This article originally appeared on our substack
By Ravi Gupta – Founder & Co-Host of The Lost Debate
President Biden is facing a historic level of doubt from his own party, principally driven by concerns about his age. He’s already the oldest president in American history, and if he’s reelected, he would end his second term at age 86––nine years older than Reagan was at the end of his second term.
Although voters and the news media are obsessed with Biden’s future plans, the Democratic establishment has largely stayed on message so far, tacitly supporting another run for Biden. No major candidate has stepped up to say they plan to run against him, and party luminaries are cautioning activists to stop fixating on the 2024 ticket. “Intense focus on 2024 only serves as a distraction from the very important work we need to do in 2022,” wrote former Obama Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer. I spoke to one veteran operative earlier this week who said a high-ranking DNC official yelled at him and hung up the phone at the very mention of replacing Biden.
My prediction: The 2022 results will be so bad for Democrats that a trickle of prominent candidates will begin to flirt with challenging Biden within weeks of the midterms. That trickle will turn into a roaring geyser in early 2023, when even the most careful of potential candidates see the opportunity before them. Faced with the prospect of becoming the first sitting president in modern history to go down in a primary, Biden will bow out of the 2024 race.
Of course, Biden could get ahead of the inevitable and announce before the midterm elections that he doesn’t intend to run again. He might decide that acknowledging the obvious could help bring back voters disappointed with his performance so far.
Either way, it’s extremely likely that the top of the Democratic ticket in 2024 will be someone other than Biden. But who will it be instead?
Below, I share a power ranking of the most formidable prospects, starting with Nos. 10 through 5. Next week, I’ll share my top five, including a top pick that might surprise you. Just to be clear: this isn’t a ranking of my favorite candidates, but rather my take on who’s most likely to prevail in a Biden-less primary.
That’s enough premature speculation for one day. Stay tuned next week for my top five.