Third Try at Guessing How the 2024 US Election Will Unfold

the Tweedles, reimagined as famous comic characters, by Midjourney AI — “‘I know what you’re thinking about,’ said Tweedledum; ‘but it isn’t so, nohow. ‘ ‘Contrariwise,’ continued Tweedledee, ‘if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t.”

OK, yes, I was wrong in thinking a year ago that DeSantis and Trump would be duking it out for the US Republican nod in 2024. It’s pretty clear that most Republicans think the prosecutions of Trump are just political flimflammery, and even a conviction or two won’t change their mind. And if after a conviction the Democrats try to argue Trump can no longer run for the office, that will backfire too (just ask the opponents of Netanyahu how well that strategy works).

The only drama on that side of the race is now who he’ll pick as a running mate. It could make a big difference, or no difference at all.

Meanwhile, things are looking worse and worse for the Democrats and their doddering warmonger-in-chief. Recent polls (yeah, I know, it’s a whole year until the election) show Biden trailing in almost every swing state, and the Democrats on track to lose both the House and the Senate next year. But their broach-no-dissent frenzy to arm and support Netanyahu’s overt genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestine has been a catastrophic strategic blunder. And as for Ukraine, and Afghanistan, and everything else they have and haven’t done, despite promises, since 2020 — whew! Really bad smell here.

“But wait!” you are saying — look at yesterday’s elections and referenda that blocked anti-abortion extremists, elected Democrats where Republicans were the incumbents, and generally reflected a strong rejection of the neofascist agenda of many leading Republicans. Surely this is good news for Biden and the Democrats, no? Well, actually no. These were not general election results; they were special elections and controversial galvanizing referenda. Support for Biden, even among his own party, continues to plummet. And polls in swing states and about “vulnerable” incumbents continue to show the Democrats losing the presidency and both houses in 2024.

Perhaps the only hope for the Democrats now is if they get sufficiently scared of plunging polling numbers, to yank Biden. I don’t see the odds of that happening being very high. Once you start doubling down, you don’t back down until you’re bust. And with no one of any promise waiting in the wings (the promising candidates having been expelled, nullified or discredited by the party itself), there is precious little time to change horses now.

BTW, the same thing is happening across the Anglo world (and perhaps in Europe as well). In the UK, Tweedledum Sunak plays Trump (with a little more presence), Tweedledee Starmer plays Biden (with a little less senility), and Jeremy Corbyn, like Bernie Sanders, had the rug pulled out from him by the ‘liberal’ party’s establishment when he got too close to actually winning an election and implementing a progressive agenda. Parallel occurrences have happened in Canada and Australia. Just the Tweedles left standing now.

It’s interesting that the polls say that Kennedy will draw about the same number of votes from Trump as he will from Biden (about 7% each, so no net effect). Of the 4% planning to vote for West, however, none of them would otherwise support Trump, and that 4% is more than enough to tip the balance if the race even gets close; thanks to the Democratic Party’s incompetence, that 4% is likely lost to the party forever.

So, at this point, the Democrats are gambling, again, that the fear of a Republican trifecta in 2024, incessantly drummed up by the compliant US mainstream media, will ‘motivate’ everyone to the left of Attila the Hun to vote for Biden. It’s a fool’s gamble this time though, I think. The electorate has been propagandized to the hilt, and thoroughly befuddled, but you can only make people play the shell game so many times before they wise up and just stay away. When the large majority of American voters have a hugely negative view of both mainstream parties and their candidates, participation rates in the election are inevitably going to drop.

And when the Republican trifecta happens, you’re going to see circus trials of Biden and others, as ‘payback’ for the current trials against Trump. For the Democrats, the wobbling wheel is about to come off the bus, just as it approaches the cliff. And it’s almost too late now to stop and change the 80-year-old flat tire.

So that’s my best guess at this stage: Rematch of 2020; Trump wins in a walk; millions stay away in disgust.

So what if it’s not a rematch? Here are a few other scenarios that I think are possible, though unlikely:

  1. Biden dies or gets seriously ill or somehow fucks things up so badly that the Democrats pull him. Harris polls even worse than Biden, so that wouldn’t change the results. Newsom or Buttigieg or Whitmer might, but only if they stake out a courageous enough position to entice ex-Democrats and Independents back to the polls. And there will be massive pressure from the bumbling Democratic machine for the replacement to paint themselves as “Biden-lite” to “reassure” the alleged “party faithful” to stay with the program. If the Biden replacement falls in line and squanders their progressive credentials, the progressives will not vote for them, so the results will be the same. How about AOC? My bet is that she will quit the party before she will ever get the chance to run for its leadership. She saw what they did to Bernie. Endgame: Trump edges Biden-lite; millions still stay away in disgust.
  2. Trump dies or does something that actually gets him barred from the ballot. If he dies, the Republicans are in trouble, because he has no coattails. The infighting to replace him would be fierce and bloody, maybe even enough that voters would start to loathe the replacement more than they do Biden. If he’s barred from the ballot, that will just bring him martyrdom, since he’s really, when you look at it, no more of a criminal/war criminal than any recent president from either party. There could even be some sort of civil war if he’s not allowed to run. The Democrats would allow him to run (and hence win), in my opinion, just to avoid that eventuality. Even they aren’t that dumb. Endgame: ‘Martyred’ Trump soundly beats anyone else; millions stay away in disgust. But if Trump dies of ‘natural causes’ before the election, it’s anyone’s call.

