The race for the US presidential election is already underway in the Republican Party and the increasingly polarized country is preparing for what is anticipated to be another clash with Donald Trump leading the Republicans. To analyze the current situation and what lies ahead, FLAD brought two specialists to Portugal – journalists Peter Baker, chief White House correspondent for the New York Times, and Susan Glasser, chief editor of the New Yorker magazine.

Even after the defeat, the invasion of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, the poor results of the candidates he supported in the November 2022 midterms, Donald Trump is still favored in the polls to be the winner of the GOP primaries. But what explains this?

“Donald Trump has a visceral connection with his base that can survive anything. Why? Because he channels ‘the us vs. them’ narrative very effectively.”- Peter Baker

The conversation with the two journalists, under the theme America Divided: Biden, Trump and the prospects for 2024, was moderated by Pedro Magalhães, senior researcher at Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa, was naturally, like the attention in the US, largely focused on the impact of Donald Trump, current and future, and the behavior of the Republican Party under his leadership, particularly for US democracy.

“The problem is the lack of belief in this idea that we lose the election and we come back again and again. that is more corrosive to me, it’s more of a danger longer term for American Democracy.” – Peter Baker

But not everything is Donald Trump’s fault, Susan Glasser warned, and it is important to consider where the problem started so that appropriate responses can be found.

“We can blame Donald Trump for a lot of things, but we cannot blame him for the two parties pulling wider and wider apart. It predates Trump, its not all his fault.”– Susan Glasser.

About the current President, Joe Biden, journalists see it as his greatest achievement so far to have been able to win the election over Donald Trump in 2020, despite the climate of tension, in what were the most participated elections in the history of American democracy.

This conference is part of the Democracy: The Way Ahead cycle, an initiative by FLAD that aims to promote a space for reflection and debate on the current problems facing the world by inviting international experts for conversations with a view to finding solutions for the coming decades. Already invited are John Ikenberry, Professor at Princeton University, and Constanze Stelzenmüller, Director at the Brookings Institution.