TEHRAN (Iran News) – A professor at Princeton School of Public and International Affairs says that Joe Biden and Democrats may find it hard to defeat Trump if they fail to tame the inflation rate and reduce unemployment.
“If unemployment and inflation are high in 2024, Biden and the Democrats will be in big trouble,” Charles M. Cameron tells the Tehran Times.
Cameron says the main issue in national elections in the United States is “almost always the economy and to a lesser extent national security.”
The professor adds, “If unemployment and inflation are low and Americans feel financially secure, the situation will be much more favorable for the Democrats and more difficult for Trump. In either case, Trump and the Republicans will stress general populist social issues, since many of their actual stands on specific issues are not very popular.”
Following is the text of the interview;
Q: How do you see the state of Democrats and Republicans if we had an election just now?
A: Biden’s approval rating is fairly low (comparable to Trump’s), and many Democrats are running in vulnerable districts. At the same time, enthusiasm among Democratic voters is low. If the mid-term election were held today, the Democrats would probably lose the lower house of Congress (the House of Representatives) and possibly the Senate as well. This is what I expect next November as well, barring major developments.
Q: Biden’s critics accuse him of cognitive inability. To what extent can this affect the results of presidential elections?
A: Some partisan Republicans like to suggest that Biden’s mental acuity is low. There is little evidence for this, but he is a noticeably old and somewhat frail man. If he truly runs again in 2024, voters will think about his age. He continues to say he will run again, to avoid becoming a “lame duck,” but that remains to be seen.
Q: Do you think Trump enjoys sufficient support among the public or his popularity is limited to Republicans?
A: Trump remains very popular among hard-core Republicans, so much so that he is the front-runner to become the Republicans’ presidential nominee in 2024. But his popularity among Independents (about one-third of voters) is much lower, and of course, he is thoroughly detested by Democrats. If something happens to Trump so that he does not run, the Republicans have some other strong candidates.
Q: Could you imagine a situation in which Trump is president again? How the country would look like in terms of democracy and international reputation?
A: This is not an easy question to answer. It depends partly on what issues become central in the 2024 election, including unexpected events like a new pandemic or war. However, Trump is a very vindictive person with little regard for legality or the norms of American politics. So he will probably try to take revenge on people he sees as his “enemies.” He will likely return to anti-immigration as a major issue, and will again pursue his somewhat strange foreign policy. So, more favorable to Putin, very supportive of the right-wing in Israel and of the Saudis, strongly anti-Iranian, and a trade war with China.
Q: What factors will mainly shape Americans’ behavior in the upcoming elections?
A: The main issue in American national elections is almost always the economy and to a lesser extent national security. If unemployment and inflation are high in 2024, Biden and the Democrats will be in big trouble and Trump may well return to the White House. If unemployment and inflation are low and Americans feel financially secure, the situation will be much more favorable for the Democrats and more difficult for Trump. In either case, Trump and the Republicans will stress general populist social issues, since many of their actual stands on specific issues are not very popular.