What could turn Biden’s reelection upside down

By | May 9, 2023

David Frum writes:

I argued recently that political fundamentals point to a strong Biden reelection in 2024: The economy is growing, employment is rising, and Republican culture-warring is alienating crucial groups of voters. But big trends can be punctuated by unexpected events—the X factors that bump history off its predicted course.

The 2016 election cycle was dominated by two important last-minute shocks: Donald Trump’s Access Hollywood recording and FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that he was reopening an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email practices. One proved damaging; one did not.

X factors don’t appear out of nowhere. WikiLeaks had dumped one load of Russian-hacked materials in summer 2016, as the presidential race warmed up; no surprise the group released another load in the fall, priming Comey’s announcement. For an audio clip to emerge offering evidence of Trump’s sexual misconduct was no great surprise either, even though the crude boasting in his own voice temporarily jolted senior Republican leaders such as Paul Ryan and Mike Pence.

For 2024, too, we can discern the outline of possible X factors. Still, the idea of a thing is never the same as the thing itself, which cannot be fully understood until it materializes.

One potential factor is Joe Biden’s health. Only about a third of Americans feel confident that Biden is up to the physical and mental demands of the presidency, according to the most recent Washington Post/ABC poll. [Continue reading…]