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Two success factors: Biden's chances to win US election

Two success factors: Biden's chances to win US election US President Joe Biden (photo: Vitalii Nosach / RBC-Ukraine)

The fight against the abortion ban and economic growth allowed Joe Biden to narrow the gap with Donald Trump in the presidential election. Read more about how Biden's chances for a second presidential term are growing in the RBC-Ukraine article.

Sources used: RealClearPolitics, BBC, Newsweek, and Morningstar.


For several months now, one of the main topics of concern among European politicians and experts has been what will happen to the United States if Donald Trump wins the presidential election in November. The fears are justified: no one can say for sure how Trump will build relations with the European Union, Russia, and China during his second term, or what his approach will be to the Russian-Ukrainian war or the situation in the Middle East.

The reason for these fears is the pessimistic assessment of Joe Biden's chances for re-election, backed by numerous opinion polls. But as the last few weeks have shown, it is too early to write Biden off. The incumbent president has broken the negative electoral trend and is rapidly catching up with Trump in popularity.

Biden or Trump: Ratings

Initially, it was clear that the confrontation between Biden and Trump in the 2024 elections would be very competitive. The gap between them has always been a matter of percentages or even fractions of a percent.

However, since the end of last year, Trump has been able to consolidate his leadership. He showed the maximum gap from Biden in the polls at the end of January - more than 4%, according to the averaged figures.

However, starting in February, the rating of the current president began to grow slowly but steadily, and the gap began to close. According to the American media, Biden's ratings were given a big boost by his annual address to the US Congress in early March: the President surprisingly came down hard on his opponents from the Republican Party and Trump personally, clearly outlined the American interest in helping Ukraine, and found appropriate messages for the blue-collar American working class, which is the core of Trump's electorate.

As a result, according to the sociological aggregator RealClearPolitics, Trump's lead over Biden on a national scale is now only 0.3%, which is much less than the statistical error. However, it is worth taking into account the specifics of the American electoral system - the outcome of the election will be determined by a few "disputed" states, and Trump still holds the lead there, albeit a minimal one.

Biden's victory factor: Abortion ban

The abortion ban has been one of the main issues in American social and political life since June 2022. Then the US Supreme Court overturned its own 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, which protected the right to abortion under the Constitution.

The decision on whether to ban abortion and under what conditions was left to the discretion of each state. And in many "red" (Republican-controlled) states, abortion was immediately restricted to varying degrees of severity.

This outraged a huge part of the American public and led to the emergence of "abortion tourism" - when American women travel to "blue" (Democrat-controlled) states to terminate their pregnancies. Addressing the issue of abortion has become a mandatory part of any American politician's program.

This story received a new impetus two weeks ago. Then the Arizona Supreme Court upheld an 1864 law that banned abortion (with rare exceptions), and its violation is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Joe Biden and the Democratic Party have been opposed to abortion restrictions from the beginning, which is believed to be one of the reasons for the party's unexpected success in the 2022 elections when Democrats were able to take control of the Senate and gain more seats in the House of Representatives than expected.

Now, in the wake of the outrage over the Arizona court's decision, Biden's campaign has begun to actively promote this topic through political advertising, which has become one of the factors behind Biden's rising ratings.

In turn, Trump takes an uncertain position on abortion and puts himself under fire from all sides: for radical religious conservatives, he is too liberal, for Democrats, on the contrary, too conservative.

Closer to the election date, Biden's team will push the abortion issue even harder. In addition, it is very "motivating" in electoral terms: if, for example, the topics of assistance to Ukraine or Taiwan do not touch the electorate so much, then direct state interference in private life does.

Biden's victory factor: Economy

According to all polls, the economy and personal well-being are the number one topics for Americans of all political persuasions, more important than abortion and even more important than foreign policy.

In this sense, Joe Biden was unlucky - the beginning of his presidential term coincided with the coronavirus pandemic and the corresponding economic decline. And anti-crisis economic measures amid the pandemic subsequently led to a serious increase in inflation.

Over the past year and a half, the situation has begun to change. The US economy has been growing steadily, by at least 2% for seven quarters in a row. The last time such a trend was observed was twenty years ago, in 2003-04. The inflation rate has also fallen, and the United States is outperforming other developed world economies in this regard.

However, for a long time, these trends were not reflected in opinion polls. According to the American media, the inertia of thinking of American citizens who believe that "it was better under Trump" played a role.

But in the last few weeks, a trend favorable to Biden has emerged: the share of Americans satisfied with his economic policy has increased from 36% to 41%.

Although Trump still holds a slight lead in the polls, by the time the November election comes around, if there are no economic shocks in the US and the world, the economy may already be playing in the incumbent's favor.

By the way, fears of a possible price increase as a key factor in the election are also associated with the US authorities' calls for Ukraine to stop attacks on Russian oil refineries (although these attacks are not an important factor for the global oil market).

Of course, despite several positive trends, Joe Biden's victory in the November elections is far from guaranteed. A number of factors are playing against the incumbent President: his age, the unresolved migration crisis, the decline in popularity among the traditional Democratic electorate (African Americans and Latinos), etc. But despite many skeptics, Biden has a chance for a second presidential term and a good one at that.