ANALYSIS - Biden's Chances In 2024 Depend On Ukraine Peace, Recession Fears, Trump Factor

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 27th April, 2023) President Joe Biden's prospects for reelection to a second term of office in 2024 will hinge on his success in preventing the US economy from falling into recession, his ability to encourage and help reach peace in the Ukraine conflict and the role that former President Donald Trump may play in the campaign on the Republican side, political analysts told Sputnik.

On Tuesday morning, the 80-year-old president, the oldest man ever to hold the office, announced he would run for a second four years in the White House in November 2024.

In a Twitter message, Biden said he would run again because "every generation has a moment where they have had to stand up for democracy" and "their fundamental freedoms" and he believed that time had come.

Despite criticism and low ratings in opinion polls, Biden still has a reasonable chance of winning a second term, University of Houston professor of history and African American studies Gerald Horne advised.

"He has a 50-50 chance of being re-elected though the odds in his favor increase if Trump is his major competitor," Horne said.

However, Biden's prospects would ultimately depend upon his record on the economy and the Ukraine crisis, Horne added.

"A recession or worsening of the war in Ukraine could jeopardize his chances," he acknowledged.

Biden declared his 2024 candidacy on the fourth anniversary of announcing his first run for the White House, Horne noted.

"Ironically, Governor (Ron) DeSantis of Florida has a better chance of defeating him but as of now is lagging in the polls behind Trump," he said

Financial analyst, columnist and former merchant banker Martin Hutchinson agreed that Biden's economic record going into the election would prove vital.

"(Biden's) chance of being re-elected depends on the economy between now and then. If we get a substantial recession, he's toast," he said.

But even if the economy and other issues blow up in Biden's face, he could still win, Hutchinson believes.

Biden would "probably still have a 10% chance of re-election because Republicans could screw up by spawning a massive anti-Trump rebellion if Trump's the nominee," he said.

Biden deliberately declared his intention to run again more than a year and a half before the election in order to prevent any serious challenger from emerging in his own Democratic Party, Hutchinson explained.

"(I) think that now is the same time as in 2019. If he had delayed (his reelection announcement), the chance of a serious Democratic rival would have increased; announcing now preempts that," he said.

As the White House incumbent, Biden would also enjoy the advantage of not being weakened in advance by interminable debates with other candidates from his own party, such as the Republicans were going to have to endure, Hutchinson pointed out.

"Having no debates will make life easier for him; his nightmare would be (to) debate against (any) serious opponent," he said.

If Trump became the Republican presidential candidate for the third time in a row, the Democrats would seek to manipulate the system to avoid exposing Biden to any bruising debates with him, Hutchinson believes.

"The Democrats will find a way not to debate Trump in the general election (though Trump is considered to have blown the first debate with Biden in 2020)," he said.

George Mason University professor of law and political commentator Francis Buckley told Sputnik that many Democrats would welcome yet another presidential campaign by Trump as they believed it would likely lead to a repeat victory for them over him.

"The Democratic strategy is to waive a red flag before Trump to persuade him to run. Biden's announcement is part of that," he said.

Biden will also benefit from being perceived as a relative moderate while the image of Trump remains that of an outsider, insurgent and extremist, Buckley remarked.

"Biden is also well positioned in a race against Trump because everyone else in the party is so left wing. So what Biden offers the voters is a façade of moderation while what he offers progressives is an administration they will in fact control," he said.

Nevertheless, Trump could once again beat the odds and defy expectations as he has done so often before in his late-in-life but meteoric political career, Buckley observed.

"There is a chance Trump would win. He is a better candidate than DeSantis because in reality he's less of a culture warrior. And people are heartily tired of the Democrats," he said.

Ukraine is another factor that could weigh on Biden's reelection prospects, political commentator and historian Dan Lazare told Sputnik.

The current administration is interested in "victory in Ukraine or at least an ongoing stalemate," the expert believes, projecting more escalation on this front.

"I'd put my money on more disruption rather than less. The situation in Ukraine is increasingly dangerous, and I think it's foolish to imagine the situation continuing as is for another year and a half. Moscow may buckle, although I think it's Kiev that's more likely to fold," he said.

If so, Biden will have a major crisis on his hands that "he may not be able to survive," Lazare said.

The same goes for China and Taiwan, a region where the US needs "peace, or at least an absence of war," according to the expert.