Make no mistake, it's absolutely possible Trump wins the 2024 election

Donald Trump.
Donald Trump.Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images
  • The polling is early, but doesn't reveal any special advantages for Biden.

  • The economy is pretty good, but there's lots of things that could go wrong.

  • People who are counting Trump out because of his legal issues or reputation are making a miscalculation.

Former President Donald Trump is facing a phalanx of prosecutors, a suite of Republican contenders vying for the spot above the ticket, an ocean of money from those within and without his party who would thwart his return to the presidency, and an incumbent president presiding over a decently humming economy.

Make no mistake, though: There's still a pretty solid chance he pulls it off and becomes the president again.

Despite the 91 felony charges across multiple indictments, yeah, Trump obviously still has a shot at winning again. An extra 11,000 votes in Arizona, an extra 20,000 votes in Wisconsin, an extra 12,000 votes in Georgia, and Trump wins the 2020 election. We're talking getting 21,000 people to flip their vote in three swing states. The next president will likely have massive impact on the future of the Supreme Court, and that's motivating for lots and lots of people.

Some appear to be getting complacent that Trump is too damaged, or has cultivated too much ill-will, or won't be able to clear a primary and then a general again. That's fanciful thinking, and a second Trump presidency is well within the realm of the possible.

The polling isn't giving Biden an obvious edge

Generally, it's way, way too early to put all your stock in head-to-head polls for an election that's nearly a year away. That said, that conventional wisdom may not entirely apply to this particular race, which would be a rematch between two of the most recognizable men in the country.

Looking at every poll in FiveThirtyEight's polling database in September that asked about a head-to-head matchup between Biden and Trump, out of eleven polls, eight of them had the candidates polling within one point of one another. No poll had either candidate with more than a four-point advantage. There is no significant evidence in the early polling that Biden has pulled away with this one yet, or has any substantial advantage over Trump.

This is likely the best counterpoint for those who believe that the myriad legal troubles that the former president finds himself in from Florida to New York will have any impact on his electability. So far, it certainly seems like most of the GOP rank and file is giving the former President a pass on the allegations. It's not obvious that Independents are ruling him out, either.

Most significantly, Trump is running the table on a field of some pretty solid and rather electable Republican alternatives. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, long seen as a national contender, is still polling a fraction of the support of Trump. Former Vice President Mike Pence has failed to secure the Trump wing of the part. The GOP primary is lousy with states with winner-take-all and winner-take-most delegate processes; if Trump can keep holding on to a robust plurality, that's the ballgame for the GOP nomination.

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden.AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The economy is not a slam dunk for Biden

Invariably, many elections come down to voter sentiment about the economy. While the economic signals now are looking rather bright generally, Americans evidently are still miffed about inflation. The polling around perceptions about economic issues has conflicted at times with economists' interpretations of that data, and whether a strong economy and a strong labor market can sufficiently cancel out ire over inflation is a matter that will be left up to the electorate.

Between now and Election Day there are several things that could change perceptions around Biden's performance in office, including autoworker strikes, a possible government shutdown, the low but still possible probability of an economic recession, and the ramifications of the resumption of student loan payments.

And that doesn't factor in the normal economic figures that can impact the perception of an incumbent. A lot of elections may as well come down to "how do you feel about the price of gas, lately?" and the president doesn't exactly have a lever in the Oval Office controlling gas prices.

While the baseline economic picture generally seems better today than it did when Biden took office, it's far from a slam dunk that he's back in.

Read the original article on Business Insider