Chuck Todd: The Grief Stages of Biden, Trump, and Voters

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It’s the rematch that no one is excited about, the battle that the electorate claims they don’t want. However, with little over 300 days before Election Day, it seems that the electorate will see Joe Biden against Donald Trump this year, whether they like it or not.


Chuck Todd: The Grief Stages of Biden, Trump, and Voters
Chuck Todd: The Grief Stages of Biden, Trump, and Voters

Depending on what stage of grieving you are in right now, you will need to decide if you are prepared to accept this fact. Do you still refuse to accept that these are our options? Do you find this possible matchup offensive? Like some of the nation’s leading centrist contributors, are you determined to find a third method to bargain your way out of this situation? Have you decided to give up on politics since this decision caused you to have a depressive episode?

Most crucially, a large number of voters, particularly those who fall ideologically between the two bases of the two major parties, are also yearning for an alternative, either from outside or within their own political party.

This is a lengthy method of preparing the subsequent: The country is still very much in the negotiation phase, and it makes sense. It’s only January after all. As of this moment in the 1992 campaign cycle, Ross Perot has not yet gathered one signature on a petition to be included on any ballot as a third-party contender.

Chuck Todd: The Grief Stages of Biden, Trump, and Voters
Chuck Todd: The Grief Stages of Biden, Trump, and Voters

However, we first need to discuss the official acceptance phase of the two nomination battles before moving on to the third-party trial balloons, which will unavoidably start in earnest shortly. The Democrats are wishing for a younger nominee, the non-MAGA Republicans are still hoping for someone much more electable to help the party win up and down the ballot, and the third-party dreamers—who I will address shortly—are all still in the “bargaining” stage of the political process.

Democrats in New Hampshire continue to support Biden
Regarding the Democratic Party, the remarkable performance of the “write-in Joe Biden” campaign in New Hampshire ought to significantly alleviate any remaining public handwringing. Rep. Dean Phillips, who effectively had the entire state to himself, struggled to get traction, which served as a reminder that for many Democratic voters, two things can be true at once: Though they believe Biden should not be fired, they do wish he was younger.

Or have you reached acceptance?

The campaigns of Biden and Trump are the two that are fighting so hard to be accepted. But outside of those two organizations, both parties are quite wary of engaging in another political conflict with these two elderly and unpopular leaders.

And it gets me to the point of why I’m describing this impending clash in the fall using the phases of sorrow. Even if Biden-Trump II seems like the most likely outcome at this point, a number of significant funders and prominent opinion leaders are still hesitant to accept the apparent outcome. Biden was fortunate in many respects to have a rival within his own party rather than the progressive one. Had Phillips been a true-blue progressive who concluded his campaign by declaring that supporting him would support Biden’s efforts to urge for a cease-fire in Gaza, Biden could have had to deal with a far more intricate pressure point and party landscape. However, Biden’s greatest accomplishment throughout this primary season has been preventing the left from running a direct challenge against him.

Chuck Todd: The Grief Stages of Biden, Trump, and Voters
Chuck Todd: The Grief Stages of Biden, Trump, and Voters

Although Phillips is committed to competing in a few more primary states alongside Biden, it’s difficult to believe the president will earn anything less than 70% of the vote anyplace else, perhaps with the exception of Michigan, considering how successful he was in New Hampshire.

If there is one more minor party barrier for Biden to overcome, it would be Michigan, where a sizable Arab American community has shown strong disapproval of the president’s complete support of Israel in its conflict with Hamas. However, given that Phillips essentially agrees with Biden on Israel, I’m not convinced Phillips is the candidate that these voters will unite behind to send a message to Biden.

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However, the Democratic primary vote will matter in some way for determining how Michigan will fare in November. The only other significant obstacle I see ahead for Biden is if, by, April 1, he is still unable to improve his polling ratings. It will be reasonable to wonder when Biden’s poll numbers will rise if the ascent of Trump and the strengthening economy don’t boost them by April.

The tactic of “I told you so”
And that leads me to Nikki Haley and the GOP. She doesn’t really have a mathematical possibility of being nominated. The size of Trump’s fan base is just slightly too large to prevent him from securing the nomination. However, Haley must respond to this question: What kind of future does she desire in American politics? This is a question that her supporters must also answer. Sen. Tim Scott and Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota appear to have decided they wanted a future in the GOP as it is now, one that is driven by Trump and Trumpism, based on their transformation from civil opponents of the candidate to verging on sycophants after endorsing him. Neither Republican made the decision to support moving the party in a new direction.

In one way or another, they have both justified their ambition. If they don’t land the jobs they seem to be vying for—vice president for Scott and secretary of energy for Burgum—I wonder how they will feel about their choice.

Also read -New Hampshire Republican primary: Donald Trump delivers knockout punch to Nikki Haley

What then is Haley’s desire? Consequently, what are the desires of her remaining supporters among her donors? Sen. Ted Cruz appeared to wager in 2016 that Trump would lose the presidential election. He didn’t support Trump at the convention because of this. It is evident that he had a fleeting fantasy of being the conservative movement’s hero. Cruz had established himself as the “I told you so” front-runner for 2020 as the GOP’s runner-up in 2016.

Cruz obviously lost his wager, and ever since then he has been attempting to mend his relationship with the Trump camp.

Does Haley have the fortitude to try what Cruz did in 2016? Is she capable of advocating with credibility for a different Republican Party? I’m not sure. She may not have won in New Hampshire because, unlike many of her backers and contributors, she hasn’t been as objective in her critique of Trump and Trumpism. It has become more difficult for her to persuade more voters to defect from Trump as a result of her choice to commend his four years as the “right person at the right time” rather than harshly criticizing his administration for being chaotic, polarizing, and unquestionably not “small c” conservative.

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