Before his victory in the 2020 election, there were numerous instances where then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden appeared to be experiencing a decline in his mental sharpness and abilities. Over the past two-plus years in the Oval Office, these concerns have intensified, and recent polls indicate that a majority of Americans no longer see him as competent enough to serve a second term.
Consequently, there is a growing chorus of voices calling for the replacement of both President Biden and his unpopular vice president, Kamala Harris, on the Democratic ticket for the 2024 election. Some potential candidates have already emerged.
Fox News reported on Saturday that while there is still time to introduce a new candidate, the window of opportunity is rapidly closing.
The outlet noted:
Democrats already have a process in place to find a new candidate for the general election. That is the presidential primary. Democrat voters will head to the polls from January to June next year and select a presidential nominee.
Biden already faces competition from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Marianne Williamson for that nomination, but polling shows that Democrat voters are not enthusiastic about them.
This implies that the Democratic Party would require another candidate who can garner strong support from its base to come forward in the near future.
“The most likely candidate is California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has toured red states, called for a national referendum on guns and challenged presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to a debate on Fox News,” Fox News reported.
“Rumors are also swirling around the popular governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer. And Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who ran for president in 2020 on the need for generational change, has maintained a high profile while serving in the Biden cabinet,” Fox News reported, adding: “If any of these candidates want to mount a challenge, they have a few weeks left to join the race without compromising their ability to win.”
As per standard procedures, many states require candidates to submit a declaration by a specific date to secure a spot on their primary ballot. Nevada has the earliest deadline, set for October 15, which is just under a month away. Additionally, another 14 states have filing deadlines by the end of the year.
Furthermore, President Biden has the ability to influence his own destiny. If he secures the nomination, which appears likely at this juncture, he could also decide to step down and withdraw from the race during the Democratic National Convention, scheduled for August 2024. Delegates are allocated to candidates as primaries take place, but the final vote for a candidate doesn’t occur until the nominating convention.
“If Biden wins a majority of delegates but wants to step down, he could use a speech prior to the convention or even during the week to endorse another candidate,” Fox noted. “Under Democratic Party rules, pledged delegates are not required to vote for the candidate they represent but are told to ‘reflect the sentiments of those who elected them,’ so an endorsement from Biden would be very influential.”
Nonetheless, this approach is complex and comes with risks. If President Biden cannot convince a sufficient number of delegates to support his chosen candidate, multiple rounds of voting would occur until a candidate secures a majority. However, this process could portray Democrats as divided and disorganized, especially during a week when the party is under intense scrutiny.
“This all makes a second Biden run the most likely outcome in 2024. If a candidate wants to change that, they would need to act now and accept that they are taking on an unprecedented challenge,” Fox News noted.