While most oddsmakers seem fairly confident that a Biden vs. Trump rematch is the most likely scenario in 2024, it’s clear that both the Democratic and Republican parties are exploring alternatives. A Biden-Trump rematch would be a unique occasion: a race between two highly unpopular Presidents each rife with vulnerabilities that would sink any other candidate against any other opponent. Therefore, there’s reason to believe that neither party is all-in on Biden or Trump just yet.
On the Republican side, Trump is considering declaring his candidacy unusually early in order to box out his most threatening potential rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. DeSantis’ star is rising in the GOP, and he’s expected to seize the opportunity to run for President. He’s currently trailing Trump by more than 20 points in early primary polls, but he’s a formidable opponent who could certainly give Trump a run for his money if he decides to challenge him.
For Democrats, Biden’s re-election prospects are looking worse by the day, as his performance and polling numbers continue to flounder. California Governor Gavin Newsom recently released a campaign ad which, oddly, aired in DeSantis’ home state of Florida and targeted DeSantis specifically: a clear signal that he’s mulling a potential run for the White House.
It’s highly unlikely that Newsom would challenge Biden in a primary if Biden decides to run again. If Biden seeks re-election, such a challenge would likely be construed as undermining the presumptive nominee in an already difficult campaign year. But it’s quite possible that his ad was designed to persuade Democratic donors and the White House itself that he - not Biden - is his party’s best bet in 2024. If he can make his case to party insiders before the midterms, they might convince Biden to step down and not run again. If Biden’s donors then flocked to Newsom, it would give him a tremendous advantage going into a Democratic primary.
Writer and author Anis Shivani joined us on our podcast to discuss some of these key developments in the early phases of the 2024 Presidential campaign, as well as the intriguing Pennsylvania Senate contest between John Fetterman and Dr. Oz.
Listen to our full conversation by clicking the player below, and subscribe to our podcast on any major podcast player.
Photos: AP, Getty, Gavin Newsom for Governor