As recent opinion polls in the United States show increasing convergence between the current President, Joe Biden of the Democratic Party, and his Republican competitors, and given the political and economic uncertainties within the country, a research paper issued by the “Center for Future Research and Advanced Studies” has predicted the emergence of a “third-party candidate” who will have a significant impact on the upcoming US presidential elections in November next year.
The research paper, titled “Will the 2024 Elections Produce a New US President?” highlighted several factors that support this hypothesis. It pointed out that, “for the first time since the country’s independence, the political approaches put forward by both the Republican and Democratic parties do not enjoy the approval of the majority of American citizens.”
In this regard, the same source noted that American citizens, along with the political elite, believe that the Democratic Party has been pushed too far towards the left, thereby alienating the center ground it used to represent. This shift has occurred primarily due to the influence of the liberal bloc inside the party, led by Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. On the other hand, the Republican Party has moved further right than necessary due to the populist rhetoric of former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
The second driving factor, as outlined in the research paper, is “popular support for a third-party candidate,” especially given “the rejection by a sector of American voters of the return of a Biden-Trump duopoly.” There is now a growing trend in favor of an independent candidate and a third path, one that bridges the moderate center between the left and right.
According to the paper, this point is substantiated by opinion polls that indicate a significant majority (58%) of American voters support the choice of a centrist figure outside the major parties, separate from the current political polarization. This inclination is mirrored by 60% of Democrats, 47% of Republicans, and 71% of Independents. It reflects a broad popular desire to select a third-party candidate, distinct from the two dominant parties.
The same source pointed out the existence of resistance within the Democratic camp to the entry of an independent or third-party candidate outside the traditional party ranks into the upcoming presidential elections. Opponents of this proposal argue that it “threatens American democracy.”
As for the prospects of the third-party or independent candidate, the paper recorded several opportunities that support this approach. These include “the advancing age of the candidates,” along with the legal troubles faced by both Trump and Biden. Trump is under threat of imprisonment before November 2024 due to four sets of charges, totaling around 75 charges. These include criminal charges related to vote-buying, attempting to overturn the election results in Georgia in 2020, retaining classified documents at his residence, as well as tax fraud issues. The same applies to Biden, who is accused of corruption and covering up his son Hunter’s involvement in several scandals.