It has almost seemed like the left in the media and in the Biden administration are doing everything they can to get former President Donald Trump the GOP nomination for 2024 because they think President Joe Biden could easily beat him again, but at least one pundit now wonders if that strategy was a good one.
New York Magazine Intelligencer political columnist Eric Levitz wrote on Friday that a Trump nomination is increasingly likely, and worried that continuing economic headwinds would push him past Biden in spite of GOP difficulties with abortion and Trump's many legal difficulties.
"Donald Trump’s victory in the 2024 Republican primary is not certain. But it now looks more than merely likely," he wrote in the piece, titled "Trump could definitely beat Biden," and also chronicling Florida Governor Ron DeSantis's recent struggles to gain traction.
"The gap between Trump and DeSantis has been growing steadily wider for weeks," Levitz noted, attributing the trend to general unlikeability and the fact that some of his less conservative policies (conserving natural land and teacher raises) that voters in Florida have liked don't sell well nationally.
The receding of COVID as a concern for most people also takes away one of DeSantis's biggest issues. And Trump has been good at lasering in on DeSantis's weaknesses, Levitz said.
Put all of that together with the fact that no other candidate has been able to get more than six percent in polls, and the fact that Trump's first of several possible indictment has only made him more popular with his base, and it's looking to Levitz like Trump is the GOP's likely choice.
He seems to be holding out hope that further indictments will weaken Trump, or that a conviction will somehow take him out of the race, but again, he doubts that will actually happen.
Levitz then turns to a rematch between Trump and Biden, giving his analysis of how that race would go in 2024.
He highlights Biden's age, and while Trump is only a few years younger, Levitz notes that Biden seems much older than Trump.
Levitz, who also writes about economics for the Intelligencer, said he sees the economy getting worse before it gets better because of Fed rate hikes made in an effort to tamp down inflation. Not only did the rate hikes not work much, so far, but they have made it more likely that there will be a recession by next spring, just in time for election rhetoric to ramp up.
"There is reason to believe Trump’s odds of victory in 2024 would be at least as good as his odds in 2020, when he came within 45,000 well-placed votes of winning," Levitz wrote.
He credited Trump with making some good political moves, including refusing to back cuts to Social Security and Medicare and firmly stating that he doesn't support a national abortion ban.
He looked at conditions in key states that pushed Biden over the electoral hump last time, and seems to think it could go either way this time.
Whatever happens, it's bound to be a roller coaster ride, if the last few elections are any indication.