The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

What the 2024 Election Really Means

The importance of casting an informed vote.
Torch Illustration / Megan Chapman

A presidential election is set for November 2024 and has been gaining a lot of momentum within the past two weeks. Following the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary, it’s very likely that former President Trump will be the nominee for the Republican Party, due to his big wins in both states becoming the first Republican presidential candidate to do so since 1976

Although the primary season is well underway, the race began right after former President Donald Trump announced his candidacy at the end of the 2022 midterm elections. What followed was a slew of 91 federal charges against Trump and many Republican politicians wishing to fight for the party’s nomination for president. 

But from the Democrats, President Biden has launched his reelection bid and he’ll become the oldest president in U.S. history to hold the office if he wins. No matter the outcome of this election, it will impact how Americans view politics and the people we choose to represent us.

We’re entering the second month of 2024, and it seems we will be living the 2020 election all over again. With a very likely Biden-Trump election, more and more Americans do not want a repeat of what happened four years ago. In a nationwide poll of 1,250 U.S. adults, Trump leads Biden 40 percent to 34 percent with the rest labeled undecided. This is somewhat concerning as this election may see more Americans not voting because of the two frontrunners. 

You’d think no one wants to see a former president with many federal charges and a pending trial court, nor an elderly current president who, arguably, does not know what is going on. Nonetheless, Trump leads because voters like him and agree with anything that comes out of his mouth. 

Less voter turnout would cause the world to look down on the U.S. —  how could a Western superpower lose interest in determining the result of elections? It’ll be disappointing if fewer people show up, as it shows the American people are putting too much focus on each candidate and not on the future of the United States.

At the end of the day, Americans will decide what path the state of our democracy will take but currently disagree on who is more of a threat. In a Dec. 2023 PBS interview, a Republican voter believes “we’re not living in a complete democracy” and “they’re trying to keep [Trump] from running because he’s going to win.” This is different from the Democrats, as they are more motivated to stop the former president from returning to the Oval Office, according to a Reuters poll.

In an increasingly divided country, it’s difficult to figure out the future of our government and who will occupy the White House. The likelihood of a Biden-Trump matchup will make this election the most consequential one in our history. Instead of progressing forward, the U.S. is making history repeat itself. 

Or is it asking itself something else? Are we satisfied with the work the current administration has performed, or have we learned from our mistakes and are ready to backtrack and make improvements? If voters re-elect Trump, we’ll tell the world we want to return to a period in which our economy prospered and our place in foreign relations was highly respected. However, if voters re-elect Biden, our economy and status in foreign policy will most likely weaken as we struggle to compete with foreign powers such as China and Russia.

Americans remain confused about who to support or whether they will even bother to vote on Election Day. Each election year the same phrase is repeated: “The stakes could not be higher” and this year, in particular, a lot of risk is being taken to ensure voters’ trust. 

It remains unclear who to cast my vote for if it boils down to a Biden-Trump rematch since many factors are at stake — stemming from Trump’s federal charges to Biden’s supposedly limited capacity of leading the country. It would be best for people who are unsure, like me, to remain constantly informed on the candidates and what they do throughout the year leading up to the general election in November. Secondly, and most importantly, do not receive biased information but rather hear the arguments from both sides and then make the decision of who to support in 2024.

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