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Professor: Trump 'Stands a Good Chance of Beating Biden'

© AFP 2023 / ALON SKUYFormer US President Donald Trump speaks at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, on November 15, 2022
Former US President Donald Trump speaks at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, on November 15, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.11.2022
On Tuesday, ex-POTUS Donald Trump officially announced a bid for the 2024 US presidential election, telling his “fellow citizens” that “America's comeback starts right now.”
Nicholas Waddy, political analyst and Associate Professor of History at SUNY Alfred, told Sputnik that “anyone who underestimates [former US President Donald] Trump does so at their own peril.”

“He was written off in 2016 and won. He was written off in 2020 and came perilously close to winning, despite the fact that the establishment had stacked the deck against him in countless ways,” Waddy pointed out.

The political analyst cited polls as indicating that in the 2024 US presidential election, Trump, “would stand a good chance of beating [incumbent] Joe Biden or [VP] Kamala Harris.”
In this Nov. 2, 2020 file photo, Ivanka Trump speaks at a campaign event while her father, President Donald Trump, watches in Kenosha, Wis. New York's attorney general has sent a subpoena to the Trump Organization for records related to consulting fees paid to Ivanka Trump as part of a broad civil investigation into the president's business dealings, a law enforcement official said Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020 - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.11.2022
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The associate professor described the ex-POTUS as “a damaged, deeply divisive candidate,” who he said is “also relentless, confident, charismatic, and highly experienced.”

When asked about Trump's chances in 2024, Waddy argued that “they're good enough that multiple left-leaning law enforcement agencies and prosecutors are trying to sabotage his bid with politically-motivated, sham investigations and potential prosecutions.” According to the expert, “if Trump was politically dead, no one would bother with such extreme measures.”

Touching upon the ensuing GOP primaries, Waddy pointed to what he described as Trump's "trump card" that he claimed would “determine the party's presidential nominee is his long-standing visceral connection and popularity with the Republican base.”
The professor noted that “most Republicans don't just like Trump, they love him, and millions would […] follow him off a cliff.” In this context, Waddy referred to “Trump fatigue” as a “real phenomenon”, asserting that and Republicans “are desperate to win in 2024, especially in the wake of the abortive ‘red wave’ of 2022.” The expert also singled out the results of polls, which he said show that “many Republicans harbor doubts about Trump's character and his electability.”

“Presumably, Trump will try to maintain his primacy in the party by insulting and mocking all potential rivals. That worked in 2016, but whether it will work in 2024 remains to be seen. So far very few Republicans see Ron DeSantis as a lightweight or as a turncoat, which is how Trump sees him. Can Trump change their minds? Possibly, but Republicans also have to worry about the long-term damage that a Trump-DeSantis feud could do to the party and to the conservative movement,” Waddy pointed out.

On the possible chances of a Biden-Trump rematch in 2024, he stressed that at the current point, “it looks like” the former POTUS “will face a strong challenge” from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in 2024, “and simultaneously many leading Democrats are urging Biden not to run for reelection.”
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence smile after a campaign rally at Gerald R. Ford International Airport, early Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Grand Rapids, Mich - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.11.2022
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Waddy added that he would assess the chances of a Biden-Trump rematch “as perhaps one in three, since it's probable that one or both of them will fall to a challenger.”
“Trump is still the favorite to represent the GOP in 2024, and the burden is therefore on potential rivals like DeSantis to prove that they can go head-to-head with Trump," the expert claimed.
Robert J. Spitzer, distinguished service professor of political science at the State University of New York College at Cortland, was not that upbeat about Trump’s chances in the 2024 race, telling Sputnik that he doesn’t believe that the ex-POTUS “will ever win back the presidency.”

“While he still has great support among pro-Trump Republicans, some Republicans are disenchanted with him, and I believe that number is slowly increasing. He cannot attract any Democratic voters, and he has little appeal to independents,” Spitzer argued, claiming that Trump’s nomination “all but insures a Democratic victory.”

Spitzer was partly echoed by Professor David Woodard, Clemson University political scientist and former political consultant for Republican congressmen, who told Sputnik that although “the crowds will still turn out for Trump, […] they are like people remembering what might have been, not what lies ahead.”
According to Woodard, the former US president “has little to offer, and his criticisms and bombast look like the excuses of a lost loser.”
FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2019, file photo, Republican President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, N.M. Republican Party of New Mexico Steve Pearce told The Associated Press on Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, that state is preparing to formally endorse Trump for re-election. - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.11.2022
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The comments came as Trump officially submitted paperwork with the Federal Election Commission late Tuesday, formally filing documents for his 2024 presidential campaign.
In an address to supporters at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida, the 45th US president described America as “a nation in decline.”
“We are a failing nation for millions of Americans. I will ensure Joe Biden does not receive four more years. […] This campaign will be about issues, vision and success, and we will not stop, we will not quit, until we’ve achieved the highest goals and made our country greater than it has ever been before,” Trump underlined.
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