Renowned Harvard-educated historian Niall Ferguson confidently asserts that former President Donald Trump will win the Republican nomination and emerge victorious against Joe Biden in the upcoming 2024 presidential election. In an article published in The Spectator, Ferguson elucidates the historical facts which reinforce their prediction.
Both Biden and Trump currently face relatively low overall approval ratings, but Ferguson highlights Trump’s significant lead in polls on economic issues. The data suggests the former president resonates more with voters on economic policies, which could significantly influence the outcome of the election.
“What this suggests to me is that Joe Biden is in serious danger of following Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George HW Bush into the bin marked as ‘one-term presidents.’ Why?” he asked rhetorically.
“For the simple reason that no president since Calvin Coolidge a century ago has won reelection if there has been a recession in the two years preceding the nation’s vote,” he said.
“It doesn’t have to be as bad as the Great Depression that destroyed Herbert Hoover’s presidency,” he added. “A plain vanilla recession will suffice.”
“In the 12 months to March, total bank credit to the US economy declined in real terms,” he said. “This rarely happens. Since 1960, it’s only happened during, or immediately after, a recession. That’s the indicator to watch, along with surveys of borrowers and lenders.”
“Perhaps Peggy Noonan is right that Robert F. Kennedy Jr, who is running for the Democratic nomination, can pose a real challenge to Biden,” he continued. “After all, he has the magic name, even if he’s an anti-vaccine crank. Perhaps West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin was hinting at a presidential run when he issued a statement last week that declared: ” Make no mistake, I will win any race I enter.”
“But the lesson of history is clear: The Republican front-runner usually wins the nomination, and a post-recession incumbent usually loses the presidential election,” he said.
“Another lesson from history is that only one previous president has achieved a non-consecutive second term: Grover Cleveland in 1892,” he added. “As Jim Carville understood, ‘change’ generally trumps ‘more of the same’ in America. But don’t let anyone quote F. Scott Fitzgerald on you. A second Trump act is not only possible. It’s quickly becoming in my base case,” he said.
Niall Ferguson, a Scottish historian, holds the esteemed position of Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and serves as a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He has previously taught at prestigious institutions such as Harvard University, the London School of Economics, New York University and the New College of the Humanities. In addition, Ferguson has served as a Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford.
A distinguished scholar, Ferguson focuses his research and lectures on international history, economic history, financial history, and the history of the British Empire and American imperialism. He is known for his positive views of the British Empire, even joking that he was a “fully paid-up member of the neo-imperialist gang” following the invasion of Iraq in 2003. In recognition of his influence and expertise, Time magazine included Ferguson in its 2004 list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Ferguson’s contributions go beyond academia, as he has written and presented numerous television documentary series. In particular, his documentary series entitled “The Ascent of Money” earned him an International Emmy Award for Best Documentary in 2009, further cementing his position as a leading and respected figure in his field.
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OPINION: This article contains comments that reflect the opinion of the author.