Is It Absolutely, Positively Going to be Biden Vs. Trump?
Author: Greg Valliere
July 10, 2023
THE TWO MOST INTRIGUING STORIES on the political front are the collapse of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has gotten virtually no traction, and the dismal poll numbers for President Biden, who cannot shake the perception that he’s too old for a second term.
THIS HAS PROMPTED SPECULATION that someone fresh could emerge in one of the parties this fall, someone who announces a late candidacy before state filing deadlines begin to approach in November. This seems like a futile effort now, but the frontrunners — no strangers to controversy — could stumble.
WHO’S NUMBER TWO? That’s the intriguing question in both parties. DeSantis has fizzled, and suddenly Republican insiders are looking for a new Trump challenger. The wild card, as we have contended for nearly a year, is Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin — he’s got some charisma, he’s conservative but not radical, and is worth about half a billion dollars, enough to self-finance a campaign.
COULD YOUNGKIN JUMP INTO THE NEW HAMPSHIRE primary, where fresh faces and late entrants often catch fire, or could Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp shake up the GOP field? For now, we’ll just say that Trump could get off to a mediocre start in Iowa and New Hampshire before a big primary in South Carolina against Nikki Haley and Tim Scott. Watch Youngkin, he’s the sleeper.
IS JOE BIDEN THE CERTAIN NOMINEE? Probably, if his handlers keep him out of un-scripted events. Could Biden or Trump make an enormous gaffe, or could more scandals emerge, or could one of the candidates have a health issue? Those concerns are plausible, which is why so many candidates are running.
THERE ARE PROBABLY A DOZEN DEMOCRATS who would declare their candidacies within days if Biden was forced to drop out. They include Kamala Harris, Gretchen Whitmer, Phil Murphy and of course Gavin Newsom, who’s itching to run. Could Biden get a serious challenger simply if his polls continue stay in the doldrums? That’s not out of the question, but it’s not likely, either. Democrats are resigned to supporting him.
BOTTOM LINE: We’re probably headed for a cringe-inducing race between Biden and Trump, with a third party candidate in the mix. But Trump’s crowds have diminished and his sound bites are stale, while Biden looks increasingly frail. Neither are guaranteed to be their party’s nominee; nothing is guaranteed in politics.
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THE YELLEN VISIT TO CHINA was only a modest success; at least both sides are talking to each other, with a Biden-Xi summit likely by late this year. But aside from platitudes and photo ops, there were no significant agreements between either side as both Yellen and her counterparts seemed to talk past each other. The more serious issue for China right now is its sputtering economy.
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