The 2024 presidential election campaign season is barely underway, and already it's mired in controversy and indictments. With the first GOP primary debate a little over a month away, where do the candidates stand?
On the Republican Side: Former President Donald Trump, far and away the front-runner in the Republican primary, received word this week that a third indictment is most likely imminent, this one pertaining to the 2020 election and January 6. If the trend from the previous indictments continues, this could further solidify his base of Republican support.
His presumed strongest opponent, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, fired around a dozen campaign staff members this week, then ventured into unfriendly territory to do an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN (Lean Left bias).
Meanwhile in the single-digit polling category: former Vice President Mike Pence made headlines after a heated exchange with Tucker Carlson, Vivek Ramaswamy argued censorship contributed to the January 6 riot, a Tim Scott PAC announced a $40 million ad campaign, and Nikki Haley strongly believes the cocaine found at the White House belonged to Hunter Biden.
On the Democratic Side: The Biden team made a campaign advertisement out of a speech by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA) describing his economic initiatives, garnering over 40 million views.
Biden's main rival in the Democratic primary, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., faced accusations of antisemitism this past week after the New York Post (Lean Right bias) published a video of Kennedy stating that "there is an argument that (COVID-19) is ethnically targeted to attack Caucasians and black people. The… most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese." The controversy sparked a rare statement from the Biden White House, which has refrained from acknowledging Kennedy. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called Kennedy's comments "vile."
Marianne Williamson, per reports, is still in the race despite her campaign being in deep debt.
How the Media is Covering It: The Republican primary is taking up most of the media's attention, with occasional breaks to report on the most controversial Kennedy statement of any given week. Right-rated outlets are especially focused on DeSantis' underwhelming start on the campaign trial. Left- and center-rated outlets are focused on how Trump's increasing legal battles will impact the election.
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Snippets from the Center
"The sheer length of our presidential elections isn’t only annoying and inconvenient. It’s a two-year simmer, cooking our bitterness at politicians and neighbors alike into a reductive concentrate. Maybe it’s unavoidable that we’ll hit a political boiling point by Election Day."
"Americans are tiring of both these men and a media that operates on the theory that more chaos is good for business. People want normalcy: a presidency without drama, without scandal and without destructive partisanship that gets things done. In other words, end the chaos. Can you blame them?"
Snippets from the Left
"As a Black person who overcame adversity and championed Republican principles, Scott is appealing to many Republicans. But not, some GOP operatives say, as a candidate to vote for so much as a leader who can blunt criticism that the GOP has devolved into a white grievance party."
"Americans, worried about the state of the economy or otherwise unhappy with progressive views on hot-button social issues, could very well decide to pull the lever for the candidate who mostly oversaw a strong economy—and also tried to steal the election. If Democrats don’t come to grips with this possibility and focus on winning outright, they may be the ones struggling to accept the outcome of an election."
Snippets from the Right
"Some Democrats hoped repeated indictments would convince Trump's Republican supporters to abandon him. So far, that has not happened. The early indictments actually increased Trump's support, and new ones might increase it even further. If Democrats wanted a barrage of indictments to take Trump out, so far, they have been disappointed."
"At some point in the last couple of years, either he or his team seem to have forgotten that it was the viral videos of him arguing with the press, and not his more recent decision to ignore all but the friendliest avenues, that made him a national star in the first instance. The most effective Republican candidates are those who find the sweet spot between eloquence and belligerence, and who thereby manage to use the press both as a mass-broadcast system and as a political foil."