Earlier in the week, on November 7th election day of 2023 featured many notable state legislative and gubernatorial elections across the United States. While no major federal offices were up for re-election or contested this calendar year, many media pundits and political experts claimed that this year’s elections could be bellwethers; or indicators of the political mood of many Americans heading into next year’s 2024 presidential election. If this is true, national Republicans should be quite worried; in a year and a current political climate predicted to favor the GOP, they were trounced across several states. In Virginia, the Democrats recaptured control of the state assembly after losing it in 2021 when Glenn Youngkin was elected governor. In New Jersey, the state Republican party was crushed by Democrats and lost 5 seats in the state legislature and one in the senate after making serious gains in 2021.
Ultimately, if Republicans remain unable to compete politically with Democrats in election cycles that had been perceived favorable to the party like the last three (2021, 2022, 2023), they are at serious risk of being defeated at the federal level in 2024. Republicans continue to squabble with one another in a lackluster and discouraging presidential primary. The former president Donald Trump maintains a commanding lead over his nearest challengers (Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, Chris Christie, Nikki Haley), but primary debates are still being held without Trump in attendance.
In the Democratic party, the incumbent president Joe Biden continues to claim he will run for re-election despite poor approval ratings and widespread unpopularity. While Trump remains even more unpopular than Biden, both are perceived negatively by many Americans and a projected rematch appears to warrant a very close election according to the polls. In a recent report published by Quinnipiac, some 63% of Democratic voters have alleged they may decide to choose another candidate besides President Biden if another presents themselves during the primaries.