Matthew Continetti writes for the Washington Free Beacon about potential implications of a Biden-Trump rematch.

Americans are about to face a choice between two incumbent presidents. The idea sounds oxymoronic: a political version of the Pauli Exclusion Principle in physics, whereby two particles cannot occupy the same space at once. Yet that is precisely the situation—barring an act of God or the Obamas—in which we will soon find ourselves.

There hasn’t been a two-incumbent election since 1892. That year, Republican president Benjamin Harrison faced the man whom he had defeated four years earlier: Democrat Grover Cleveland.

The 1888 election that had brought Harrison to power was unusual. There had been a split between the Electoral College and the popular vote, and despite his loss, Cleveland earned more votes than he’d won in victory in 1884.

The rematch in 1892 was a different story. By then, voters had tired of the inflationary effects of GOP protectionism. They returned Cleveland to office for a nonconsecutive second term.

In 2024, Donald Trump wants to play Cleveland to President Joe Biden’s Harrison. Trump, like Cleveland, won more votes losing in 2020 than he did winning in 2016. He, like Cleveland, leads a party whose geographic base is the South. And he, like Cleveland, has five children. The similarities—at least as I can count them—end there.

The precedent of 1892 is so distant that it hardly seems relevant. Our two-incumbent election is a genuine novelty. It pits a twice-impeached, criminally charged Republican against a deeply unpopular Democrat who faces his own impeachment inquiry and whose adult son is under federal indictment. All set against the backdrop of collapsing public trust, deteriorating world order, resurgent anti-Semitism, the interpenetration of the judicial system with domestic elections, myriad connections between former and current national security personnel and the major media “echo chamber,” America’s aggressive and cunning strategic adversaries, the legitimation of political violence, and a likelihood of constitutional crisis and domestic unrest. Harrison-Cleveland was placid by comparison. Even boring.