The Road to November 2024

The early April update of The Road to November 2024 by The Spectator.

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Many of the current Stuyvesant seniors and some juniors will be eligible to vote in the 60th presidential election on November 5, 2024. In the midst of college applications and the hectic life of a Stuyvesant student, it can be difficult to keep up with the tumultuous American political landscape. To address this, The Spectator is starting a new election literacy project. As this historic election unfolds, the Opinions Department will publish polls, facts about the candidates, key swing state updates, and other content throughout the election season.

The Other Half of the Ballot

On November 5, 2024, 33 Senate seats of the 100 total (two from each state) and all 435 House of Representatives seats will be up for election. Currently, there are 48 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and three Independents in the Senate, and the Democrats are the majority party by a very thin margin. Conversely, the Republicans hold the majority in the House with 219 seats while the Democrats fill the other 213 seats. (This recently increased when Democrat Tom Suozzi won the former Republican Congressman George Santos’s seat in a special election after Santos was expelled.) This term the Republicans' tiny margin of majority made it difficult for them to pass conservative priorities but enabled them to block and stall many Democratic bills. Close congressional races this November will determine who holds the majority going into the next president’s first legislative session and will impact how much either candidate is able to get done as president.

The Florida Supreme Court Decision:

On April 1, 2024, the Florida State Supreme Court—which has largely conservative values—ruled that the state's constitution does not protect abortion rights, dealing another blow to the reproductive movement. However, the Florida Supreme Court did not completely eliminate the option of abortion—in a separate decision, they ruled that state residents will have the opportunity in November to vote on a new amendment for the state constitution that would ultimately undo the abortion ban. With this decision and following Alabama’s IVF ruling, it’s clear that the decision of whether abortion should be protected will be highly contested.

Former President Trump, who has numerous properties located in Florida, has expressed mixed opinions concerning abortion. On one hand, he had joyously written on Truth Social—his social media platform—that “After 50 years of failure, with nobody coming even close, I was able to kill Roe v. Wade, much to the ‘shock’ of everyone.” However, following the Florida Supreme Court ruling, his senior advisor Brian Hughes released a statement stating that Trump “supports preserving life but has also made clear that he supports states’ rights because he supports the voters’ right to make decisions for themselves.” Trump later released a statement via Truth Social saying “we have abortion where everybody wanted it from a legal standpoint,” but ultimately saying it should be left to the states and declining to endorse a national ban. Meanwhile, President Biden has labeled the ruling as “outrageous” and “extreme” and reaffirmed his platform of supporting a woman’s right to choose whether they receive an abortion or not. Biden and Trump’s ongoing retorts toward one another concerning the rights of reproduction have lasted for years and will likely escalate as the 2024 presidential election grows nearer.  

Where’s RFK Jr.?

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (RFK Jr.), the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy, is the most well-known Independent candidate running in the 2024 presidential election. His notoriety comes from reports of him spreading anti-vaccine misinformation, his experience as an environmental lawyer, and, obviously, the fame of his family name. However, he chose not to follow his family members’ legacies as Democratic politicians. Recently, RFK Jr. chose 38-year-old Silicon Valley lawyer and philanthropist Nicole Shanahan as his running mate. 

On April 1, 2024, in an interview on CNN, RFK Jr. argued, “President Biden is a much worse threat to democracy,” citing Biden’s alleged censorship of political speech against his political opponents as his reasoning. Later, in an interview with NewsNation journalist Chris Cuomo, he backtracked his statement by stating, “I didn’t say definitively whether I believed one or the other was more dangerous to democracy.” RFK Jr. balances on a thin line between appealing to the Democrats versus the Republicans, though he currently gains more support from the Republican Party as he continues to criticize the leadership of the Democratic Party. As such, both parties are worried that RFK Jr.’s campaign will lower the number of votes for their candidate and ultimately determine the election.