Speculation is rife in the US media about the presidential hopefuls for the 2024 run as polls suggest that young voters, who constitute a bulk of both the ethnic and White electorate, prefer to have a fresh face in the White House and are done with both Donald Trump and Joe Biden after revelations in the Jan 6 hearings and Democrats’ handling of the country’s economy with high inflation and unemployment.
Even as both Trump and Biden have suggested they will seek re-election in 2024, both Democrats and the Republicans are faced with a Hobsons’ choice. Republicans feel Trump announcing his candidacy before fall and before the Jan 6 panel’s report on the Capitol Hill’s insurrection could divert attention from the campaign they have been building against Biden’s “inept” governance in tackling the nation’s economic problems such as inflation, unemployment, soaring gas prices and raw materials shortage and the danger of the country sinking into recession soon.
Republicans feel 20 million prime time TV viewers watching the proceedings of the Congressional committee on Jan 6 insurrection has done enough damage, rattling the traditional and practical-minded funders of candidates for the November 8 elections and the subsequent 2024 presidential run. Public opinion rejects both Trump and Biden as being too old to be in sync with the nation’s current problems.
Both Vice President Kamala Harris and California Governor Gavin Newsom have started lobbying with Democrat donors that they would throw their hats in the ring if Biden chooses not to contest. Florida’s Republican Governor Rino De Santis and Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence are the Republican hopefuls.
Pence may seek revenge on Trump for calling him a wimp and endorsing Oath Keepers and Proud Boys’ call to “Hang Pence” for not falling in line with Trump’s call not to certify the election process of 2020 that declared Biden as President.
De Santis is a popular figure among Republican voters and he is already racing up in the Gallup polls with a 44 per cent rating, close to Trump’s 51 per cent. But GOP donors’ decision not to back Trump might change the equation, upping the Santis ratings further as the 2nd strongman in the party to correct America’s fractured economy and cultural ethos.
On the other hand, both Newsom and Harris will inherit Biden’s legacy of an inept administration that failed to solve the country’s economic problems unless the Jan 6 panel’s possible indictment of Trump for his alleged involvement in the Capitol Hill’s insurrection sticks strongly in the minds of Americans.
The events are unfolding now before the November 8 elections to all of the 435 seats of the House of Representatives, wherein Democrats have a wafer-thin majority and Trump hopes to retake it to dissolve the Jan 6 panel, whose findings have dented his image.
Trump’s policies go down well with noted economists like Paul Erdman and the Republicans but not the persona of Trump who did nothing to stop the riotous mob from invading Capitol Hill.
Harris, Newsom and Colorado Governor Jared Polis are engaging with donors as possible 2024 bids loom if Biden doesn’t run. A Wall Street executive who fund-raised for Biden’s 2020 campaign said he has heard from both Newsom and Harris in recent weeks, according to media reports.
This comes as polls show Democratic voters may want an alternative to the incumbent who publicly insists he will seek a second term in the White House.
Harris has purportedly been in touch with a small group of allies who helped to organise her successful California campaigns for District Attorney, Attorney General, and US Senator, and has held private meetings of at least three supporters in her residence, according to a person briefed on the matter. Harris has said in interviews that she plans to run on Biden’s ticket in 2024.
She is said to have been in touch with at least two wealthy friends: Vanessa Getty, a model and wife of Billy Getty, an heir to the billionaire Getty family, as well as Laurene Powell Jobs, a billionaire businesswoman and widow of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Both have been close to Harris throughout her political career.
The Vice President’s Press Secretary declined to comment and so did a spokesperson for Powell Jobs. Vanessa Getty did also not respond to requests for comment, as per media reports.
Newsom, meanwhile, has said he has no White House ambitions. He says he believes Biden should run for President again, and that he would not run against him.
Meanwhile, Polis has said he is not running for President, and plans to serve his full term as Governor, if re-elected.
A New York Times/Siena College poll found 64 per cent of Democrats surveyed want someone else to head the presidential ticket in two years. The findings were not all bad for Biden: The same survey found a plurality of voters, 92 per cent of Democrats, would choose the incumbent if he faced Trump in a 2020 rematch.
Biden will be 81 by November 2024. Trump, who will be 78 by then, is reportedly aiming to launch his next run for the White House in September. He told New York Magazine in a recent interview that he has already decided to run again, and that he only needs to settle whether he launches a campaign before or after the 2022 midterm elections.
The White House has tried to sharpen its messaging strategy ahead of the November midterms. The administration plans to more aggressively tout positive economic news, such as the 372,000 jobs the US added in June and its efforts to cut gas prices, a person briefed on the matter said.
Despite Biden’s assurances, his low approval ratings have left many in his party searching for options.
For instance, the NY Times/Siena survey showed that 58 per cent of those polled rated economic conditions as “poor”, as gas prices remain high and CPI led inflation rose more than 9 per cent and general inflation touched 13 per cent in June – a 40 year high.
However, many are sticking with Biden, like Alan Patricof, the co-founder of venture capital firm Greycroft and a fundraiser for Biden’s 2020 campaign.
Some other donors who backed Biden in 2020, and have financed Democrats up and down the ballot, have taken a different approach and are speaking out against the current administration or meeting other potential candidates.
The election scene funding at GOP is very intriguing. Support from some of the Republican Party’s biggest donors for a 2024 White House run by Trump is dwindling, especially after damaging new details of his actions on Jan 6, 2021, were revealed by the House select committee.
Eepublican financiers and their advisors have been privately meeting since the committee started to release the initial findings of its probe in a series of public hearings earlier this month, according to interviews with top GOP fundraisers who have helped the party raise millions of dollars. Most of the people asked not to be named because they didn’t want to provoke retribution from Trump or his allies.
The people have been discussing the November midterms and who they’re going to support in 2024 – and one name that doesn’t often get brought up as a potential Presidential candidate is Trump.
A person close to some of the biggest real estate executives in New York who backed Trump during both of his runs for the White House said this time is different. Their view is he’s taken “major hits” during the Jan 6 hearings.
The lack of interest in Trump by some of the wealthiest Republican donors could boost fundraising efforts for other GOP presidential hopefuls, like De Santis, Pence, and Senators Tim Scott, and Tom Cotton.
Despite a lack of support from corporate leaders, Trump has maintained a massive campaign war chest thanks largely to small-dollar donors. His political action committee, Save America, had over a $100 million on hand in June, according to the latest Federal Election Commission filing. Trump’s affiliated super PAC Make America Great Again, again saw support from a small group of wealthy donors, raising over $770,000 in May.