Presidential rematch set for US election as Biden, Trump secure nominations

United States Presidential rematch set for US election as Biden, Trump secure nominations
MAR 13, 2024 LISTEN

US President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have secured their parties' presidential nominations with decisive victories in a slate of low-profile primaries, setting up a general election rematch in November 2024. 

The outcome of contests across the states of Georgia, Mississippi and Washington  was never in doubt.

Neither Biden nor Trump faced major opposition with their parties, but the magnitude of their wins has given each the majority needed to claim their party's nomination at their national conventions that will take place this summer.

Not even halfway through the presidential primary calendar, Tuesday marked a crystallising moment for a nation uneasy with its choices in 2024. 

There is no longer any doubt that the November election will feature a rematch between two flawed and unpopular presidents.

At 81, Biden is already the oldest president in US history, while the 77-year-old Trump is facing decades in prison as a defendant in four criminal cases.

Their rematch – the first featuring two US presidents since 1912 – will almost certainly deepen the nation's searing political and cultural divides over the eight-month grind that lies ahead.

Sweeping victories

In a statement, Biden celebrated the nomination while casting Trump as a serious threat to democracy, "running a campaign of resentment, revenge, and retribution that threatens the very idea of America.”

He continued, “I am honoured that the broad coalition of voters representing the rich diversity of the Democratic Party across the country have put their faith in me once again to lead our party – and our country – in a moment when the threat Trump poses is greater than ever.”

In a video posted on social media, Trump celebrated what he called “a great day of victory.”

“But now we have to get back to work because we have the worst president in the history of our country,” Trump said of Biden.

“So, we're not going to take time to celebrate. We'll celebrate in eight months when the election is over."

Both candidates dominated Tuesday's primaries in swing-state Georgia, deep-Republican Mississippi and Democratic-leaning Washington.

Trump also won Hawaii's Republican caucus. 

Unpopular candidates

Despite their tough talk, the road ahead will not be easy for either presumptive nominee.

Trump is facing 91 felony counts in four criminal cases involving his handling of classified documents and his attempt to overturn the 2020 election, among other alleged crimes.

He's also facing increasingly pointed questions about his policy plans and relationships with some of the world's most dangerous dictators.

Trump met privately on Friday with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who has rolled back democracy in his country.

Biden – who would be 86 years old at the end of his next term – is working to assure a sceptical electorate that he's still physically and mentally fit to thrive in the world's most important job.

Voters in both parties are unhappy with his handling of immigration and inflation. 

He's also dealing with additional dissension within the Democrats' progressive base, furious that he hasn't done more to stop Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza.

Some 161 million Americans are registered to cast their ballots on election day, Tuesday, 5 November.