Saturday, July 13, 2024

Trump, Biden faceoff heats up

by BIZ Magazine

(The Center Square) – This 2024 election cycle has seen several major developments in recent weeks as the nation barrels toward November.

At the end of May, a jury in New York found former President Donald Trump guilty of 34 counts related to his alleged hush money payments to Stormy Daniels. Polling since that verdict, though, shows the conviction has not hurt Trump’s chances against Biden.

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll released last week shows Trump with a two point lead over Biden. The current Real Clear Politics average of recent polls shows Trump with a 0.8 point lead.

RCP’s polling averages also have Trump leading Biden in several key battleground states. According to RCP, Trump leads Biden in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

And on Tuesday, a handful of state races gave a glimpse into voters’ leanings at this point in the election cycle. Trump fared well in those races, with every candidate he endorsed winning their respective races.

“It’s always dangerous to extrapolate too much from low turnout summer primaries, but it’s clear it was another good night for Trump-backed candidates up and down the ballot,” Colin Reed, a Republican strategist, former campaign manager for U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., and co-founder of South and Hill Strategies, told The Center Square.

In one instance, U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace, coasting on her Trump endorsement, beat her nearest Republican primary challenger by 30 points.

That victory came despite significant funding for Mace’s opponents from groups linked to former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Mace was a part of the handful of Republicans, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who ousted McCarthy from the speakership last year.

In Nevada, Sam Brown officially secured the Republican nomination for what is expected to be a competitive Senate race against incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen. Trump endorsed Brown the weekend before the vote, though he was already leading.

“One of the biggest takeaways was Sam Brown’s convincing win in Nevada Senate,” Reed said. “He’s a strong candidate, and his nomination ensures that Senate race stays competitive through November, especially if President Biden continues lagging at the top of the ticket.

“Nevada wasn’t on most pundits’ radars when the cycle started, but now is poised to play an impactful role for both control of the Senate and White House,” he added.

Trump had a string of other successful endorsements this time around, a contrast to the last batch of elections where Trump’s endorsements did not fare nearly as well. The endorsements could help Trump build a coalition if he is elected and also help add to his sense of momentum, analysts note.

Also last week, President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, was found guilty of gun and drug-related charges. Hunter is expected to appeal, and the president said he will not pardon his son. So far, the impeachment inquiry into the president has failed to pick up steam, despite evidence and allegations of tens of millions of dollars in overseas business dealings flowing to the president’s family, including Joe Biden himself.

Meanwhile, a recently released poll showed that voters are not confident that Vice President Kamala Harris can become president. As The Center Square previously reported, a Politico/Morning Consult poll reported that only 14% of surveyed voters said it was “very likely” Harris could win a general election for president as the Democratic nominee while another 20% said it was “somewhat likely.”

The question is increasingly important as President Biden faces an apparent mental decline and will turn 82 years old just after the election.

Overall, despite the recent convictions, the latest polling and election results bode well for Trump’s electoral bid.

“Donald Trump’s stamp of approval in a Republican primary remains as good as gold,” GOP campaign consultant Nathan Brand told The Center Square, adding that Republicans have “every reason to feel optimistic” this November.

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