The immense popularity among Republicans, especially conservatives, of former President Donald Trump makes him a clear front-runner for the Republican nomination in 2024.
Even if Trump decided not to run, the other Republican choices of Nikki Haley and yet-to-be-declared Ron DeSantis are formidable, not to mention others who are yet to be in the race.
Democrats, however, have a more ambiguous selection.
Joe Biden, who could arguably be the least popular president in history, still contends that he will run again but according to a Fox News poll last month, 37% of Democratic primary voters want to keep Biden as their party’s nominee, while 53% said they would like someone else to run.
Democratic leaders are publicly rallying behind Joe Biden to be their guy for the 2024 presidential election — potentially setting up a rematch with Donald Trump — but it is reportedly a different story behind the scenes, FOX News reports.
According to a recent Politico article, Biden faces doubt from some “high-level Democrats” who may only support the president because they fear what a Biden-less ticket could look like.
“High-level Democrats are rallying to President Biden’s reelection, not because they think it’s in the best interest of the country to have an 82-year-old start a second term but because they fear the potential alternative: the nomination of Kamala Harris and election of Donald Trump,” the report read.
In 2020, Biden and Vice President Harris were declared winners when they received more votes than any other presidential ticket in U.S. history, which was, to those who contend the voting was tainted, a questionable number to obtain. But, just three years later, Biden has an approval rating in the 40s and continues to cause headaches for the White House press team.
According to the Politico report, a senator at the National Governor’s Association meeting in February went as far as to question whether Biden had the stamina for the presidential campaign season.
Biden won his initial election during the travel-restricted COVID pandemic and spent much of his time campaigning from his basement. At the same NGA winter meeting, a congressman “said Harris wasn’t an option,” Politico reported.
Former White House and Pentagon official Douglas MacKinnon said if not Biden or Harris, Democrats could look to a past superstar to create a more viable ticket.
Former first lady Michelle Obama’s name was floated ahead of the last Democratic presidential primary, although she has repeatedly denied any interest in seeking office.
At 59, and with her “it” factor (as McKinnon labels it) she could emerge as a top candidate and Democrats could look to push her to run, Fox notes.
There are quite a few Democrats to choose from, McKinnon notes, but the party would have to trek strategically to explain why Democrats moved away from Biden or Harris.
“Are the chances of a superstar from the past becoming the 2024 nominee a pipe-dream? Most likely. But with the river of political denial threatening to wash away the Democrats’ chances in 2024, what else is a party to do?” he asked.
Democratic candidates who have run and failed in the past include Hillary Clinton, John Kerry or Al Gore. Trump originally beat Clinton in 2016 in the race for the Oval Office. However, Clinton is 75, Kerry is 79 and Gore is 74, which is contrary to younger Democratic voters who want a younger president.
Some Democrats who have attempted the nomination in the past and failed are Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Cory Booker, D-NJ, each who ran in the 2020 Democratic primary. But again, Warren is 73 and Sanders is 81, while the other two are slightly younger.
Klobuchar is 62 and Booker is 53. Biden Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, 41, also ran and lost in 2020. Beto O’Rourke, who most recently lost a statewide race in Texas, is 50. More popular choices include Govs. Gavin Newsom of California, 55, and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, 51, could also look to make the moves from their respective state offices to the White House.
FOX News noted that there is at least one long shot in the running:
Currently, self-help author and spiritual guru Marianne Williamson is the only candidate to begin a long shot challenge to Biden. “We are upset about this country, we’re worried about this country,” Williamson told a crowd on Saturday when she officially launched her campaign. “It is our job to create a vision of justice and love that is so powerful that it will override the forces of hatred and injustice and fear.”
Williamson, 70, also ran in 2020. “I have run for president before. I am not naive about these forces which have no intention of allowing anyone into this conversation who does not align with their predetermined agenda,” she added. “I understand that, in their mind, only people who previously have been entrenched in the car that brought us into this ditch can possibly be considered qualified to bring us out of it.”