Two Words That Could Cost Joe Biden or Donald Trump the White House

Third-Party or as in Third-Party Candidates: A new spate of polls have been released showing President Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee in 2024, losing to a bevy of Republican Party opponents. 

Presently, former President Donald J. Trump is leading the Republican Party’s primary process by double-digits. Biden has indicated his desire to face off against Trump, who is notoriously controversial and indicted under a combined 91 felony charges.  

Yet, if these polls are to be believed, Biden is so unpopular among the American electorate that even the unpopular former president, Trump, could defeat Biden if the election were held today.

Going into 2024, it was already known that the election will, like the previous election in 2020, be determined at the margins. Biden defeated Trump, whether fairly or not, by about four percentage points when all the votes were counted and certified. 

That’s a slim margin. 

With the economy doing so sluggishly under Biden and most voters already uncertain of the forty-sixth president’s mental competency, the last thing that the Biden Campaign needs are third-party candidates mucking things up for their reelection chances. 

Ditto for former President Trump, who may be dominating the GOP primary but who is still at risk of losing the General Election, if a third-party candidate arises to steal away even a small percentage of votes that would have otherwise gone to him.

Cornel West’s Challenge to Biden

For Biden, his team is becoming almost obsessed with legendary Civil Rights activist and philosopher, Cornel West, who is currently campaigning as the Green Party’s nominee for president in 2024. 

Of course, West has no chance of winning. But he will assuredly pull critical African-American voters away from Biden’s tough-to-win campaign.

In fact, data from 2008 until the present time indicates that percentages of black male voters, as well as (smaller, but growing) numbers of African-American females, are turning away from the Democratic Party. In 2020, for example, Trump’s failed reelection campaign won historic numbers of black votes for a Republican Party candidate.

While those numbers of African-Americans who swung for Trump in 2020 were ultimately insufficient to overcome the (mostly white) upper middle-class, as well as wealthy, and female votes that went for Biden, they could prove far more damaging to Biden’s reelection chances, if Cornel West is also cleaving black votes away from Biden.

RFK, Jr., a Threat to Trump’s Reelection

Meanwhile, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., continues to march to the beat of his own political drum in an unlikely, though heroic, presidential campaign to displace President Biden as the Democratic Party’s nominee in 2024. 

Everyone knows that RFK, Jr., doesn’t stand a chance against Biden. 

That’s not because RFK, Jr., cannot win. It’s because the Democratic Party’s primary process is notoriously rigged against the candidate that the Democratic Party’s establishment dislikes. 

Anyway, even RFK, Jr., is coming to terms with the fact that, no matter how sensible his policy platform may be (such as his plan to prevent hedge funds from owning single-family housing), the heir of the Kennedy political legacy will not win as a Democrat. 

After evidence has surfaced that RFK, Jr.’s campaign is enduring a rigged primary, the nephew of President John F. Kennedy has hinted that he might not take things lying down, as the Democratic Party establishment expects him to. 

Kennedy might run as a third-party candidate.

Alas, this would prove detrimental, not to the Democrats, who have proven throughout history that they will mostly stay with their party’s nominee, even if they despise that nominee. It will prove detrimental to the Republican Party, especially if that candidate is Donald Trump. 

After all, RFK, Jr., like Trump, has positioned himself as a vaccine-skeptical, pro-freedom, anti-Big Money populist. Except RFK, Jr.’s claim is that he’ll be a fairer and more effective populist president than Trump ever was. 

There’s further evidence to suggest that at least some of the “MAGA” coalition supporting Trump will be open to RFK, Jr.’s arguments, if he were to run as a third-party challenger to both Presidents Biden and Trump. 

While RFK, Jr., is still unlikely to win as a third-party challenger, the fact is that he will chip away at likely Trump voters, thereby ensuring that Biden wins at the margins by default.

One Wild Ride in 2024

The 2024 Presidential Election is going to be even wilder than either the 2016 or 2020 presidential elections. 

Because, as the electorate shifts away from the patterns that have governed postwar American politics, and with the splintering of the political consensus, radical candidates from the two main political parties will find themselves increasingly threatened by multiple third-party candidates, such as Cornel West and RFK, Jr. 

No one will be able to predict how the 2024 Election will conclude. 

A 19FortyFive Senior Editor, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (Encounter Books), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert occasionally serves as a Subject Matter Expert for various organizations, including the Department of Defense. He can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.

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