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US: Biden vs Trump again in November as ex-President secures enough delegates for presidential nomination

Trump secured the Republican presidential nomination for the third consecutive time after wins in Georgia, Mississippi and Washington state. Thus, Biden and Trump have kicked off the first US presidential election rematch in nearly 70 years.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Florida Published on: March 13, 2024 9:42 IST
US, Donald Trump, presidential nomination
Image Source : AP Former US President Donald Trump

Florida: Former US President Donald Trump will engage in a historic rematch with Democratic rival Joe Biden in the upcoming presidential elections as he secured enough delegates to become the GOP nominee with wins in Georgia, Mississippi and Washington state. Trump surpassed the 1,215-delegate threshold needed to become the presumptive Republican nominee for the third consecutive time.

The former President will formally accept the nomination at the Republican National Convention in July, by which point he could be in the remarkable position of being both a presidential candidate and convicted felon. Notably, Trump has been indicted in four separate criminal investigations and his first trial, which centers on payments made to a porn actress, is set to begin March 25 in New York City.

Earlier, Biden had secured the Democratic presidential nomination after securing the required 1,968 delegates. With Trump's win, Biden and Trump have kicked off the first US presidential election rematch in nearly 70 years. Biden, 81, issued a statement after he sealed the Democratic nomination, taking aim at what he called Trump's "campaign of resentment, revenge, and retribution that threatens the very idea of America."

First presidential rematch in nearly 70 years

The last repeat presidential matchup took place in 1956, when Republican President Dwight Eisenhower defeated former Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson, a Democrat, for the second time. This year, voters have expressed little enthusiasm for a repeat of the bitter 2020 election, with Reuters/Ipsos public polls showing both Biden and Trump are unpopular with the majority of voters.

The outcome of Tuesday's voting was essentially predetermined, after Trump's last remaining rival for the Republican nomination, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, ended her presidential campaign following Trump's dominant performance last week on Super Tuesday, when he won 14 of 15 state contests. In a video posted on social media, Trump said there was no time to celebrate, and instead put the focus on beating Biden, whom he called the "worst" president in US history.

"We're going to drill, baby, drill. We're going to close our borders. We're going to do things like nobody has ever seen before. And we're going to make our nation's economy be the best ever in the world," said Trump. Biden, meanwhile, faced only token opposition in the Democratic primary campaign, though liberal activists frustrated by his support for Israel's war in Gaza have convinced a sizable minority of Democrats to vote "uncommitted" in protest.

Vulnerabilities on both sides

Trump's myriad criminal charges - he faces 91 felony counts across four separate indictments - could harm his standing among the suburban, well-educated voters whose support he has historically struggled to garner. He is scheduled to become the first former American president to go on trial in a criminal case on March 25 in New York. The most serious case against him is generally thought to be the federal indictment in Washington, D.C., accusing him of plotting to reverse the 2020 election.

The Biden campaign launched a more aggressive phase on Friday, announcing Biden would tour several battleground states amid a $30 million ad buy. The campaign said it raised $10 million in the 24 hours after Biden's State of the Union speech, adding to Democrats' financial edge over Republicans.

The ongoing crisis at the US-Mexico border, where an influx of migrants has overwhelmed the system, is another weakness for Biden. He has sought to transfer the blame to Trump after the former president urged congressional Republicans to kill a bipartisan border security bill that would have stepped up enforcement.

Trump, so far, has deftly used the legal cases as a rallying cry, portraying them as a plot hatched by Democrats to keep him out of power. That argument proved powerful among GOP primary voters, with whom Trump remains a deeply popular figure.

(with inputs from agencies)

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