Turnout ’24

It’s rather bold of me to make predictions over 11 months out from an election. More than one prime minister has lost a snap election he called because the political climate can change so rapidly. Also, no election turns on a single factor. (Many among us are still debating what happened in America’s 2016 election.) That said I think I have one major factor for 2024 figured out: turnout; and it’s more complicated than normal.

How many people turnout to vote and what that electorate looks like is always a factor. In 2024 it will loom even larger than normal. I’m operating under the assumption that 2024 will be a Joe Biden-Donald Trump rematch. The fact of the matter is that a lot of voters don’t really like either option and that opens up several cans of worms.

The first reaction of many will be not to vote. A smaller electorate always favors the Republican nominee and those Republicans further down the ballot. Some, not too many but perhaps just enough in some swing states, will opt to vote for a third party candidate. In almost all cases that will favor Trump. Many will cast what they will call a lesser of two evils vote. I certainly do not agree with that analysis but Biden will be the victor in almost all of those cases.

Expect a lot of negative ads from both campaigns and their surrogates. Remember one of my pet political theories: most often American vote against, not for, candidates and causes. Both will try to paint the other in the worst possible light. In the case of the Biden campaign, they can just play tapes of Trump. On the Republican side it will necessitate lying.

If Biden were a baseball player the right wing media – which is all a lot of people watch -would devote all their coverage to his strikeout in the third inning totally ignoring his eighth inning game winning home run. That is technically not a lie but it is far from the whole truth. When I talk to likely Trump voters, they all complain about inflation. I ask them to name a country they would prefer based on inflation. They can never give me an answer. The reality is that Joe Biden’s America has the lowest inflation rate among all western democracies, in some cases by far.

The Trump forces have already tried to blame the wars in Ukraine and Israel on Biden. Here is the reality, Biden addressed Russian aggression in Ukraine by building a western coalition that has turned what should have been a quick Russian victory into at least a stalemate. In the process he expanded NATO; the last thing Putin wanted. When October 7th occurred right wing mythology blamed it on Biden claiming that he financed the war by giving Iran its own money. Shortly thereafter the truth (Kryptonite to today’s GOP) came out that the money was still sitting in Qatar.

If history is any forecaster of the future, we can expect a massive foreign funded disinformation campaign aimed at electing Trump. While his domestic supporters may not want to admit it; foreign operatives have determined that he is not very bright and highly corruptible. They sure don’t want four more years of Biden! Just ask Vlad.

For political operatives GOTV (Get Out The Vote) efforts may be more crucial than ever. If it’s your thing volunteer to knock doors and/or make phone calls. Who and how many show up will be a huge and probably determinative factor.

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