections, only to face recall efforts months later. What started with promises of reducing incarceration and abandoning cash bail on the campaign trail turned into debates over violent crime rates and minimum sentences.
It’s Election Day. Here is what you need to know
Though it’s an off-year general election, races across the country will have far-reaching implications for 2024 and beyond.
Off-year elections will decide governors in Kentucky and Mississippi, the fate of abortion and marijuana amendments in Ohio, legislative control in Virginia and mayoral races in two of the nation’s biggest cities. Some contests, such as Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court race, could play a significant role in voting-related cases during the 2024 presidential campaign. There could also be some historic firsts, as in Rhode Island, which could elect its first Black representative to Congress.
3 November
What to expect in Kentucky’s general election
(AP) — Kentucky Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear seeks a second term in the heavily Republican state on Tuesday in one of the most competitive and closely watched races on the ballot this year.
Beshear faces a challenge from GOP nominee Daniel Cameron, a Donald Trump endorsee who succeeded Beshear as state attorney general in 2019. Cameron hopes to reclaim the governorship on behalf of Republicans and hand his party complete control over lawmaking in the state.In the last 20 years, the Kentucky governorship has changed hands between Democrats and Republicans four times. Cameron hopes to make it a fifth. If he does, the former aide to Kentucky’s longtime senior Sen. Mitch McConnell would become only the fourth African American in the nation’s history to be elected governor and the first Black Republican governor since Reconstruction. Gov. Wes Moore of Maryland is the only African American currently serving as the chief executive of a state.
What to expect when Ohio votes on abortion and marijuana
(AP) — For the second time in three months, the national debate over reproductive rights focuses on Ohio as voters decide Tuesday whether to amend the state Constitution to protect access to abortion services.
The measure has become one of the nation’s highest-profile contests on the ballot this year and is the latest state-level skirmish over the issue since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022.
9 September
Playbook: Why 2024 might be 2016 redux
(Politico) MORE DOUBTS ABOUT BIDEN Pretty much everything has been said about President Biden’s weaknesses as a 2024 candidate, though not everyone has said it. That has mostly been fixed this weekend as a torrent of pundits weigh in on the Biden question. Is it his age that’s the problem? Or the economy? Is it too late for a blue-state governor to replace him? Or is that wishful thinking by the bedwetting faction of the Democratic Party?
[Democrats worried over Biden chances are ‘bedwetters’, ex-Obama adviser says
Jim Messina, who helped Obama win in 2008 and 2012, says Democrats ‘continually believe every bad thing people say’]
There’s lots to dig into belowabout where this conversation is moving, but there’s one thing we picked up in conversations this week that isn’t quite captured in the narrow debate about age and the economy. The theory of the case from Biden world is that Dems need not be concerned because 2024 is the election they know how to win. It’s a combination of 2020 and 2022 all over again — running against Trumpian extremism and the erosion of abortion rights.
But there’s a creeping concern among Democrats that the overall gestalt of a Biden-Trump rematch may not be so much 2020 as it is 2016.

13 August
A US Election Like No Other
‘When America sneezes, the world catches a cold’ has morphed in the age of Trump into ‘When America loses its mind, the world grabs the Xanax’. There is no-one more qualified to assess the global stakes of this election than our own foreign policy sage, Canada’s former ambassador to Russia and the EU, and former high commissioner to the UK, Jeremy Kinsman.
(Policy) ‘For Canadians, popular preference remains very much for Biden’s America,’ writes former ambassador to Russia, the EU and the UK Jeremy Kinsman

11 August
Washington Week with The Atlantic
The first show. A little rough around the edges – Jeffrey Goldberg doesn’t seem comfortable in the role of moderator, but that may well come. The panelists are all good, but do not have the ease with one another that makes for excellent exchanges. Brooks & Shields this is not.

