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Historian Makes a Prediction the Left Won't Like About 2024

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

It's probably too early for predictions about 2024—after all, we're still 18 months away. Anything could happen in that span of time to completely upend the race. Still, the forecasts are coming, and we now have one from historian Niall Ferguson about Donald Trump's chances of becoming president again. 

Democrats are banking on Joe Biden defeating Trump, who's bogged down in one legal fight after another, but according to Ferguson, he's just "Act II" in a traditional play. Act III? That's Trump, the historian argues in The Spectator: "he's the next president." 

Ferguson, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, first outlines why the legal challenges don't preclude Trump from being successful in 2024, pointing to various political figures throughout the world that have made political comebacks following conviction or even imprisonment. 

Secondly, Trump is the clear frontrunner in the GOP field right now, far ahead of where Gov. Ron DeSantis is, even though he hasn't officially entered the race. 

In recent GOP political history, early frontrunners won the Republican primaries in most competitive races since 1972, but the exceptions were John McCain in '08 and Trump in '16. 

"The Republican primary process favours candidates with early leads because most states award delegates on a 'winner takes all' or 'winner takes most' basis," Ferguson writes. "If Trump maintains his current average polling numbers through the first half of 2023 but doesn't become the Republicans' choice for president, he would be the highest-polling candidate ever to fail to secure the nomination. He would join Ted Kennedy, Ed Muskie, Rudy Giuliani, Hillary Clinton (in her 2008 bid) and Scott Walker in the Failed Frontrunners club. Conversely, if Ron DeSantis beats Trump to the nomination, it would be a bigger upset than Barack Obama's victory over Hillary Clinton in 2008. In short, unless the Republican party has somehow morphed into the Democratic party, the GOP nomination is now Trump's to lose."

Ferguson goes on to note that a Biden vs. Trump matchup doesn't guarantee the incumbent wins, as the current commander-in-chief isn't very popular, while Trump isn't that unpopular and is "less so than at this point eight years ago."

And if a recession occurs, Biden's likely done since "no president since Calvin Coolidge a century ago has secured re-election if a recession has occurred in the two years before the nation votes."

Barring any major surprises, Ferguson says, "History is clear – the Republican frontrunner usually wins the nomination, and a post-recession incumbent usually loses the presidential election." 

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