Alex Soros, chairman of Open Society Foundations, during a panel session on the closing day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024. The annual Davos gathering of political leaders, top executives and celebrities runs from January 15 to 19. Photographer: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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“In Davos, Donald Trump is already the president,” Open Society Foundations Chairman Alex Soros told a panel at the World Economic Forum on Friday.
“That’s a good thing, because the Davos consensus is always wrong,” he went on.
The prospect of Trump, who is frontrunner to gain the Republican nomination in the upcoming election, winning a second term in the White House has been a hot topic at the gathering of political and business leaders in Switzerland this week.
Trump faces 91 felony counts across numerous criminal cases relating to his attempts to overturn his 2020 election defeat, mishandling of classified documents and hush-money payments to a porn star. Yet many U.S. business executives still believe he will beat President Joe Biden, should the two face off in the 2024 race, as anticipated.
“Donald Trump owns the Republican Party. We’re in something I like to call the Trump cycle, because I think even if — and I believe, if the institutions hold, when — he loses this election, he’ll also be the Republican candidate in 2028 and maybe even 2032 as well,” Soros said, drawing a ripple of laughter from attendees.
“What’s the way out for him? He either winds up in prison or he winds up in power, he’s not going off on some beach somewhere and retiring.”
Most polling in recent months has put Trump ahead of Biden across key swing states, though numbers published last week by Redfield & Wilton Strategies, in partnership with The Telegraph, showed those leads narrowing in Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Soros insisted that the incumbent president still has a “pretty good map,” and backed Biden to hold onto Arizona and Georgia, where he claimed the particular brand of “extremism” promoted by Trump and his allies is considered “really toxic” to many voters.
“But, actually, if you want to look at one state which will really test where the election is, it’s Wisconsin, because if Joe Biden’s able to win Wisconsin, it should mean that he’s won Pennsylvania and Michigan,” added Soros, son of billionaire philanthropist and Open Society Foundations founder George Soros.
“Biden actually has a particular advantage in a polarized electoral environment which is that he’s not polarizing.”