9 August
Abortion rights have won in every election since Roe v. Wade was overturned
Abortion has been on the ballot in seven states since June 2022. In each instance, anti-abortion groups have lost.
(NPR) Since Roe v. Wade was overturned a year ago, the Republican-backed side has lost abortion-related ballot fights in seven consecutive votes, from red states to blue states.
The latest loss for the GOP was on a ballot initiative in Ohio this week that was a proxy battle on abortion. Republicans were trying to make it harder to amend the state constitution — in advance of an abortion amendment vote planned for November.
They lost — again and decisively.
Now, this doesn’t mean that states like Ohio, Kentucky, Kansas or Montana are going blue in a presidential election any time soon.
But what the trend does show is that many anti-abortion-rights initiatives are unpopular — even with many right-leaning voters — and that it remains a salient and motivating issue that Democrats will continue to seize on.
While it’s unlikely abortion rights will flip these states that have trended Republican, it shows that when abortion is on the ballot, it’s a winning issue for Democrats. Republicans underperformed in the 2022 midterm elections largely because of abortion rights and Trump-backed candidates.
And both are figuring to be on the ballot again in 2024.

16 June
Third-party threat
(NPR newsletter) Despite his indictment by a Florida grand jury this week, former President Donald Trump has only gotten stronger with Republicans,according to the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.
• 83% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents think he should continue his presidential campaign, 64% say they support him in the GOP primary and they’ve increased 5 points since March on saying he did “nothing wrong.”
But the opposite is true of most everyone else:
• 58% of independents think he should drop out, and they have jumped 9 points – to 50% – in believing he’s done something illegal.
• 73% think Trump has done something either illegal or unethical, but not illegal.
It’s quite the dichotomy and a widening divergence – Trump is getting stronger with Republicans while looking increasingly toxic to independents, who largely decide presidential elections.
Call Trump the 46% candidate. That’s the number he’s gotten now twice in presidential elections – in 2020, it was slightly higher and in 2016 slightly lower. That’s hardly a majority.
The difference was the third-party vote. In 2016, it was about 7%, and Trump won. In 2020, it was less than 2% and Trump lost. Both Trump and Biden have their bases, but overall, are unpopular. But people who dislike both men overwhelmingly tip toward Biden when presented the choice between Biden and Trump.
That’s why an effort like the one put forth by No Labels to get a third party candidate with significant financial backing on the ballot in swing states is such a threat to Biden’s chances to win reelection – and increasingly looking like Trump’s only path to winning.

24 May
‘It turned out to be a mistake’: Botched rollout puts DeSantis on his heels
He portrays himself as a low-drama alternative to Donald Trump. His campaign launch was the picture of disorder.
(Politico) The Florida governor announced his presidential campaign on Twitter Spaces, in an appearance meant to be a veritable launch hosted by an actual rocket man.
But within seconds, it was clear that Tallahassee had a problem.
The feed broke, connections got cut off, the hosts seemed confused. It was inauspicious. It also was a black mark on the candidate’s supposed trademarks — expert organization and a comfort with the vanguard of modern media.

3 May
How AI will transform the 2024 elections
Darrell M. West
(Brookings) Recent news that the Republican National Committee (RNC) has used an AI-generated video to criticize Joe Biden shows how likely AI is to transform our upcoming elections. Advances in digital technology provide new and faster tools for political messaging and could have a profound impact on how voters, politicians, and reporters see the candidates and the campaign. We are no longer talking about photoshopping small tweaks to how a person looks or putting someone’s head on another individual’s body, but rather moving to an era where wholesale digital creation and dissemination are going to take place. Through templates that are easy and inexpensive to use, we are going to face a Wild West of campaign claims and counter-claims, with limited ability to distinguish fake from real material and uncertainty regarding how these appeals will affect the election.

