Looking Ahead to 5 Things That Will Shape the 2024 Election

A recent Trump caucus event in Waterloo, Iowa.Credit…Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

It’s divisible by four. It’s a leap year. It’s a Summer Olympics year.

It’s a presidential election year.

Happy New Year?

Whether the 2024 presidential election cycle brings you dread or excitement, there’s no doubt that the table is set for an extraordinary year.

The potential for political turmoil has rarely seemed more obvious. Voters are deeply dissatisfied with the direction of the country and their options for president. President Biden’s approval rating is lower at this stage than for any president in the era of modern polling, dating to the 1940s. His likely opponent faces several criminal trials. Waiting in the wings, there’s an independent candidate with the last name Kennedy. The Democratic convention is even in Chicago.

Here are just a few of the big topics that will shape the 2024 election.

Can Nikki Haley win a state?

Of all the items on this list, this is probably the least consequential. But it is first up on the calendar, with the early primary contests just a few weeks away, and a Haley win in New Hampshire or South Carolina is neither impossible nor irrelevant.

Heading into the holidays, surveys showed Ms. Haley approaching or exceeding 30 percent in New Hampshire — putting her closer to an upset than it might look, given the volatile nature of early primaries.

Her path to victory in New Hampshire is still fairly narrow. Her recent stumble in answering a question about the cause of the Civil War may halt her momentum. And even if she does defeat Donald J. Trump in the state, it’s hard to see her posing a serious threat to win the nomination, given the relatively narrow, factional character of her appeal.

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