US Presidential Debate Biden-Trump Thursday June 27 2024

1,071Views 0Comments Posted 21/06/2024

Undecided voters await Biden-Trump debate Thursday June 27 with an eye on the economy, border and age.  Trump supporters and voters are at 40% and Biden supporters are also at about 40%.  Mental fitness, especially Biden's, is a key issue for these undecided voters, who will be watching the first debate to see how well the two oldest candidates ever to run for U.S. president can think on their feet.  About 20% of American voters say they have not picked a candidate in this year's presidential race, are leaning toward third-party options or might not vote at all in the Nov. 5 election. In a rational political world, the key issues on the table in Thursday’s debate would be the Biden administration’s foreign policy: that is, the president’s unwavering support for Ukraine in the war with Russia and his inability to have any significant impact on Israel’s continuing war in Gaza.  Of course on debate night the main attention will be on Joe Biden’s ability to stay focused and on point, both verbally and physically with the sure-to-be garrulous and off-topic Donald Trump. 


So here is a breakdown on some of the issues, as I understand them from my contacts with readers and US expats who have moved to Panama over many decades.  I have always found it interesting how we get a surge of either Republicans or Democrats moving to Panama to get out of the US because the election proved to them that the US is going to ‘hell in a hand basket’.  First of all, there is a serious concern among the Democratic Party leadership and the major Democratic fundraisers, primarily the big donors in New York City, about Biden’s ability to defeat Trump in November.  This is, of course, not to be spoken of in public.  A major touchstone for many will be Biden’s performance in the debate.  The president is going to need to match the intensity he demonstrated at his State of the Union address in March on Thursday to keep his contributors happy. A shaky performance, I have been told by two longtime Panama retired politicos who have direct knowledge, will increase pressure on the Democratic Party to do something drastic, and unprecedented, before the November election.  We have all heard the rumors that the Democrats may replace Biden as Presidential candidate if the debate does not go well for him. 


My folks always voted for the party, the same party, and it didn’t matter who was running.  I found however that I was always in the undecided list and I wanted to determine who I thought would be the best person or political group to run the country.  If you have already made up your mind as to who you are voting for, then with a mostly neck and neck race, it is the undecided voters this year who will determine who the next President of the United States will be.  If you are an undecided voter and wanted to share your views, we will be happy to share those views anonymously.  You can always email us at  Here are some other undecided voters who have spoken to me by email or in person, and their thoughts on the upcoming election.


A Panama retiree voted for Republican Donald Trump in 2016 before ditching him for Democrat Joe Biden in 2020 but is now looking to the debate to help her decide which one to back this year.  The 65 year old flipped to Biden, she said, because she felt Trump's presidency was too chaotic.  But she is now leaning toward Trump again, unhappy about illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border and inflation under Biden's administration.  Biden could sway her, however, if he presents a strong proposal to secure the border and shows a steady hand despite his age, she said.  Trump, 78, is "always a wild card".  Yet for the 81-year-old Biden "there's certainly the age concern and how he will be able to handle himself."


I spoke to a number of undecided American voters; nine were previous Biden voters who had partially or fully soured on him, with one now leaning toward Trump.  Three of the voters had soured on Trump but were not considering Biden as an alternative.  Mental fitness, especially Biden's, is a key issue for these undecided voters, who will be watching the first debate on Thursday June 27th to see how well the two oldest candidates ever to run for U.S. president can think on their feet.  Biden's stewardship of the economy, and especially his handling of inflation, is also a hot topic.  Increases in consumer prices have slowed considerably from a peak in June 2022, but voters still regularly complain of sticker shock at the grocery store.  One undecided voter voted for Biden in 2016 and 2020 but is now undecided, chiefly because he feels Biden is too old.  He is also put off by Trump's legal problems and what he called the "hullabaloo" around the Republican former president.  He said he will watch the debate for signs from Biden on the economy.  "What is his agenda, if he gets a second term, to address inflation?" he said, adding that he also wants to see strength from the president. "Biden has got to show that he can take on Trump again."


Several voters who supported Biden in 2020 said he needs to address immigration during the debate.  Biden took office in 2021 vowing to reverse many of Trump's restrictive border policies, but he has struggled with record numbers of migrants caught illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on his watch.  Biden has shifted rightward on the issue and earlier this month instituted a broad asylum ban to reduce illegal crossings.  Trump, who made a hardline stance on immigration a centerpiece of his 2017-21 administration, has vowed a wide-ranging crackdown if re-elected.  The border "needs to be under control," said another undecided voter, who voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Biden in 2020, and thinks both Biden and Trump are too old to be running.  She said she would never consider voting for Trump but might have backed a different Republican candidate. Now, she may abstain from voting at all in the presidential election.


Trump's felony conviction in May is a factor for one voter who said that Trump’s convictions have helped fuel a donation surge for him and she was happy for him and the party.  Donald Trump’s campaign outraised President Joe Biden by more than $60 million last month, according to federal filings made public Thursday that detailed a Republican fundraising explosion sparked by Trump’s felony convictions.  A former Biden supporter who is unhappy with the Democratic president but believes the recent conviction disqualifies Trump.  She voted for Clinton in 2016 and Biden in 2020 because she felt Trump was unfit for the role.  A registered independent, she said she has voted for Republican presidential candidates in the past.  This year, as she decides whether to vote for Biden or a potential third party candidate, she said she will watch the debate to see if Biden is "mentally and physically able to do the role."  "My biggest concern right now is these trials and the outcome of these trials for the Republican candidate," she said, referring to Trump's three remaining criminal cases.  "And also the age and capacity of the Democratic candidate."


A 39-year-old Republican did not vote for president in either 2016 or 2020 and is open this year to voting for independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has not qualified for the debate.  He said he will be looking to see if either of the main party candidates shows signs of mental decline as they square off: "Anything that either says that is way out in left field, doesn't make sense and is not the kind of thing I'd want to see from someone running the country," he said.  "Anything scary in either direction would sway me toward the other," he said. "I think that is more likely than either candidate swaying me toward them."


Biden and Trump are taking very different approaches to preparing for next week’s debate

President Joe Biden begins an intense period of private preparations Friday at Camp David for what may be the most consequential presidential debate in decades.  The 81-year-old Democrat’s team is aware he cannot afford an underwhelming performance when he faces Republican rival Donald Trump for 90 minutes on live television June 27. Biden’s team expects aggressive attacks on his physical and mental strength, his record on the economy and immigration and even his family.  Trump, 78 and ever confident, will stay on the campaign trail before going to his Florida estate next week for two days of private meetings as part of an informal prep process.