- Joe Biden plans to seek re-election in 2024, even though voters are wary of him.
- Democrats aren’t supposed to lead Biden, but questions remain over a backup plan.
- Potential contestants sought out the national spotlight.
President Joe Biden has made it clear he plans to run for a second term in 2024.
His political team is even gearing up for a spring re-election announcement, according to the Washington Post.
But that didn’t stop the “is he really okay?” chatter, especially after a New York Times poll found that 61% of Democrats said they hoped someone other than Biden would be their nominee in 2024, largely because of his age and of his professional performance.
Democratic insiders wonder if Biden, 79, can mount a vigorous campaign in 2024 — especially if former President Donald Trump decides to run again.
Despite the doubts, Biden shouldn’t face a primary challenge given that it would alienate others in the party as well as the donor class, said Mark Jones, a Rice University political science professor and a member of the Baker. Institute.
“The norm is that you don’t challenge a sitting president of your party,” Jones said. “It’s a major political faux pas. Either it’s not done or if it’s done, it’s more for political ambition – not to win, but to show off for other reasons .”
Trump is a key factor helping Biden stay in place. The New York Times poll found Biden would be favored to win in another contest against Trump.
“The belief is that Biden has already beaten Trump, he can beat him again,” Jones said. If a Democrat tried to lead Biden — and weaken him in the process — then that person would be blamed if a Republican, even Trump, were to win in 2024.
But none of these factors precludes politicians from making discreet gestures. If Biden somehow backtracks on his plans, it will mean the party will have to find a backup.
Some ways candidates are beginning to test the waters through “invisible primaries” are to campaign for other Democrats to retain, especially in swing districts. They can also appear at events in potential early-voting states and offer noncommittal answers about whether they’ll support Biden in 2024, said Shawn Donahue, an assistant professor of political science at the University at Buffalo.
Other means include making headlines by influencing national debates, holding leadership positions in the party, and raising huge sums, especially from non-statutory members. In the case of the governors interested in the White House, they will have to crush the opposition if they are reelected this year, in November.
“There will be a crowd of people who want to wait in the wings, so the moment Biden says he’s not running, they can sort of step in,” Jones said.
Even if Biden doesn’t change his mind, 2028 isn’t much farther away.
Here are 15 politicians taking action or sparking interest that could position them for a run at the White House in 2024 if Biden changes his mind: