NBC News contributor Danielle Pletka was stunned on Sunday after Democratic pollster and fellow contributor Cornell Belcher expressed his belief that former President Donald Trump could beat Joe Biden in 2024’s race for the White House.
The panel was discussing recent polls showing Biden in a dead heat with most Republican candidates.
Pletka, a senior fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, noted both Biden and Trump will face struggles campaigning, arguing Biden can’t hide in his basement anymore. Pletka also added that voters, even when feeling dissatisfied with both parties, will nevertheless vote for one of the two major candidates.
“Here’s the X-factor, because it can become 2016 again, because you had so many people who said, ‘I’m gonna protest my vote, I’m the lesser of two evils,’ by the way, and that’s how Donald Trump wins. He wins by subtraction,” Belcher said. “So when you look inside the polling, all the [voters] who were once voting — who got him to 51% — they’re now looking at third parties.”
“[Voters] are disgruntled about politics right now,” Belcher continued.
“Did I just hear you say that you think Donald Trump could win the 2024 election against Joe Biden?” a shocked Pletka asked.
“If 2016 happens again,” Belcher said, noting the small percentage of voters who would be make-or-break votes in key states. Belcher noted that Trump won Wisconsin by a slim majority in 2016, due to former Obama voters voting for a third party.
Recently, a CNN poll revealed that if the election were held today, 47% of registered voters would choose Trump while just 46% said they’d choose Biden. The poll also found 46% of voters would choose any Republican candidate over Biden and 58% of voters blame Biden’s policies for worsened economic conditions.
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