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US: Biden wins enough delegates to clinch presidential nomination in all-but-set rematch with Trump

Biden won enough delegates in Georgia, pushing his count past the required 1,968 needed to secure the presidential nomination. His troubled campaign against rival Donald Trump did not face any serious Democratic challengers despite low approval and concerns over his old age.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Washington Published on: March 13, 2024 6:36 IST
US, Joe Biden, presidential nomination
Image Source : AP US President Joe Biden

Washington: US President Joe Biden has clinched the presidential nomination for this year's presidential elections in November after crossing the required number of delegates and setting up an all-but-certain rematch with the predecessor Donald Trump, whom he has blamed for destabilising the country.  Biden became his party's presumptive nominee when he won enough delegates in Georgia, pushing his count past the required 1,968 to get the nomination.

Meanwhile, former President Trump is expected to clinch the Republican nomination shortly. Biden, who mounted his first bid for president 37 years ago, did not face any serious Democratic challengers to his run for re-election at age 81, despite facing low approval ratings and a lack of voter enthusiasm for his presidency.

According to a recent survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, just 38 per cent of US adults approve of how Biden is handling his job as president while 61 per cent disapprove. Biden and his allies are betting that over a bruising seven-and-a-half-month general election, his Democratic base and independent voters fearful of a second Trump presidency will stand with him despite their misgivings.

How is Biden planning to fight Trump?

Biden has tried to frame the race as a battle for freedom, both at home and abroad. He contrasts his support for Ukraine and work to expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) with Trump's praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his suggestion that he would tell Russia to attack NATO allies he considers delinquent. His campaign has adopted a strategy to constantly highlight Trump's perceived shortcomings — in response to Trump's plan to attack Biden in brutally personal terms. 

Biden is also pushing back on GOP-led efforts to restrict abortion rights that have also jeopardised in vitro fertilization procedures. Democrats credit the backlash to the Supreme Court overturning a federal right to abortion for electoral victories over the last two years. Trump appointed three of the justices who voted to strike down Roe vs Wade and had taken credit for the decision.

Despite Biden's and Trump's domination of their parties, polls make it clear that the broader electorate does not want this year's general election to be identical to the 2020 race. A new AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll finds a majority of Americans don't think either Biden or Trump has the necessary mental acuity for the job.

Vulnerabilities in Biden's campaign

Biden's election campaign is fraught with numerous challenges. As Russia began massing troops on Ukraine's borders, Biden administration officials warned Putin not to invade, then declassified intelligence to build international support for Kyiv. Backed by weapons and intelligence from the US and Western Europe, Ukraine resisted Russian plans to replace President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with a puppet government and has kept most of its territory against its much larger foe.

However, the botched US withdrawal from Afghanistan left indelible images of desperate people trying to flee a country that American troops fought to secure for two decades and lost in a matter of months to the Taliban. Thirteen US troops died in a suicide bombing outside the Kabul airport during the evacuation of American citizens and allies.

Biden's White House struggled to process record numbers of people crossing the US-Mexico border without authorization — sometimes thousands of people a day - after campaigning to reverse Trump's immigration crackdown. Republican states sent migrants on buses to Democratic-led cities that struggled to shelter them. 

With the economic growth came surging inflation that raised basic prices for Americans and ate into the income gains many people made. Inflation has slowed from its highs two years ago, but just 34 per cent of US adults say they agree with how Biden has handled the economy, according to an AP-NORC survey.

(with AP inputs)

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