At a Glance

  • Both President Biden and former President Trump dominated the Super Tuesday primaries and cemented their status as the presumptive nominees. The general election is headed towards a rematch of the 2020 election.
  • Former South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley will suspend her campaign after losing 14 of the 15 states contested last night.
  • Trump is on track to win a majority of delegates by March 19 at the latest, according to his team’s projections. His large margin of victory in individual states led to a huge delegate total. For example, he won all 169 of California’s delegates by winning more than 50% of the vote.  
  • Biden faced little opposition and will look to use Thursday’s State of the Union Address and its large national audience to kick off his general election campaign.  

Super Tuesday is always a huge, clarifying day in party nomination battles. Fifteen states cast ballots, the most of any other day in the primary season. Front runners look to secure their status and rack up delegates to put the nomination out of reach for their competitors. Both Biden and Trump accomplished that goal in impressive fashion. Biden’s largest opponent was “uncommitted” in a few states, and Trump managed to knock Haley out of the race.

Despite these impressive victories, both Biden and Trump head towards a rematch with well known and significant weaknesses. Biden’s poll numbers have been persistently poor and he is struggling to excite younger and more progressive voters. Questions about his age are a concern across all voting demographics, including Democrats. Trump has secured and excited his base, but Haley consistently beat Trump with suburban and higher income voters—a key voting block in a close election and a potential indication that Trump will struggle with independent voters in the general election.     

What We’re Watching for This Fall 

  • The economy. Presidential elections are usually won or lost on the economy. By many measures, this should be good news for Biden. Unemployment is at historic lows, wage gains have begun outpacing inflation, consumer confidence is up, and the stock market is at record levels. But in voters’ minds, the question “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” has hurt Biden in the polls. Trump leads on who would do a better job of handling the economy and inflation, and a plurality of voters believe Biden’s policies have hurt their personal finances. 
  • Can Trump appeal to voters beyond his base? Winning the Republican nomination for a third consecutive time is an impressive feat and a remarkable political comeback. More conservative Republican primary voters view his 91 indictments and related controversies as proof that he is the anti-establishment candidate who will fight the elites on their behalf. More moderate Republicans and independents see Trump’s conduct and personality as a liability.
  • The country faces other big issues beyond the economy. The world is in a precarious place: wars in Ukraine and Gaza, competition with China, floods of illegal immigration, abortion rights, growing national debt, and culture wars. In a close election, as this is expected to be, the issues and how candidates take advantage of them could decide who wins in November.
  • Third party candidates will play a larger role as protest votes. Former President Trump and President Biden would be the least popular major party candidates in history, setting the stage for what could be “protest votes” against both and higher support for independent candidates. Given the major party candidates’ low numbers, third party candidates could potentially be more impactful this year than in any other election, particularly in swing states. 


What's Next?

  • The State of Union: President Biden will deliver the annual State of Union Address on Thursday, March 7. Biden will reframe his record of achievement and cast his vision for a second term while drawing sharp contrasts with his opponent. The large national audience provides incumbent presidents the ability to speak directly to the American people and Biden needs to begin to turn the narrative—and his polling—around.
  • Companies should check in on key stakeholders: employees. As in prior, highly volatile elections, workplace dynamics between supporters and opponents could intensify. The start of the general election marks a good time for leaders to communicate with their organizations about the importance of civil discourse in the workplace and to consider beginning a steady cadence of communications about the importance of civic participation and educating oneself as a voter.  


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This content offers a high-level synopsis of the day’s events. It is intended to provide information only, not opinion, and it is not representative of any specific Edelman work.