DemDaily: It Begins! The Biden-Trump Rematch

March 13, 2024

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump won the required delegates to secure their parties' 2024 presidential nominations yesterday, officially launching their long-anticipated rematch.

The rivals reached the delegate threshold after winning their respective March 12 primaries in Georgia, Mississippi and Washington, as well as the Northern Mariana Islands Democratic primary and Hawaii's GOP caucuses. Democrats Abroad also reported the results of their March 5-12 Global Party-Run Primary.

To win their party's nomination, a candidate needs to receive the majority support of 3,934 delegates for Democrats, and 2,429 delegates for Republicans. Biden closed last night with 2,107 delegates and Trump, who has been unchallenged since Super Tuesday, with 1031 delegates.

The Process
Neither candidate, however, has officially won the nomination yet.

The purpose of a state primary election or caucus is not to directly elect the presidential nominee, but to determine, based on the percentage of the popular vote received by each candidate, how many state delegates that candidate is awarded to send to the party's national convention.

The full body of delegates from each state then votes to officially elect their party's nominee at the convention this summer.

The Democratic Convention will be held August 19–22 in Chicago, Illinois and the Republican Convention will be held July 15-18 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

In the interim, there are still two dozen state or territorial contests remaining in the primary season, which will end with the Democratic caucuses in Guam and the US Virgin Islands June 8.

The State of Play
The early determination of the presidential candidates -- nearly eight months in advance of the November 5 election -- makes 2024 one of the longest general election campaigns in modern history and the country’s first presidential rematch in nearly 70 years (the last being Eisenhower-Stevenson in 1956).

Polling has consistently shown that US voters have little enthusiasm for a repeat of the bitter 2020 Biden-Trump election, which culminated in a failed conspiracy to overturn the election results by the historically twice-impeached Trump and a deadly insurrection at the US Capitol. Despite the subsequent 92 felony counts brought against the former president, he remains the darling of the GOP.

A February 23-25, 2024 Reuters/Ipsos poll of US adults showed some 21% of respondents said "political extremism or threats to democracy" was the biggest problem facing the US, a marginally higher share than those primarily concerned with the economy at 19% and immigration at 18% (MOE:+/-3%).

According to a March 8-11 USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll of registered voters, the two candidates are in a statistical dead heat, with Trump leading Biden 40%-38%, within the 3.1% margin of error.

DemList will keep you informed.

Next Up: Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, and Ohio will hold their presidential primaries March 19. See: The DemList Presidential Primary Calendar

DemDaily: Fighting Joe Biden is Back! After Fiery State of the Union 3/11/24
DemDaily: The Super Tuesday Turning Point 3/6/24
DemDaily: Supreme Court Rules Trump Cannot Be Barred From Ballot 3/4/24
DemDaily: Delaying Justice 3/1/24
DemDaily: Supreme Court Weighs Trump Ballot Battle 2/9/24
DemDaily: The 2024 Presidential Calendar. The Updates! 2/27/24
DemDaily: South Carolina: Not The End of The Story 2/26/24
DemDaily: The Delegate Math 2/6/24

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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: NPR, CNN, BBC, Politico, Reuters

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