Although this early in the 2024 presidential race
incumbent President Joe Biden and former President
Donald Trump are the favorites for their respective
party nominations, nothing is settled.
Mr. Trump has already announced his candidacy,
and Mr. Biden appears intending to do so soon.
There is one additional announced GOP candidate,
former national security advisor John Bolton who is
considered unlikely to receive much support. No
notable Democrat has yet announced they will run.
Although he leads so far in many national polls. the
former president faces likely serious challenges in
the party primaries. Most notably, Governor Ron
DeSantis of Florida, who has not yet announced he
will run, already leads Trump in some state polls.
DeSantis, perhaps the biggest GOP winner in 2022,
appears to be the leading challenger in 2024. Former
South Carolina governor and later cabinet member,
Nikki Haley, shows some support in the early polls,
and is considering making the race. The conservative
party also has an impressive “bench” of potential
other candidates, including Governor Kristi Noem of
South Dakota, Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas,
Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, Senator Marco
Rubio of Florida, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina,
Mike Pompeo, and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
Democrats do not seem to have as impressive a
“bench,” but they do have a number of rising stars
who could run for president in 2024. Two names
frequently cited are Secretary of Transportation
Pete Buttigieg and California Governor Gavin
Newsom. Buttigieg, not yet a candidate, in fact led
Biden in a recent New Hampshire poll. Less
nationally well-known are Secretary and Commerce
and former Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo;
new Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro; and new
Maryland Governor Wes Moore.. Raimondo was
a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University with a law
degree from Yale and a successful businesswoman
before entering politics. Shapiro previously was state
attorney general, senior congressional staffer and
state legislator — and, like Raimondo, has a reputation
for moderate progressive politics. Moore, the first black
Maryland governor, was also a Rhodes scholar. An
army veteran and former investment banker, he was
also a TV producer.
Some Democrats who ran in 2020 (and lost to Biden)
could also run, but for Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth
Warren age would be an issue in 2024.
For now, however, major Democrats are holding back
in deference to their sitting president. It is no secret
that many Democrats hope he retires, and the brief
surge he enjoyed in the polls after the 2022 midterms
has already dissipated following the revelation of
classified documents he took home when he was vice
president. His age and physical condition are likely to
become an issue if he runs for a second term.
For now, the 2024 presidential race, less than two
years away, remains a match in the shadows. If
there is no incumbent running, there will likely be
many more candidates in both parties than named
above — just as there was in recent cycles,
Beginning with President Biden’s decision of whether
or not to run, the current tentative candidacy shadows
will disappear, and be replaced with the names and
faces in what promises to be an epic political contest.
Copyright (c) 2023 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.