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2024 US Elections

2024 US Elections

Congressional and presidential elections in the United States – It's all about the White House and so much more

News

The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.

John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States of America

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At a glance

  • The presidential election takes center stage, but the majorities in Congress are just as decisive.
  • Domestic issues such as immigration, abortion rights and the economy are dominating the election campaign.
  • Some states will be decisive in the election, the so-called “swing states”.
  • The presidential and congressional elections will help decide how important European defense will be for U.S. security policy in the future.

 

Content

1. Biden and Trump fight for the majority

2. The congressional majority is equally important

3. Some regions are particularly at the centre of the election campaign

4. We are following the US election campaign from many perspectives

5. Publications, events and media contributions on the topic

 

Biden and Trump fight for the majority – with predominantly domestic policy issues

The 2024 presidential election is a repeat of the election four years ago – especially concerning the main contenders: Joe Biden and Donald Trump. They have already secured sufficient votes in the primaries and are likely to be officially nominated during their respective party conventions. The Republicans will convene on July 15 for their convention in Milwaukee, while the Democrats will gather on August 19 in Chicago.

For President Joe Biden, re-election would serve as confirmation of his policy, which primarily focuses on strengthening the American middle class and enhancing relations with allied countries. He is unequivocally supportive of providing additional aid to Ukraine. However, the recent surge in inflation, despite positive conditions in the labor market and the economy, poses challenges for him. Additionally, Biden faces accusations that, at 81 years old, he may be too old for the office and is displaying signs of fatigue.

For Donald Trump, the goal is to overcome the stigma of his defeat four years ago. To him, the election defeat was a fraud. He remains committed to an “America First” policy, aimed at safeguarding America’s borders and enhancing the country’s independence. This approach involves scrutinizing foreign aid to other nations and questioning alliances like NATO. Trump’s election campaign enjoys unwavering support from a loyal base, but there are also many Americans who openly oppose him. Additionally, his campaign is weighed down by numerous legal challenges that he must confront.”

Both candidates were able to secure clear majorities within their respective parties. However, polls indicate that they are generally unpopular with the American electorate. Consequently, independent candidates and smaller parties are particularly hopeful this year. Among them is Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the nephew of President Kennedy, who gained notoriety as a vaccination skeptic. While the chances of Kennedy and other independent candidates winning the election remain slim, they can still impact the outcome by diverting votes from other candidates.”

 

The congressional majority is equally important – even in foreign policy matters

Even though the Biden-Trump race attracts the most international attention, a new Congress will also be elected in November, and the majorities there are equally crucial. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives will be up for election, along with one-third of the 100 Senate seats. Currently, the Republicans hold a majority in the House of Representatives, while the Democrats lead in the Senate. However, both majorities are slim.

Before this election, a relatively large number of members of Congress announced that they would not seek re-election. Given the significant advantage to incumbents, especially in the House of Representatives, this could potentially alter the composition of Congress and the dynamics within individual party groups. Like the presidential election, candidates are chosen through primaries, which are decisions of direction for the party.

Congress plays a pivotal role in US legislation, particularly in budgetary matters. The Senate must confirm crucial personnel decisions made by the President. Congress can significantly impact foreign policy decisions, even contrary to the President’s preferences; the intense debate over additional aid for Ukraine demonstrated that.

 

Some regions are particularly at the centre of the election campaign

Elections are held throughout the USA; however, many regions are politically aligned with one party, making it unlikely that majorities will change there. Election observers focus on so-called ‘swing states,’ which are states where both parties have a chance of winning. In this year’s elections, these states primarily include Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.”

Arizona holds a prominent position in the 2024 election for several reasons: The state is located on the border with Mexico, and border security is a major issue in the campaign. Additionally, the Arizona Supreme Court recently enacted a controversial, comprehensive abortion ban—an important campaign topic. With incumbent Senator Kyrsten Sinema not seeking re-election, both parties are eager to secure the Senate seat. Arizona is also crucial for both Trump and Biden: Biden narrowly won the state four years ago, with a margin of around 11,000 votes.

November 5 is not only election day for the federal level: Elections are held for positions at all political levels, for example the governors in eleven federal states and two territories.

 

We are following the US election campaign from many perspectives

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung places great importance on the transatlantic partnership, NATO, and cooperation with the United States as crucial guarantees for Europe’s security. We closely monitor the election campaign and this year’s election outcomes, analyzing developments with the assistance of American and European experts. Our U.S. office is organizing dialogue programs and observation trips involving German experts and politicians to foster a deeper understanding of the political process. Additionally, educational, and online events will be available.


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Contact

Dr. Hardy Ostry

Dr

Head of the Washington, D.C. office

hardy.ostry@kas.de
Contact

Jonathan Nowak

Jonathan Nowak (2020)

Desk Officer for Northern Atlantic

jonathan.nowak@kas.de +49 30 26996-53368
Essay
Rainer Unkel / Süddeutsche Zeitung Photo
April 24, 2024
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Country Reports
IMAGO / USA TODAY Network
March 6, 2024
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Essay
October 13, 2023
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Publications, events and media contributions on the topic

Our contributions are as wide-ranging and multifaceted as the topic itself!

Whether it's an expert interview, specialist publication or hot debate - click through and you're guaranteed to find the right format for you!

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Publications to the topic

US-Präsident Gerald Ford, der Kandidat der Republikaner, beim Händeschütteln mit seinem parteiinternen Herausforderer Ronald Reagan am letzten Abend des Parteitags der Republikaner am 19. August 1976. picture alliance / Everett Collection

Plädoyer für einen prodemokratischen Konservatismus

Zur Geschichte und Zukunft der Republikanischen Partei

Blick auf das Weiße Haus in Washington, 21.07.2019 Rainer Unkel / Süddeutsche Zeitung Photo

Das Wahlrecht in den USA

Ein historischer Abriss

US-Präsidentschaftskandidatin Nikki Haley IMAGO / USA TODAY Network

Biden and Trump: Unpopular and Unavoidable

The Trend of the U.S. Primaries Continues on “Super Tuesday”

Joe Biden IMAGO / UPI Photo

No surprises?

US election campaign heading for another Biden-Trump duel

Donald Trump bei den Iowa Vorwahlen IMAGO / USA TODAY Network

How important is Iowa?

On the Outcome of the First Primaries for the U.S. Presidential Election.

Joe Biden IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Ukraine and Israel: International Crises in the Election Campaign of a War-Weary USA

An Analysis One Year Ahead of the Election in November 2024

platzhalter05_rotDPM DPM

No Country For Old Men?

Amerikas betagte Präsidentschaftskandidaten als Krise des volkssouveränen Körpers

USA: Politische Polarisierung entlang der Parteilinien

Identitätspolitik in den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika

McCarthy stehend am Rednerpult IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

McCarthy voted out - what next?

U.S. press comments on the historic recall of the Speaker of the House of Representatives

Clouds pass over Capitol Hill in Washington REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Ausblick auf die US-Zwischenwahlen

Szenarien und mögliche Auswirkungen

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Events on the topic

Oct

2024

St. Peter
Die USA vor den Wahlen
Gespaltene Weltmacht?

Veranstaltungsberichte zum Thema

Publications

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