“Every day the battle must be fought anew.” — The Warrior’s Code

(Photo: Demetri Dourambeis)

It’s official: Democratic Party incumbent President Joe Biden and former Republican President Donald Trump will face off this November in a blockbuster rematch for the ages.

It’s the rerun no one wanted to see, according to pollsters — who are polling someone, though we know not who. We know, and have known since at least 2016, that pollsters are having trouble getting a truly random sample of likely voters in any given election.

The problems with polling, though well-documented, are happily thrown out whenever a media outlet likes a certain polling result. Conservative media will run with positive polling numbers for Republican candidates, while progressive media outlets angrily refute it in long think-pieces — and vice versa, rinse and repeat.


As plenty of opinion editors have noted: It’s going to be a long election cycle.

Although pollsters routinely and almost universally agreed that no one in America wanted a Biden-Trump rematch, primary voters have been telling a completely different story.

According to the results of primary elections, open and closed, in state after state, almost without exception, Republican primary voters have overwhelmingly backed Donald Trump and Democratic primary voters have overwhelmingly backed Joe Biden.

So America is getting the grudge rematch it wants and deserves. And 2024 is bound to be a wild election cycle, just like all the other election cycles seem to be these days.

What shocks await us? What revelations will come?

Is anybody going to be ready for the plot twist?

Republicans and Democrats alike shudder at the prospect. Perhaps we are all right to do so. There are the developments we can see coming, sure: Both polarized camps of media outlets will try to paint the opposition candidate as the End of Democracy, a one-way ticket to nuclear armageddon, the agent of a foreign government, et al, with varying degrees of success.

There will be leaks. Leaks on leaks, leaks about leaks, hunts for leakers, double leaks, and treble leaks. Both candidates are heading into this election with a certain amount of baggage: Political, legal, and electoral.

And then there are the things we can’t see coming, the election cycle Black Swans, which will swan right through each candidate’s campaign in ways we can’t even imagine yet.

After all, at this point during the election cycle of 2020, almost nobody had ever even heard of COVID-19 and George Floyd wasn’t a household name.

In March of the 2022 election cycle, the Supreme Court had not yet shocked Democrats and Republicans by overturning — the admittedly always legally shaky — Roe V. Wade.

With an “anything might happen attitude” this election cycle, candidates for office can expect the unexpected. Whatever else happens between now and November, the 2024 election is likely to be decided by inches.

Every demographic, every constituency, every district, every vote will count in 2024 and no candidate for office can afford to take any voting bloc for granted.

Democrats’ big vulnerability: Why they’re losing Black, Hispanic voters,” predicted Axios Latino author Russell Contreras for Axios this week. “New data shows that Democrats’ longtime advantage with Black, Latino and Asian American voters has shrunk to its lowest point in more than 60 years — creating a massive vulnerability for President Biden and congressional Democrats.”

“One of the most loyal parts of the Democratic coalition is suddenly in danger. Black and Hispanic men could vote Republican in numbers not seen since President Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected in the 1950s,” he noted.

It isn’t only President Joe Biden facing a tough election cycle. In the Senate, the Democratic Party majority is razor thin. Democrats can’t afford to lose a single seat in 2024.

This is unfortunate because more than one Democratic Party seat is in peril in the Senate. Good news: On the running list of the 10 Senate seats most likely to flip, Republicans do have one potential candidate.

Bad news: It’s Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

The worst news of course is that the other 9 seats belong to Democrats — for now.

Meanwhile, Republicans have their own troubles this election cycle. Not least of which is the razor-thin Republican Party majority in the House of Representatives.

Republicans in the House, like Democrats in the Senate, can’t afford to lose any votes on the floor. That fact hasn’t stopped a laundry list of House Republicans from retiring anyway since 2022.

House GOP panics as another Republican sprints for the exits,” as Andrew Solender and Juliegrace Brufke put it for Axios this week.

On Tuesday, Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) became the latest Republican Party House member to announce early retirement.

“Republicans will have 218 seats to Democrats’ 213 after Buck leaves, meaning the GOP can lose just two of their members on any given party-line vote,” noted Solender and Brufke for Axios.

“Republicans are also worried about what Buck’s resignation says more broadly about Congress as an institution at a time when a historic number of lawmakers in both parties are planning to retire,” they added.

“Asked whether he’s facing heat from his colleagues, Buck told Axios: ‘I think it’s the next three people that leave that they’re going to be worried about.’”

Republicans are indeed undoubtedly worried about that. It’s one of their biggest vulnerabilities this year. With Democrats and Republicans facing such likely headwinds, it’s anyone’s game.

(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)