With the next Presidential race just around the corner in 2024, picking the nomination for the Republican party would be like shooting fish in a barrel. Two fish to be precise. The 46th and current governor of Florida Ron DeSantis whose support from the right is growing with every passing and, of course, the former President Donald Trump who wants a second shot at the White House despite being bogged down by several legal quagmires.
When it comes to the Democratic Candidates for President in 2024, the field is wide open. With Biden not exactly committing himself to run in two years’ time, a recent poll showed that 26 percent of Democrats wanted Biden to be their nominee in 2024, while 64 percent preferred ‘someone else.’ But who might that ‘someone else’ be? Who are the other candidates standing at the start line waiting for the pistol to fire and signal the start of a new race to the Oval Office?
Here we take a look at the top ten candidates vying to be the next Democratic candidate to run for and ultimately secure the Presidency in 2024 in a battle most likely against Donald J Trump.
1. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Serving as the U.S. representative for New York’s 14th congressional district since 2019, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (or AOC) has made herself quite the darling of the progressive left with her support for policies such as Medicare for All, tuition-free public college, and abolishing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, to name a few.
As the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress, it would seem unlikely that she would make a run for the top job at just 32. However, with her recently declining to say whether she’ll back Biden in 2024 has many eyebrows raised as to whether this is an indication that she plans to seek the nomination herself. Only time will tell.
2. Roy Cooper
Cooper served as the 49th attorney general of North Carolina for a considerable amount of time, from 2001 to 2017, before (reluctantly if the reports are to be believed) running for governor of North Carolina and defeating incumbent Republican Pat McCrory. In true modern Republican parlance, McCrory of course cried foul, claiming the election had been manipulated by voter fraud. When the recount was finished, Cooper had won by even more.
His apparent hesitance to run for governor might be an indicator that he is not quite ready to take that next step toward the Presidency. Democratic strategists seem to think otherwise as they are pushing him as a candidate who knows how to win. Cooper has consistently and repeatedly secured victory in a state carried by Republican presidential nominees, including in the same election.
3. Gretchen Whitmer
Although not as famous a name as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Michigan’s 49th governor Gretchen Whitmer certainly shares AOC’s unwillingness to lend their support for Biden should he choose to run in 2024. Elected governor in the 2018 gubernatorial election, the potential Democratic candidate would crush her Republican opponent, Attorney General Bill Schuette, by nearly a 10-point margin.
And the wild ride for Whitmer didn’t stop there. On October 8, 2020, the FBI arrested 13 men (one more was detained a week later) from a paramilitary militia group calling themselves the Wolverine Watchmen who were plotting to kidnap Whitmer and violently overthrow the state government. She faces a tight race against the Republican nominee Tudor Dixon in this swing state. However, if she can secure a second term by winning the 2022 Michigan gubernatorial election, a run for the White House is not an impossibility.
4. Gavin Newsom
Newsom had a lot to contend with in the last few years as he faced criticism for his personal behavior and leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic while serving as the 40th Governor of California. This prompted a recall election in 2021 to remove him from office. This failed, as Newsom easily won, as 61.88 percent of the voters in California wanted him to stay.
Newsom knows how to win and win big. Elected as the 42nd mayor of San Francisco in 2003 at just 36 years old, when it came to his reelection in 2007, he would win by securing a staggering 72% of the vote. Newsom himself hasn’t come out and stated that he plans to run for the White House, but his recent actions suggest otherwise. The potential Democratic candidate released an advert that took direct aim at Republican presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis which suggested to many political observers that Newsom sees DeSantis as his likely rival in 2024, so he’s getting a few early blows in.
5. Bernie Sanders
The reliable old guard of the left and Senator from Vermont, the self-identifying democratic socialist Bernie Sanders is no stranger to seeking the Democratic Party nomination for president of the United States. In 2016 and 2020, he was unsuccessful as he finished in second place in both campaigns, losing to Clinton and Biden respectively. At 80 years old it would seem to be unlikely that Sanders would be thinking third time a charm, but a memo released on April 20, 2022, might suggest otherwise.
