As an Irish citizen living in the US, I became a US citizen in 2019 and voted in my first Presidential primary and election in 2020.

It was an experience that was beyond the norm as we entered a campaign navigating the world of COVID. From primaries to rallies, and from the debates to mail-in voting, the pandemic largely shaped the campaign. The results and the aftermath will likely drive the campaign on the 2024 road to the White House.

While we are only in May 2023, the electioneering for 2024 is well and truly underway. After his triumphant return to his ancestorial home, Joe Biden kicked off his 2024 presidential campaign with the slogan “Let’s finish the job." Donald Trump continues with his mantra to “Make America Great Again”.

Why start so early? It arguably comes down to fundraising and the party machines are about to kick into high gear once again.

So, what will the coming months bring us? Right now the field is beginning to form as each political party sets about selecting their chosen candidate.

As a sitting President, President Biden is more than likely to be selected as the Democrat candidate, with few of his party willing to challenge a sitting President.

It is arguable also that there just is not a candidate strong enough within the party to challenge the President. When star names and star power are thought about in Democrat circles, it is yesteryear that springs to mind with the Clintons and Obamas. While Michelle Obama would set Democrat pulses racing with excitement, she has shown no interest in returning to live on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The party will rally around its leader, and should we see a rematch of the 2020 campaign, the Democrats will be confident of victory.

When Donald Trump was President, not a day went by when he wasn’t in the news. And now, two years after his departure, there are still very few days when his name does not garnish attention in the media. For people all over the world, they will think he carries too much baggage to win again. That may very well be accurate. However, it is also accurate to say that he is adored by the Republican base and any other candidate from the Republican side will need to plot an extremely courageous journey to win the party nomination.

In a way, Donald Trump is a true Teflon candidate. Despite the challenges and controversies that he courted in his first term, he still collected the highest vote of any Republican candidate ever.

Since then, we have seen his attempts to overturn the election results, be accused of causing the insurrection on January 6, and face accusations and indictments up and down the country. Despite all of this, he is loved by the base and it is hard right now to see anything changing. The recent indictment was arguably a positive for his campaign as it strengthened the support in his favor.

Who else will try to have an impact? On the Democrat side, RFK Jr. has launched a bid. While he will seek to regale us with stories of the past, the lack of true support from the Kennedy family will surely doom his campaign. The fact that most members of his family support the President will ensure that America will need to wait another few years before the return of Irish America’s first family.

On the Republican side, we see Nikki Haley enter the race, and she brings a youthful vigor that Donald Trump may not have. However, the fact that she has not made any real inroads on the Trump lead indicates that she may be racing for his vice presidential candidate position.

Most pundits assumed Ron DeSantis would have entered the race for the Republican nomination by now. However, he may have been badly advised and misjudged the timing. He has traveled all over the States and abroad, written the obligatory book before running for office, and still not announced. What looked like a real candidacy to take on Donald Trump has floundered on banning books from schools in Florida, transgender rights, and suing Disney. Donald Trump has built up his base and strengthened his support, and it may already be too late before DeSantis gets started.

The fundraising train has left the station and unless either Biden or Trump makes a major misstep, it may be too late for any other candidate to climb on.

This summer sees "Indiana Jones" return to our big screens, with Harrison Ford being over 80 years old. On election day 2024, Donald Trump will be 78 and Joe Biden will be 81. If Indiana Jones can crack his whip one more time, and jump out of a plane as the movie trailers indicate, there is still plenty of life in these candidates yet.

This article was submitted to the IrishCentral contributors network by a member of the global Irish community. To become an IrishCentral contributor click here.