18 February
Inside the collapse of the Trump-DeSantis ‘alliance of convenience’
Behind an apparent close alliance, the two Republicans have racked up years of mutual suspicions fueling a 2024 grudge match
(WaPo) Now, their emerging rivalry is the latest twist on a years-long public alliance that belied private misgivings and suspicions, according to interviews with more than a dozen people, many of whom were present for key decisions and conversations, and spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private interactions. Despite basking in each other’s reflected glow, Trump and DeSantis had a relationship based on mutual advantage rather than genuine closeness — “an alliance of convenience,” in the words of one person who knows both men.
Nikki Haley removed the Confederate flag. She sounds different as a candidate.
The former South Carolina governor is using claims that the United States is a racist nation as a foil in her campaign messages
Analysis by Dan Balz, Chief correspondent covering national politics, the presidency and Congress
(WaPo) …in her opening days as a candidate, she has chosen to deal in political hot buttons on racial issues rather than demonstrating the kind of approach she employed at a critical moment during her leadership.
A former governor and a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Haley is the first candidate to formally challenge former president Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. As other prospective candidates hang back — among them Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — Haley is all in. She is self-assured, reminding audiences that she has beaten the odds in the past and declaring that she intends to do so again.
14 February
Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announces run for president

5 February
Why Aren’t More People Running for President?
The 2024 field has been frozen by an unusual pairing—a former president who still inspires fear and a sitting president still biding his time.
By Russell Berman
(The Atlantic) Does anyone want to be president?
Typically, by the time a president delivers the State of the Union address at the start of his third year in office, as Joe Biden will on Tuesday, at least half a dozen rivals are already gunning for his job. When Donald Trump began his annual speech to Congress in 2019, four of the Democrats staring back at him inside the House chamber had already declared their presidential candidacies.
Not so this year. The only Republican (or Democrat, for that matter) officially trying to oust Biden is the former president he defeated in 2020.

This should be fun!
Koch network to back alternative to Trump after sitting out recent primaries
The return of one of the biggest spenders in American politics to the presidential primary field poses a direct challenge to the former president’s comeback bid
(WaPo) The network of donors and activist groups led by conservative billionaire Charles Koch will oppose Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican nomination, mounting a direct challenge to the former president’s campaign to win back the White House.
“The best thing for the country would be to have a president in 2025 who represents a new chapter,” Emily Seidel, chief executive of the network’s flagship group, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), wrote in a memo released publicly on Sunday. The three-page missive repeatedly suggests that AFP is taking on the responsibility of stopping Trump, with Seidel writing: “Lots of people are frustrated. But very few people are in a position to do something about it. AFP is. Now is the time to rise to the occasion.”

2022

8 December
Midterms should push both parties to rethink voting reform
By Jennifer Rubin
Before the 2022 midterms, Democrats had reason to be concerned about Republican legislative measures that sought to make voting more difficult. Accordingly, they proposed federal legislation that would guarantee early voting, allow no-excuse absentee voting and same-day registration, as well as make Election Day a national holiday. Democrats also tried to counter partisan attempts to overrule neutral state election officials
As things turned out in November, however, Republican efforts at election manipulation ended up helping Democrats. Now, both parties might want to adjust their priorities for voting reform.

7 December
Trump Is Unraveling Before Our Eyes, but Will It Matter?
(NYT) Does every time that Trump goes off the deep end make him a greater liability for the Republican Party, potentially leading to a second Biden term, the loss of the party’s precarious control of the House and weakening of Republican candidates up and down the ticket, from the U.S. Senate to local school boards?
Will Trump’s wrecking-ball bid for the presidency fracture his party? Will Trump’s extremism prompt the mainstream right — Mitch McConnell, Ron DeSantis, Glenn Youngkin, Nikki Haley and all the rest — to rise up in revolt? How are the worsening intraparty fissures likely to play out over the next two years?
Most of the strategists and scholars to whom I posed these questions outlined scenarios in which a Trump candidacy is mainly helpful to the Democratic Party and its candidates. They often cited the hurdles confronting those seeking to nominate a more mainstream candidate
What the Georgia Runoff Revealed
Democrats hold a key advantage in the five states that will decide the next presidential election.
By Ronald Brownstein
(The Atlantic) With Warnock’s victory over Republican Herschel Walker, Democrats have defeated every GOP Senate and gubernatorial candidate endorsed by Donald Trump this year in the five states that flipped from supporting him in 2016 to backing Joe Biden in 2020: Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Arizona.

