Donald Trump would win the US election if it was held today, a private equity grandee has said, adding that analysts had “missed” the scale of his following in America.
David Rubenstein, the billionaire co-founder and co-chairman of Carlyle Group, said it would be a “relatively close election” and that Trump was ahead in all the key swing states that changed how they voted in 2020 – Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Speaking in Davos, Mr Rubenstein said: “If the election were held today it would be hard to see how Trump would lose that election.”
He added: “I don’t think any of the court cases are likely to change his momentum.
“People should recognise that he’s a serious political force and not discount the fact that he could well be elected again.”
Mr Trump cemented his status as presumptive Republican Presidential candidate by winning the first GOP caucus of the 2024 election in Iowa.
Speaking on the same panel as Mr Rubenstein, European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde, who gave an eye roll as Mr Trump was mentioned, said: “The best defence, if that’s the way we want to look at it, is attack.
“To attack properly, you need to be strong at home. So being strong means having a strong, deep market, having a real single market.”
Mr Rubenstein also warned at the panel discussion in Davos that whoever wins November’s election, the dollar could lose its status as the global reserve currency unless the US gets its debt levels under control.
He said: “If the United States can’t get its fiscal act together, at some point, people are going to do what they did to the British pound and the Dutch guilder years ago when too much money was borrowed by those countries.”
He also delivered a warning about the impact of the stasis caused by government shutdowns during disagreements about the federal budget.
He said: “Almost everything every candidate was saying will probably not be true about what will happen in the future, because they probably won’t be able to get done what they say they’re gonna get done.”