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Who Will Win The 2024 Presidential Election?

The year of America’s next presidential election is here, which can only mean one thing: speculation will continue to ramp up about who will be the next person to occupy the White House.

While the campaign season started with a long list of competitors, the field has now narrowed to just two. President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have locked up the required delegates to be the Democratic and Republican nominees, respectively. While several independent candidates remain in the race as long shots, this means that the United States will have its first presidential election rematch since 1956.

With the election now just 7 months away, pollsters and political scientists are heating up the debate about who will win the 270 electoral votes needed to earn a seat in the Oval Office. Who do the experts believe will be the next president of the United States?

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Who do the polls say will win the election?Biden and Trump traded slight polling leads throughout the primary season. When it comes to actual figures, though, Trump has carried most of the weight in the majority of polls taken this year — a pair of Emerson College polls from April 17, each of 1,308 voters, showed the former president beating Biden by four points and three points, respectively. This is in line with an April 16 McLaughlin and Associates poll of 1,000 voters showing Trump ahead 38% to 36%, and another McLaughlin poll with the same metrics showing Trump ahead 49% to 45%.

So if taking into account just the poll results by themselves, which all have margins of error under 4%, it seems that pollsters are predicting Donald Trump to return to the White House in 2024, and his dominant victories made it evident from the beginning that he would be crowned the GOP’s nominee. However, the aforementioned neck-and-neck aspect of the race means polling could possibly sway, and recent polls have found that Biden has been gaining on Trump in the polls — and in some cases, beating him. This includes a pair of April 18 Marist College polls of 1,047 voters that showed Biden leading Trump by five points and three points, respectively, and an April 14 Echelon Insights poll of 1,020 voters that had Biden beating Trump 49% to 46%. An April 16 NBC News/Hart Research poll of 1,000 voters also had Biden leading by two points, with the poll showing that “Biden bests Trump on the issues of abortion and uniting the country, while Trump is ahead on competency and dealing with inflation,” NBC said. However, this poll also confirmed what many in the U.S. likely suspected: Voters are becoming increasingly apathetic about the 2024 election. The poll found that voters who said they had a “high interest” in the race reached a 20-year low, and that the majority had negative views about both Trump and Biden.

Other polls, still, have shown the two men evenly matched. An April 17 Morning Consult poll of 7,990 voters had Biden and Trump tied at 42%, as did an April 16 YouGov/Economist poll of 1,358 voters that had them tied at 44%. This represents a slight skew away from the dominance Trump showed in the polls toward the end of 2023, but still bodes well for the former president.

Out of the 16 most recent head-to-head matchups in FiveThirtyEight’s polling aggregate, Trump is leading Biden in seven, Biden is leading Trump in five and the men are tied in four. The largest margins for each candidate in any poll were Trump by four and Biden by five.

Who do the pundits say will win the election?While the polls may tell one story, political analysts, pundits and experts can tell another. Many who study politics seem to think that despite Trump leading in most polls now, it will ultimately be Biden who will secure a second term in office.

Biden is “seen as a moderate figure who has not transformed a politically polarized country,” Fox News’ Juan Williams said for The Hill, and this “has contributed to his low approval numbers in 2023.” However, Biden’s low poll numbers “will be out the door in a one-on-one, 2024 rematch with Trump,” Williams said.

“The Democrats have the power to make this year’s race into a referendum on Trump rather than Biden,” Williams said. “With the stock market up, unemployment down, wages rising, inflation slowing and the U.S. standing tall against Russia and China, Biden has a record to persuade swing voters.”

Biden could also win reelection because “the strength of the president’s record is only matched by the strength of his party,” Democratic strategist Simon Rosenberg said for MSNBC. Democrats have “won more votes in seven of the past eight presidential elections, something no party has done in modern American history,” Rosenberg said, and in both of the prior two years “prevented the historical down ballot struggle of the party in power and had two remarkably successful elections.” He added that polling numbers “[continue] to overly discount Trump’s historic baggage and MAGA’s repeated electoral failures.” Also notable is Trump’s significant legal and financial troubles — his New York trial for allegedly participating in an illegal hush money scheme with Stormy Daniels is currently underway, meaning Trump will be forced to sit in a courtroom for long periods of time instead of campaigning. The bad news for Trump comes as Biden is continuing to rake in cash, and recently raised a reported $26 million during a fundraiser with former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. The president “appears to have gained an edge in part because the Democratic Party apparatus, and its fund-raising might, have quickly unified behind him,” The New York Times said. Trump, however, now also has the backing of the Republican National Committee, having installed Trump loyalists throughout in a move that “underscores the swiftness with which Trump’s operation is moving to take over the Republican Party’s operations,” Politico said. The former president also reportedly raised $50 million of his own during a recent campaign event in Florida, a notable amount given that Biden typically outraises Trump. It comes as Trump’s campaign funds are continually being put toward his legal fees.

With all this being said, some still feel that Trump could return to the White House — case in point, his dominating victories throughout the GOP primaries, which is a “stunning show of strength after leaving Washington in disgrace,” Stephen Collinson said for CNN. His rise is particularly notable because “losing one-term presidents almost never mount subsequent successful primary campaigns,” Collinson said, much less landslides — in Iowa, for example, Trump won every county except one, which he lost by just a single vote.

And at the end of the day, trying to predict the outcome of the election is nothing but a guess, experts say — especially when it comes to polling. While polls are an “effective way to measure public opinion,” this does not mean “that a poll conducted today will accurately capture who will win the presidential election,” Philip Bump said for The Washington Post. Beyond this, even public opinion polls conducted prior to the election “will almost certainly show no more than who is more likely to win,” Bump said. And polls have been wrong — sometimes considerably — in the past; On Election Day 2016, The New York Times predicted that Hillary Clinton had an 85% chance of beating Trump.

Who else is in play?The other X-factor in the race is the aforementioned Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Although he entered the race as a Democrat, Kennedy is now running as an independent and polls show that he could potentially play the role of a third party spoiler. This is something that Kennedy himself has rejected, though some in the White House reportedly believe Kennedy “poses a real threat to President Joe Biden’s reelection chances,” Forbes said. However, while most analysts believe RFK Jr.’s candidacy was most likely to be a problem for Biden, polling shows that it may be Trump who gets the short end of the stick; a recent NBC News poll found that Kennedy would likely siphon more voters away from Trump than Biden. So while the White House and Democrats are worried about Kennedy, it appears the Trump team may be equally worried, as the former president “may regret RFK Jr.’s campaign,” Business Insider said. Notably, in NBC’s poll that had Biden winning, the president’s margin of victory shrinks to 39% for over 37% for Trump, while Kennedy pulls in 13%, meaning the chance for RFK Jr. to play spoiler is still very much alive. Other candidates also remain in the race, including Cornel West, Marianne Williamson and Jill Stein, but are unlikely to generate a challenge to either Biden or Trump.