2 December
Democrats vote to move forward with Biden plan to put South Carolina first on 2024 primary calendar
(CNN) The rule-making arm of the Democratic National Committee on Friday voted to approve a proposal to drastically reshape the 2024 presidential nominating calendar and make South Carolina the first state to hold a primary, followed by Nevada and New Hampshire on the same day a few days later, and then Georgia and Michigan before Super Tuesday.
President Joe Biden this week asked DNC leaders to adopt this early state lineup, which strips Iowa of its first-in-the-nation status. The proposal by the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee needs to be approved at a full DNC meeting, which will take place early next year, and states will still need to set their own primary dates.
The DNC rules panel proposed that the 2024 presidential calendar schedule South Carolina’s primary on February 3, Nevada and New Hampshire’s contests on February 6, Georgia’s primary on February 13 and Michigan’s on February 27.

The top 10 Democratic presidential candidates for 2024, ranked
Below are our latest rankings. A reminder that they are in order of the most likely to be the nominee, which takes into account both their likelihood of running and their formidability if they do.
Others worth mentioning: Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), former New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu, Rep. Ro Khanna (Calif.), North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
10. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker: The recently reelected governor was obviously building toward a potential 2024 run even before the gubernatorial campaign concluded. (Previous ranking: n/a)
9. Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania governor-elect. (Previous ranking: n/a)
8. Gretchen Whitmer: If you’re Democrats and Shapiro is looking good to you right now, the Michigan governor might look even better. (Previous ranking: 4)
7. Bernie Sanders: …if Biden doesn’t run? Sanders starts as the leader of the pack from the party’s left flank. (Previous ranking: 7)
6. Gavin Newsom: The California governor (Previous ranking: 5)
5. Amy Klobuchar: … We also tend to think the 2022 election benefited Klobuchar, given that her politics mirror Biden’s in certain ways, and voters seemed to reward Democrats for not having a lightning rod in the White House. (Previous ranking: 6)
4. Jared Polis: The Colorado governor’s stock rose perhaps more than any other Democrat’s in the 2022 election. …. It’s possible we could be talking about two candidates from whom one could be the first gay president. (Previous ranking: n/a)
3. Kamala D. Harris: Politico’s Jonathan Martin … summarizes, “…most Democratic lawmakers, whose dread about 2024 extends from the specter of nominating an octogenarian with dismal approval ratings to the equally delicate dilemma of whether to nominate his more unpopular vice president or pass over the first Black woman in the job.” (Previous ranking: 3)
2. Pete Buttigieg: …simply combines national stature with a studied talent for messaging that we think could do well in a second go-round of running for president. (Previous ranking: 2)
1. President Biden: Democrats have seemingly rallied around Biden after the party’s better-than-expected midterm showing. But that’s not necessarily the case with the base.

One Comment on "2024 U.S. elections primaries & campaign"

  1. Re Ian Bremmer ‘Could third-party candidates upend the 2024 US election?’ 3 April
    The current political movement in the USA is to get all reasonable thinkers to vote Biden. The crazies will split between Trump and Kennedy and the loyal Republicans who have lost taste for politics will split between holding their noses and voting straight ballot and leaving that vote blank. Results … a landslide for Biden that will be litigated … and … a re-elected Biden in November having to put down a jailed-Trump, Russian- manipulated, armed crazies-driven attempt to make January 6 look like a picnic. After a couple of years of settling down and eating hat, we’ll act as if nothing happened until the next narcissist-fascist comes along and draws the adoration of the media because of the one-party state Democrats hold … because of the legal and financial disintegration of the Republican Party.
    Byron Haskins

Leave a Comment

comm comm comm