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What Happens if A Candidate Dies? Questions About 2024 Elections

What Will Happen with Our Elections if One of The Candidates Vanishes?

When it comes to what’s about to unfold later this year, there’s only one question lingering on everyone’s lips: Who will win the presidential elections in November? Of course, this question is followed by many others, just as heavy and uncertain.

From what will happen to us if Donald Trump or current President Joe Biden wins to what happens if one of them dies, we decided to find answers to these impending questions. In fact, if you also have something on your mind and you don’t find it debated here, please write your questions in the comment section, and we will try to find the answers for you!

What happens if one of them dies?

First, we should start with President Biden and the Democrats. According to Reid Epstein from The New York Times, who is currently covering Mr. Biden’s re-election campaign, the Democratic Party has no plan B in case something happens to Joe Biden.

In fact, their only plan is that Joe Biden is the only Democratic nominee, so if he suffers a major health calamity (God forbid) between now and November or he decides to drop the race, they don’t have any backup plan. Obviously, we all hope that the president remains in good health.

As far as we can tell, he is as healthy as it gets. He even rides the peloton and such. For an 81-year-old man, it’s quite impressive. Moreover, there’s currently no reason to believe that he will wake up one day and decide that being president is not for him.

If you think about it, he wanted to be the president of the United States for most of his adult life. The first time he seriously considered running for president was in 1984, and ever since then, he has run three times. He already managed to raise more than $200 million in his re-election campaign, and there’s no reason to think that he will change his mind.

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How would the Democratic Party decide on a replacement?

The first scenario is before the Democratic convention in August. In this case, the delegates to this convention would have to choose both the president and the vice president if there was any vacancy. It would be a free-for-all type of convention.

Based on what we know about the current delegates, it would be quite hard to imagine a scenario where the presidential nomination didn’t go to Vice President Kamala Harris. The delegates are known to be quite loyal to the Democratic Party, and so far, the biggest caucus is women.

The second-biggest caucus is African Americans. Besides, those two groups are generally quite loyal to the vice president. It’s also very unlikely that other Democrats would step up and try to challenge Harris under such circumstances.

She could even be the president at that point, and that would imply challenging a sitting president. That’s quite a steep political lift for anyone in that type of chaotic environment.

Second scenario: after the convention. If something were to happen to Mr. Biden, or if he changes his mind, especially after being officially nominated, there’s really no precedent for what happens next. However, the document officially calling for the 2024 convention outlines the entire process.

Jaime Harrison, the Democratic National Committee chair, would receive the Democratic leadership in Congress and the leadership of the Democratic Governors Association. That group would be allowed to fill vacancies on the national ticket with some input from the broader D.N.C. membership, which is around 440 people.

On the Republican side, is there any chance it’s not Trump?

Now that we’ve tackled the Biden subject, let’s go together through the hypotheticals that might impede the 77-year-old Mr. Trump’s path to getting nominated. Well, the chances of him waking up one day and deciding not to proceed with his candidacy are virtually none.

The campaign is so deeply intertwined with his fight to escape prison time, especially given that he has been indicted four times and is now facing a certain trial starting at the end of March in Manhattan. So that definitely comes off the table.

In terms of whether there would be any health events, that’s not really an impossible thought. We know quite well from the White House doctors that he suffered from a certain form of heart disease during his presidency.

It’s quite unlikely that he dramatically changed in a positive direction. We don’t even know what his health state is at the moment, but we do know that at the end of 2022 when they were looking ahead to a campaign that he was about to run, there was some sort of private discussion about not holding too many events in part because of his age.

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Is there anything that could keep Trump away from the ballot?

Well, it would have to be something quite catastrophic to stop Trump. If it’s something mild, then he would definitely try to push forward, and I’m not quite sure we’d be aware of what is truly happening then, either. It’s not like any disease could stop Trump from being, well, himself.

If you remember well, at one point, he was really, really sick with COVID, and they were less than candid with his health state. So there’s really no reason to believe it would be any different this time. As for whether the Republican Party has any Plan B, we should be clear on something: there’s no party without Donald Trump.

For now, he is in the process of ousting his own hand-picked Republican Party chair to get another one who he thinks might focus more on his false claims of widespread election fraud. If something happened ahead of the convention, someone would have to alter the rules.

Then, the entire process involving the delegates would change as well, especially since Mr. Trump is the one leading in delegates right now. And Nikki Haley wouldn’t necessarily get those by default just because she is still actively participating in the campaign.

You would see plenty of other candidates who have suspended their candidacies in the past back on the stage, and then it would get decided at the convention. If something were to occur after the convention, then all 168 Republican members would have to meet once more and figure out what their next move would be. Even then, it could get quite murky, because depending on the timing, they could end up in a situation where a lot of states

What if Trump goes to prison and then gets elected?

Donald Trump has been indicted on no less than 91 felony charges across four criminal cases in both state and federal courts. On paper, he is about to face 700 years in prison. However, he’s also on track to win the G.O.P. nomination.

The question is: what happens if he is convicted and sent to prison but also wins the election? A lot might happen, and it all depends on timing. No matter what the timeline turns out to be, Mr. Trump’s legal status is definitely one of the wildest cards of the 2024 presidential election.

As soon as the election interference federal trial gets in the way, it will likely last between two and three months. I would probably say that at this point, barring the unforeseen, Mr. Trump will be convicted in the case.

As soon as there’s a conviction, there’s also a sentence. So the chances of Donald Trump getting convicted and serving many years in federal prison before the 2024 election are high.

Since we’re in the midst of intense election-related debates, you should check out this podcast called “American Elections: Wicked Game.” It’s definitely worth your time!

If you found this article interesting, then we also recommend reading: 2024 Presidential Election Candidates: Here’s the Final List

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