2024 has been called the year of elections. Half the world’s population will vote in national elections. Some of these elections will be important not just for the country but for the whole world.
For example, Vladimir Putin will certainly be re-elected as Russia’s president, but won’t be happy if the margin is low. Elections in the U.K. and Taiwan will also have outsize importance.
But they all pale against the U.S. presidential election, where former President Donald Trump is looking strong in polls. No one has ever seen anything like this: someone running for president while deep in legal trouble. He faces four criminal trials, including two to overturn the 2020 election. A normal candidate would have quit. But Trump knows he can count on strong support from Republican voters. Most of them – 68% in one poll from June – falsely believe he lost because of voter fraud.
If Trump wins, populist leaders around the world will take it as a sign to do as they please. He won’t strongly support Ukraine against Putin. Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu may be able to ignore world opinion over the brutal military campaign against Gaza.
All elections are important, but the 2024 election in the U.S. may be one of the most important of our young century.