• Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

‘Old fart vs absolute numpty’: How US students feel about 2024 Presidential election

On the left Donald Trump (man) in suit speeching. On the right Joe Biden (man) with microphone in front of US flag

2024 will be the biggest year of democratic elections in history, with approximately a quarter the world’s population due to take to the polls

The US Presidential election will take place on 5 November 2024 with the winner’s four-year term starting in January 2025. 

The Student spoke to American students at the University of Edinburgh to gauge their thoughts on the upcoming election.  

Unlike UK general elections, the Presidential election does not elect representatives to the legislature – making the individual candidates all the more important. 

The first few months of 2024 will involve both Republican and Democrat party members voting for their presidential nominee in a series of statewide events known as primaries. 

On 23 January, former President Donald Trump won the New Hampshire primary, building on the momentum of a victory in Iowa which pushed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis into pulling out of the race

Read More: The 2024 US Presidential Elections: what to expect

With the incumbent, President Biden, effectively unopposed to be the Democrat candidate, this election seems set to be a rematch of 2020. 

A recent poll conducted by NationalNews and Decision Desk HQ found that 59 per cent of Americans do not want to see Biden and Trump on the ballot.

The University of Edinburgh students from the US that spoke to The Student reflected these statistics with some saying that US politics contributed to their choice to study abroad. 

Student Nina Rodgers described Mr Trump as an: “Absolute numpty”, and said of President Biden that: “Man needs to retire”. 

Rodgers continued: “…I decided to move as far away [from the US] as possible when Trump was elected.”

Read More: US Supreme Court set to rule whether Trump can run for president

Another student described President Biden as: “An old fart”, but believes he is: “…the lesser of two evils”.

They continued: “A Trump win will definitely encourage me to remain abroad for as long as possible”.

If President Biden were to win in November, he would be 86 by the end of his second term.

Mr Trump is fighting multiple legal battles, including lawsuits aiming to remove him from the ballot due to the Capitol riots of 6 January 2021.

Cole Looney, a student who moved from Texas, said: “The US is very polarised and it definitely feels present in daily life.”

Read More: UK Universities spend millions to secure international students

“No matter what you are doing there is always some element of us versus them and some animosity between people with different political viewpoints. I worry this will become even worse after this election.” 

Another student commented: “Politics was an influential factor in moving to Edinburgh….it’s nice to hear US news from a distance without the fear of it affecting me anymore.”

Trump & Biden” by ekaden is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.