Friday, January 27, 2023

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: The Shadows of 2024


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.

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