published : 2023-09-06

Summertime Blues: A Hazy Presidential Race Going Nowhere Fast

Majority of Voters Believe 80-Year-Old President is Too Old

A photo of Donald Trump addressing a rally, taken with a high-resolution Nikon D850 camera.

Maybe it's the oppressive summer heat, or perhaps it's the old-fashioned dog days, but politics seems to be paralyzed.

As the temperature soars to 96 degrees in Washington, it feels like nothing much has happened to move the proverbial needle.

The media, of course, are compelled to fill endless airtime and column inches, but it often feels like a circular journey leading back to where they started.

Sure, there have been four indictments against a former president, but if we look at the raw numbers, Donald Trump is still enjoying a strong lead in the GOP primaries, with an overwhelming 59 percent support in a multi-candidate field, according to the Wall Street Journal poll.

In this truly bizarre campaign, Trump's popularity among Republicans only seems to grow with each indictment, as his fundraising skyrockets, with the MAGA base dismissing the charges as partisan attacks orchestrated by Democrats.

Joe Biden, on the other hand, finds himself sinking in political quicksand.

For months, a majority of voters have voiced concerns about the 80-year-old president's ability to run for a second term.

Now, in the Journal survey, two-thirds of Democrats share that sentiment, posing a significant problem for the incumbent.

Biden has resorted to joking about his age, but when even his own party shows a vote of no-confidence in his candidacy, it is indeed a massive hurdle to overcome.

He is trapped in a box - he can adjust his policies to appeal to the middle ground, but he cannot halt the unrelenting passage of time.

A snapshot of Joe Biden speaking at a campaign event, captured with a professional-grade Canon EOS R5 camera.

Furthermore, no prominent Democrat appears willing to challenge him, leaving Biden without any real competition within his own party.

Meanwhile, Kevin McCarthy is stirring up controversy, courting his hard-right flank by authorizing an impeachment inquiry against Biden.

The question arises: Will presidents now face impeachments as payback for their predecessors?

However, the full House would need to approve an actual impeachment, and there are already murmurs of dissatisfaction among more than the required five defectors who consider it a futile exercise that could backfire on them.

Simultaneously, the Hunter Biden scandal seems to be losing steam.

Politico suggests that key segments of the GOP are recognizing that the issue may not resonate as strongly as they had hoped and focusing on it could inadvertently benefit Trump, who perpetuates the narrative of a dual standard of justice.

Coverage of Hunter Biden, even in right-leaning media, reached its peak in July when the plea deal fell apart, and the top prosecutor was promoted to a special counsel.

During the Fox debate, Hunter's name was only briefly mentioned.

This indicates a broader understanding within the campaign that the average American would rather hear them discuss other matters, and the Hunter Biden drama may not be as politically significant as some leaders have projected.

Now, returning to the Republican horse race, the also-rans from earlier months remain in the same position, with many still polling in the low single digits.

An image of Kevin McCarthy during a press conference, shot with a top-of-the-line Sony Alpha A7R IV camera.

Ron DeSantis, however, continues to hold on to second place with 14 percent in the Real Clear Politics average, disregarding national polls and focusing on early-state strategies.

Nikki Haley garnered positive press from the debate, but her polling average stands at 6 percent.

Mike Pence lags slightly behind at just below 5 percent.

The most significant change in the lineup has been the rise of Vivek Ramaswamy.

Despite facing unfavorable coverage, Ramaswamy has managed to command attention and elicit public interest.

He currently stands at 7 percent in the polling average, which is a substantial jump from zero, although still far from the man he considers the best president of the 21st century.

As we are still months away from the actual voting, numerous factors can come into play, from surprising upsets in Iowa and New Hampshire to potential legal hurdles for Donald Trump.

Between now and the 2024 election, a thousand things can happen, but in this scorching heat, who wants to break a sweat analyzing the possibilities?

At least we can take solace in not being stuck in the mud at Burning Man.