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Tech Professor: Early View Of Election Looking Like 2020 Replay

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Tech Professor: Early View Of Election Looking Like 2020 Replay

Days away from the second presidential election event of the season, a Tech Political Science Professor said the 2024 election cycle will likely feel a lot like 2020.

“I feel like this election cycle is just déjà vu and we’re just watching 2020 play out all over again,” Assistant Professor Lauren Harding said.

Harding said Donald Trump is very likely to be the Republican nominee as shown by the Iowa caucus last week. Harding said President Joe Biden has no realistic opponents on the Democractic side.

“It’s going to come down again to those competitive states,” Harding said. “We’re looking again at Georgia, Pennsylvania. We’re going to see, you know, if Trump can pull out what he did in 2016 with places like Wisconsin, Michigan. So the match-up is going to have, I think, a lot of similarities to what we saw in 2020.”

Harding said both potential candidates have high unfavorability ratings with Biden at fifty-five percent and Trump at fifty-two percent. She said Biden claimed he would fix mistakes made during Trump’s presidency to boost his platform in 2020 and now Trump may be able to do the same thing to gain an edge over Biden this year.

“This gives Trump a little bit of leverage with Biden’s unfavorables being so significant,” Harding said.

She said possible events that could have an unexpected impact on the election include a third-party candidate like Joe Manchin pulling votes away from Biden or a guilty verdict from one of Trump’s criminal trials.

“If he were to be found guilty in one of the criminal trials we would be in a really unprecedented moment in US electoral history and I really couldn’t exactly predict how that would play out,” Harding said.

She said the 2024 presidential election is unlikely to meet the level of voter turnout seen with other elections from the past several years.

“I don’t see this election being one that really ignites the passions that we saw, for example in 2018, in the midterm election following Trump’s election, there really was a surge in turnouts and that motivation, kind of a backlash against Trump,” Harding said. “We saw a similar surge and a backlash against the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and the question of abortion. But I feel like those kind of motivations have played out somewhat.”

She said voters across both parties are dissatisfied with the candidates failure to represent the younger generations.

New Hampshire holds its primary Tuesday night.


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