The U.S. presidential election poses the No. 1 risk to the world in 2024 no matter who wins it, according to a political risk consultancy firm’s annual report.
“The US presidential election will worsen the country’s political division, testing American democracy to a degree the nation hasn’t experienced in 150 years and undermining US credibility on the global stage,” the report said.
“The US political system is remarkably divided, and its legitimacy and functionality have eroded accordingly. Public trust in core institutions — such as Congress, the judiciary, and the media — is at historic lows; polarization and partisanship are at historic highs.”
Trump, it noted, faces dozens of felony criminal charges, including those connected to his actions while in office and his attempt to overturn the 2020 election.
“In any stable, well-functioning democracy, the 2024 contest would be principally about those,” the report said. “The United States is presently far from that. On the other side of the aisle, President Joe Biden would be 86 years old at the end of his second term. The vast majority of Americans want neither to lead the nation.”
The Eurasia Group also predicted that Trump, knowing he could face prison if he loses, will “use his online pulpit, control of the Republican Party, and friendly media to delegitimize both the system that is prosecuting him and the integrity of the election.”
That will place pressure on Republican officials to manage elections in a way that benefits Trump, it said.
Should Trump win, the nation faces the end of democracy as it knows it. If Biden wins, Trump will not accept defeat, and will do everything in his power to contest the results, the firm predicted.
The U.S. is already deeply divided, and the 2024 election “will exacerbate this problem no matter who wins,” the report said.
It added: “With the outcome of the vote essentially a coin toss (at least for now), the only certainty is continued damage to America’s social fabric, political institutions, and international standing.”
The group said in its analysis that 2024, in general, will be an “annus horribilis,” with “three wars” dominating global affairs: Russia vs. Ukraine, Israel vs. Hamas, and “the United States vs. itself.”
The second risk on the list was an expansion and escalation of the war in the Middle East. Third, the partitioning of Ukraine by Russia. And fourth, ungoverned artificial intelligence.
The Eurasia Group, headquartered in New York, says on its website it provides political risk analysis and consulting to help investors and businesspeople to understand how politics affects risks and opportunities in foreign markets.
Read the report here.