Sanders’s 2020 campaign team sent a message to his supporters informing them that Sen. Sanders has not ruled out another run for president. Sanders himself had stated recently that he was ‘very, very unlikely’ to ever run again, but with the leaking of this memo and the fact that Politico reported that Sanders himself had approved it, we might just see the independent senator from Vermont once again run for the highest office in the land.
6. Elizabeth Warren
Becoming the first female U.S. senator from Massachusetts when she defeated incumbent Republican Scott Brown in 2012, Warren would win reelection in a landslide, defeating her Republican opponent, Geoff Diehl, and showing the Democratic party faithful that she can win big. She has already dipped her toes into the Democratic nomination waters when she announced her candidacy in the 2020 United States presidential election, briefly being considered the front-runner, but her campaign support soon went down the drain.
However, recently, with the overturning of Roe vs Wade, the democratic Warren is back front and center on the political stage as she continues to fight for the reproductive rights of women across the nation. She did come close to the White House when she was among the top four vice-presidential choices for Joe Biden, but that job would ultimately go to Senator Kamala Harris. Warren said she’s running for reelection and not president, but in a post-Roe vs Wade America, she might want to throw her hat back in the ring.
7. Amy Klobuchar
Serving as the senior United States senator from Minnesota since 2007 and the state’s first female senator, Amy Klobuchar recently became the chair of the Senate Rules Committee. Back in 2009, she was seen as a rising star of the Democratic Party and this lawyer would not disappoint. By the end of the 114th Congress in late 2016, she had passed more legislation than any other senator and by the end of 2018, she was responsible for sponsoring or co-sponsoring 111 pieces of legislation that became law.
Although Klobuchar has proven herself to be a very effective lawmaker, many see her political positions as very similar to Biden’s as she is also pro-choice on abortion and supports LGBT rights and the Affordable Care Act. She did briefly make a run for the Democratic nomination in 2020 and, like our previous entry, Elizabeth Warren was considered for the position of Vice President. Should Biden choose not to run in 2024, many of his supporters are likely to get behind Klobuchar instead.
8. Kamala Harris
The 49th vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris, is no stranger to firsts. Currently serving as the highest-ranking female official in U.S. history, the first African American and first Asian American vice president, this former attorney general of California has seen her popularity dwindle since she was inaugurated on January 20, 2021, alongside President Joe Biden.
Many have also questioned her temperament as her office has seen high staff turnovers that included her chief of staff, deputy chief of staff, press secretary, deputy press secretary, communications director, and chief speechwriter. With fifteen former vice presidents having ascended to the presidency, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Harris could seek to be the sixteenth. However, the potential Democratic candidate would need a drastic overhaul of her public persona to garner the sort of support needed to take her to the top job.
9. Pete Buttigieg
Currently serving as the 19th United States Secretary of Transportation, Buttigieg became one of the first openly gay men to launch a major party presidential campaign when he ran as a candidate for president in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries. Although he dropped out of the race and endorsed Joe Biden the following day, since then he has gained a reputation as a politician able to go on Fox News and combat the right’s talking points in a calm and steady manner.
If Trump should seek to run again in 2024, or even if he didn’t and DeSantis ends up as the Republican party’s preferred candidate, having a cool, calm, and collected opponent to the ever-increasingly hostile rhetoric coming from the right, many would see Buttigieg as a candidate they could get behind. A recent poll backed that up as Buttigieg polled higher than President Biden as a potential 2024 White House hopeful. Buttigieg however, continues to deflect any talk of another White House run.
10. Joe Biden
The 46th and current president of the United States, Joe Biden, has seen his popularity rebound a little after taking a bit of a nose dive in the last years. With a few legislative successes in recent weeks, the Biden administration is hoping the number will slowly creep back up. With Biden consistently saying that he intends to run for a second term, he will need his job approval ratings to be much higher than the less-than-impressive 38 percent it currently stands at.
With Biden salvaging his domestic policy agenda, fuel prices going down, good news on inflation, and an economy that looks to be bouncing back, his chances of serving a second term have been given a real shot in the arm.
If you’re interested in learning more about how democracy works in America, here’s an easy-to-read book that has a lot of information.
You may also want to read These US Elections Were Even Stranger Than Trump’s.