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Former US President Donald Trump leaves the courthouse after a jury found him guilty of all 34 felony counts in his criminal trial at the New York State Supreme Court on May 30, 2024.


No one above the law?

Speaking at a campaign rally in Iowa in December 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump speculated, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

Among the many Trump remarks that jolted the news cycle over the past eight years, this one springs to mind in the aftermath of Trump’s conviction in New York state court on 34 felonies relating to falsified business records.

As is clear from the counts, this is purely a paper crime, as no violence was alleged to have been committed. Still, observers from abroad are left to wonder if the verdict will be just another dynamic of US politics that Trump normalizes – and whether a candidate convicted of felonies could now become the American president.

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Republican presidential candidate and former US President Donald Trump gestures at a watch party event to mark the Super Tuesday primary elections at his Mar-a-Lago property, in Palm Beach, Florida, on March 5, 2024.

REUTERS/Marco Bello

Super Tuesday results shock no one

President Joe Biden and Donald Trump cemented their leads in the 16 primary contests yesterday, and a rematch of 2020 now looks inevitable.

Trump won at least 13 of the votes and is set to clinch the nomination as soon as next week. His biggest competition, Nikki Haley, carved out a surprise win in Vermont, bringing her delegate tally up to 89 compared to Trump’s 995. But she opted out of a victory speech in the Green Mountain State – and is reportedly planning to suspend her campaign.

But her showing in North Carolina signaled that anti-Trump sentiment is alive and well, especially among independents and college-educated Republicans. Trump only narrowly carried Republican primary voters with college degrees in North Carolina, 51% to 45%, and roughly one in four Republicans in the Tar Heel State said they would feel dissatisfied if Trump won the nomination.

Biden blew his rivals out of the water. The president won every race apart from the American Samoa, where he tied with entrepreneur Jason Palmer.

But the trend of Democratic voters choosing “uncommitted” in protest of US policy in Gaza continued on Super Tuesday. Uncommitted earned 19% of the votes in Minnesota, mirroring the results in Michigan last week and potentially threatening the Midwestern “blue wall” that was critical to his victory over Trump in 2020.

Other key races: In the California Senate race, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff boxed out his Democratic rivals and is likely to replace the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein when he faces off against the GOP candidate in the dependably blue state. In Alabama, newly drawn districts look likely to lead to the red state sending two Black representatives to Washington for the first time.


Are you wondering about other elections around the globe this year? Check out GZERO's guide to the most pivotal votes of 2024.

Ian Explains: How the US turned red and blue
Ian Explains: How the US turned red and blue | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

Ian Explains: How the US turned red and blue

Do you live in a red state or a blue state? Until fairly recently, such a question would have been nonsensical in the US. Ian Bremmer rolls back the clock on GZERO World to take a look.

On November 4, 1980, NBC News became the first major network to call the presidential election for Ronald Reagan. What stands out about this clip is not the absolute drubbing that President Carter received, but those colors on that map. States that had gone for Reagan are blue, states yet to be decided are that sickly 1980s yellow, and lonely little Georgia, which native son Jimmy Carter had managed to hold on to, is red.

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Democratic presidential candidate US Representative Dean Phillips greets supporters at a campaign event ahead of the New Hampshire presidential primary election in Rochester, New Hampshire, on Jan. 21, 2024.

REUTERS/Faith Ninivaggi

AI has entered the race to primary Joe Biden

For a brief moment this week, there were two Dean Phillips – the man and the bot. The human is a congressman from Minnesota who’s running for the Democratic nomination for president, hoping to rise above his measly 7% poll numbers to displace sitting President Joe Biden as the party’s nominee.

But there was also an AI chatbot version of the 55-year-old congressman.

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3 themes to watch as US election season begins
Three key things to watch as 2024 election season begins | US Politics In :60

3 themes to watch as US election season begins

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, DC, shares his perspective on US politics.

With the Iowa caucuses coming up, what are the big themes to watch in American politics this year?

Monday of next week is the first day the official kickoff of the US presidential campaign season, even though it feels like it's already been going on for six years. It really only starts on next Monday with the Iowa caucuses begin. Donald Trump has a big lead in the Republican primary. Nobody's challenging President Biden on the Democratic side. And so here are three themes to watch throughout this election year.

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Ballot battle: Colorado vs Trump
Ballot battle: Colorado vs Trump | US Politics In :60

Ballot battle: Colorado vs Trump

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, DC, shares his perspective on US politics.

Is the Colorado Supreme Court going to block Trump from appearing on the ballot there?

The answer is probably not, but they might. The Colorado Supreme Court, this week, ruled that former President Trump, cannot appear on the Colorado ballot on the grounds that he engaged in insurrection against the United States, which under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, bars a political candidate from appearing for federal office. Now, the Supreme Court is almost certainly going to take this issue up. This is a precedent that will be set for other states who are also trying to bar Trump from appearing on the ballot at all. And this puts the Supreme Court in a really difficult position. The court does not want to be in a position to intervene in what it sees as very political questions.

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Republican presidential candidate and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.


DeSantis in a storm

Hurricane Idalia is set to make landfall on Wednesday in the US state of Florida. The storm will be the first of many this hurricane season, but it blows in at a sensitive political moment for state Gov. Ron DeSantis. The woke-bashing Republican is currently a distant second to Donald Trump for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, but he’s also fending off an increasingly stiff challenge from the youthful upstart conservative tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. (Poll numbers here.)

If DeSantis handles Idalia well, it’ll enable him to look experienced and presidential, drawing a contrast with Ramaswamy’s scant political experience. Of course, if DeSantis flubs it, Idalia could deal a crippling blow to his campaign.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.


Christie takes aim at Trump

No one can win the 2024 Republican Party nomination for president without winning over millions of voters who like Donald Trump. For now, the polls say those voters are happy with Trump. This creates a dilemma for his rivals. All of them need someone to dent Trump’s popularity via direct attacks on the man and his candidacy. But no one wants to infuriate Trump supporters by leading those attacks, allowing other candidates to benefit. They all want someone else to lead the charge.

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