Whether President Biden will seek re-election next year is one of the hottest topics inside and outside the Beltway.
Biden has said he plans to run for a second term, privately telling former President Obama and other Democrats of his intentions.
The president’s allies say he is still the only one who can defeat a challenger like former President Trump or Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida.
But there are doubts he will go ahead with his plans because of his age – Biden would be 81 in November 2024 – and because of the brutal political headwinds he and his party currently face. Biden’s approval ratings plummeted in the mid-30s in some polls.
If Biden chooses not to run for office, who else would be in the running?
Here’s a look at the five Democrats best positioned to win the nomination.
Vice President Harris
Harris tops our rankings because she would instantly be the leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination if Biden decides to end her political career with one term.
She has White House visibility and name recognition, and could give Democrats another chance to shatter the much-vaunted glass ceiling by becoming the first woman to be elected president.
But Harris isn’t a sure bet to win the nomination. She has been surprised by a series of negative headlines since taking on the role of vice president and her polls have taken a hit.
An analysis of national polls from the Los Angeles Times this month showed Harris underwater with a 40% approval rating.
“She fell short of expectations,” said a Democratic strategist.
If Biden decides not to run, “I don’t think she has a lock on the nomination and she will have viable competitors” in 2024, the strategist added.
Some Democrats point out that while her 2020 presidential campaign started strong, she faltered when she ran into fundraising issues and failed to deliver a message about why she was the top candidate in an area. overcrowded.
Biden’s transportation secretary surprised the Democratic establishment and political watchers in 2020 with his out of nowhere campaign.
The former mayor of South Bend, Ind., a near stranger to Democrats, managed to win the Iowa caucuses, beating a group of better-known candidates. He then nearly won the New Hampshire primary.
Buttigieg continued to make a name for himself, traveling the country touting Biden’s infrastructure projects and visiting key swing states including Iowa, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Ohio.
Democratic strategists say he would be well-placed for a run in 2024. Yet even as Cabinet Secretary, some still wonder if he has enough political chops to make the jump to the Oval Office.
Warren maintains strong support from progressives and recently reignited the base when, in the days after the leaked draft notice quashing Roe v. Wade, she went to the Supreme Court and joined the protesters.
Videos of him taunting the potential decision have gone viral.
She also wrote an op-ed for The New York Times in which she discusses how Democrats could “avert disaster” in the upcoming midterm elections.
Warren said she has no plans to run for president.
“I’m not running for president in 2024, I’m running for the Senate,” she said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” last month. “President Biden is running for re-election in 2024 and I support him.”
But if Biden doesn’t show up, Warren would instantly enter the fray and his plans would likely change.
Few Democrats believe Sanders will run for president again.
But last month, the senator got back into the conversation when his aides circulated a memo revealing he was not saying no to a third presidential bid.
“Sen. Sanders has not ruled out another run for president, so we advise you answer all questions about 2024, keeping that in mind,” read the memo from Faiz Shakir, Sanders’ adviser who served as his 2020 campaign manager.
Sanders, who is considered the patriarch of the progressive movement, also penned an op-ed for Fox News calling for “Medicare for All.” But like Biden, Sanders’ age – he’s 80 – could cause him potential problems if he chooses to run again.
The Minnesota senator hasn’t fared very well in the 2020 presidential election, but if Biden doesn’t run, Klobuchar could benefit, receiving support from moderate Democrats.
When she traveled to New Hampshire earlier this year to deliver a keynote address to state Democrats, political observers couldn’t help but think she was quietly laying the groundwork for a possible race in 2024.
“It was one of the very first signs that some people had started to consider the next election,” said one strategist. “Because few people think Biden is going to run again.”