So the only hope for Democrats, IMO, other than Trump suddenly dying in a non-martyred way, is to dump Biden really soon, and allow the replacement to stake out a position progressive enough to get those fed up with corporate ownership of the party and its endless warmongering to show up at the polls, but not lose the right-wing Democrats in the process. A very difficult balancing act. Even if the Democratic party machine would allow them to try it, which they probably won’t. They’re all-in for another right-wing Democratic nominee. They never learn.

Running mates? Even in a really close contest, it would have to be quite a superstar to make a difference. And neither party has any superstars any more.

And what might happen after the election? I’m a cynic at this stage, but I’d say that a Trump win will mean more mischief at home in the US, and less mischief internationally, while if any Democrat wins, they will be hobbled by the party machine, so it will mean more mischief internationally and less domestically. Pick your poison.

Since I’m not an American, that makes it easier to say that I would not vote for Biden in a million years. I’m just as worried, if not more worried, that the sociopaths goading Biden will precipitate WW3, than I am that Trump will precipitate a US Civil War or drive the country towards theocracy and fascism. The former is, IMO, just more probable to occur, with even greater consequences. And if I lived, say, in Oregon, I’d go out and work for the incumbent Democrats in the House and Senate, because they’re doing good work; I’d support them despite their being led by an unsupportable administration and incompetent party machinery. And I’d cast my vote for West, with full knowledge of the likely consequences of doing so.

Politics in a time of collapse. Not pretty.

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7 Responses to Third Try at Guessing How the 2024 US Election Will Unfold

  1. Joe Clarkson says:

    would not vote for Biden in a million years. I’m just as worried, if not more worried, that the sociopaths goading Biden will precipitate WW3, than I am that Trump will precipitate a US Civil War or drive the country towards theocracy and fascism.

    This is an error in judgement. It is far more likely that Trump will drive the country toward fascism than either of them will start a nuclear or non-nuclear WW3.

  2. Vera says:

    Such choices! Nuts.

    I think the U.S. Uniparty is facing collapse too (as is most other things we know and rely on).

  3. Chris L says:

    Searched for you on a whim and it is excellent to see you are still posting. Most of the people I used to follow no longer are.

    I predict: Trump, guilty of fraud, more trials to come v Biden. Neither will be dislodged at this point. And Trump wins, though I think the margins will be small in the electoral college. I hope not to see it.

    Be well -c

  4. Joe Clarkson says:


    In the context of daily governance there are significant differences between the main parties in the US, but you are right that in the context of the collapse of industrial civilization there is not a great deal of difference. Even the Greens are pro-growth, just via the Green New Deal and other similar fantasies.

    My politics are what most people would call progressive, and I would never vote for Trump or his ilk, but if he is elected, I don’t think it will make much difference in the rate of collapse.

    Trump may slow down the rate a little by emphasizing fossil fuel extraction, and that would make the climate damage worse, but typical Republican interests in advancing social inequality might make collapse happen faster.

    All in all, I doubt that it will make much difference who is elected as far as collapse goes, but I am always glad that, even though I live in the US, I don’t live in North America.

  5. Michael says:

    Any thoughts on what will happen if Trump is elected but is in prison?

  6. Dave Pollard says:

    Interesting question, Michael. Any legal eagles reading this who might have any thoughts? There would likely be lots of wrangling over whether he can pardon himself, or whether his VP could pardon him, and likely attempts to alter the constitution and law as Netanyahu has done. Beyond that my guess he’d just use his VP as his puppet, much like the Mafia do when their boss is in prison. Equally interesting is how the electorate will act if he does something really outrageous, which he will be goaded to do by the MAGA gang he’s now co-dependent with.

  7. Ed O says:

    Wow, might be time for you to retire from political commentary. Your dismal worldview is exacerbated by exaggerated conceptual frames and some outright misinformation.

    An example of exaggerated frames: “Netanyahu’s overt genocide and ethnic cleansing”. The word “genocide” denotes slaughtering most of an entire population. What’s happening in Palestine, however tragic and detestable, isn’t even close. To quote a recent article: ‘Although there is a strong instinct to make this a Holocaust-mirroring “genocide,” it is not: The Palestinians suffer from many things, including military occupation; settler intimidation and violence; corrupt Palestinian political leadership; callous neglect by their brethren in more than 20 Arab states; the rejection by Yasser Arafat, the late Palestinian leader, of compromise plans that would have seen the creation of an independent Palestinian state; and so on. None of this constitutes genocide, or anything like genocide. The Israeli goal in Gaza–for practical reasons, among others–is to minimize the number of Palestinian civilians killed. Hamas and like-minded organizations have made it abundantly clear over the years that maximizing the number of Palestinian casualties is in their strategic interest. (Put aside all of this and consider: The world Jewish population is still smaller than it was in 1939, because of the damage done by the Nazis. The Palestinian population has grown, and continues to grow. Demographic shrinkage is one obvious marker of genocide.’ Quite simply, there’s no such thing as a genocide during which the targeted population grows.

    An example of misinformation: “Starmer plays Biden (with a little less senility)”. Biden, despite his age and his stammer (and the media’s love for catching him in gotcha moments), is still sharp and in command of more knowledge and understanding than most of us. Follow anyone around with cameras long enough and you’ll catch occasional moments of incoherence, but see for an example of a recent discussion with Biden sans teleprompter. That’s plainly not a man suffering from cognitive decline. (And while he may say things that you, as an armchair diplomat, disagree with or find implausible, that doesn’t mean he’s in decline; it probably just means he’s better informed than you.) If anyone, it’s Trump whose faculties are in decline; he used to be more cogent a decade ago, and now he can barely finish a coherent sentence (though that may be due more to panic than dementia). Admittedly, the media has bought the right’s talking point that Biden is in decline, but that doesn’t make it true, as anyone who actually pays attention to him can see.

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