Who will be the Democratic candidate in 2024? More importantly, why is this question even being asked before the 2022 midterms? The answer to this last question is simple, the Democratic Party is sinking into a civil war which has only just begun and which will continue as far as the eye can see.
Democrats at all levels are asking if Joe Biden will run for re-election and, if he doesn’t, who should the nominee be? Not only is this discussion unprecedented so early in a presidency, but also the fact that Vice President Kamala Harris is not seriously considered as a potential candidate for 2024.
There is no doubt that the timing of the discussion distracts Democrats from their needed message ahead of the November midterms. On the surface, the reason for the debate is the poor results of the Biden administration and its associated polls, which have steadily dipped into the 1930s.
As I wrote in September 2021, when Biden’s poll was in the mid-40s, there were plenty of reasons why no one should expect Biden’s numbers to recover much. Indeed, his numbers have only gotten worse.
The Democrats, however, face a much bigger problem than the 2022 election or the 2024 candidate. The real problem facing the Democratic Party is that the large socialist element in government is the growing element of the party and that he is at war with the other declining factions of the party. Historically, once this fight is underway, it is a long and deadly battle that can lead a party to spend time in the political wasteland, as evidenced by the history of the Labor Party in England.
Also remember that the 2020 Democratic nomination race was every man for himself. Two dozen candidates fought for attention, pushing the party ever further to the left. This dynamic brought socialist Bernie Sanders to the brink of victory, which likely would have spelled annihilation for the party. This outcome was only avoided by a very public brokerage of the nomination which resulted in the abandonment of the candidates and the handing over of the nomination to an otherwise floundering Joe Biden.
During the process, Biden promised his administration would be “the most progressive in history.” He certainly kept that promise. Indeed, despite horrendous polling numbers, below 40% at the time of this writing, Biden has stayed the course.
Normally such numbers would result in a course correction. But, as Brian Riedl rightly points out in the New York Post, “Biden won’t fight inflation because he doesn’t want to irritate unions and environmentalists.” Therein, the problem of the Democrats is summed up. Even a Democratic president, at this point, cannot confront the extreme left of his Democratic party. Normally, a president drives the agenda of his party. Not today.
This problem for Biden, if he sees it as a problem, will not end for him as long as he remains president. Indeed, it will likely rise as Biden weakens.
In practice, Biden’s weakness means the 2024 Democratic nominating process is already underway — and, just like in 2020, it should be free for all. Before they are fully underway, however, the midterm elections will be contested and this is expected to see Democrats lose more than 40 House seats and control of the Senate.
Who will be to blame for this? Logically, one would conclude that the policies that led to the current election would be called into question. The loudest voices in the Democratic Party will say otherwise, however. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.) will argue that the Democratic Party has not gone far enough in its policy and that’s why they lost.
Will Biden oppose this view? Probably not given his weakness and the fact that his administration is dominated by the far left. To be seriously countered, it would have to come from worried donors.
What is certain is that just past midterm, if Democrats lose the House and Senate, more than 30 Democrats will push for the 2024 Democratic nomination. The low barrier to entry allows a so many to have such ambitions. Keep in mind that Pete Buttigieg ran in 2020 and received less than 9,000 votes in his last election before running for president.
Once again, this free-for-all will have Democrats swinging left to get voters’ attention. As that happens and January 2024 approaches, the non-Sanders/Warren/Ocasio-Cortez faction of the Democratic Party will be tested and may well need to save the party from itself. Who will it be? Joe Manchin? Donors? Or will Barack Obama step in again to make sure Bernie doesn’t get the nomination?
Only time will tell, but surely the Democrats’ civil war is here to stay.
The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Epoch Times.