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AOC Running for President in 2024? Here’s Why It Could Happen

Texas AOC
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

AOC vs. Biden in 2024? A recent Quinnipiac poll was filled with bad news for President Joe Biden. His job approval rating among all Americans was at just 33 percent. Among registered voters alone, it was barely better at 35 percent. But two numbers should especially terrify Democrats.

Biden’s support among young voters was abysmal. Only 21 percent of the 18-34 age group approved of the job he was doing as president while an eye-popping 58 percent disapproved. Only 26 percent of Hispanics said they approved while 54 percent disapproved. 

The president won both voting blocs in 2020. And even if you take these numbers with a grain of salt, it will be hard for the Democrats to avoid sweeping losses this November, much less two years from now, without strong turnout from younger and Hispanic voters.

Perhaps Democrats do have someone on their bench who could turn these numbers around: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or as the kids like to say, AOC. 

The liberal Squad leader is young, but she will turn 35 shortly before the 2024 presidential election. The Democratic Party’s gerontocracy could be a reason for the slippage with the youths. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Majority Whip James Clyburn are all over 80; Biden will celebrate his 80th birthday shortly after the midterms this year.

Ocasio-Cortez is also Hispanic. She has been outspoken about what considers the party’s “really disgraceful” lack of Latino representation in leadership. There’s an obvious way for her to help rectify the problem.

Biden has reportedly already told former President Barack Obama that he is planning on running for reelection in 2024. He wouldn’t easily surrender the job he has been pining for since before Ocasio-Cortez was born. But unless his numbers rebound, a Democratic primary challenge cannot be ruled out.

It would be logical for that challenge to come from the left. That’s where the last serious primary bid against a sitting Democratic president came from, when Sen. Ted Kennedy took on the similarly inflation-plagued Jimmy Carter. Sen. Bernie Sanders has just mounted two consecutive progressive challenges to the party establishment, taking on Biden in 2020 and Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Progressives would like to build on that momentum, but should look to get younger at the position. Already 80, Sanders is older than Biden. An even semi-successful challenger would need to run a vigorous, youthful campaign in contrast with Biden, who has clearly lost a step. Even if Biden cannot be dislodged, the campaign would be a good movement-building exercise for an ascendant but frustrated wing of the party.

While Republicans hammer Biden for his liberal record, there is also an opening on the left to hit him for all the progressive things that remain undone. No Build Back Backer, no filibuster reform and therefore no voting bills. No Supreme Court expansion. Yes, a lot of that is because the Senate is evenly split and reliant on the votes of its least liberal Democrats. But left-wingers also regard Biden as unimaginative and too wedded to outdated concepts about bipartisanship and Washington institutions.

AOC is also a prodigious fundraiser and organizer. She could mobilize people Biden can’t. And while Biden or another establishment Democrat would likely have a convincing financial edge, she could raise enough money to stay competitive.

All this amounts to the case for AOC in 2024. The downsides of her running would be equally huge. She’s never run outside of a deep, blue district before. A national campaign is a very different animal. 

While Ocasio-Cortez is adept at creating viral moments, it’s not clear how she would do under serious media scrutiny. Up until now, she has mostly gotten flattering press outside of conservative publications. That would change if she took on Biden.

Then there is the matter of what would happen if she won the nomination. At a fundamental level, her candidacy would be a rejection of the voters’ main reasons for turning on Biden — that he is too liberal — and leaning heavily into the position that he has failed because he hasn’t been left-wing enough. 

AOC represents all the trends — wokeness, defunding the police, abolishing immigration enforcement, cultural radicalism — that have driven working-class voters, including a nontrivial number of Hispanics, away from the Democratic Party. But as an overt socialist, she has none of the guardrails that have made it safe for suburbanites to vote blue. 

Democrats themselves have recoiled in horror at the prospect of such a nominee. When Sanders looked like he might have a real shot at heading into the general election, Democrats — especially black voters — turned out in droves, fearing the worst electoral drubbing since George McGovern’s 49-state landslide loss in 1972. 

That’s how we ended up with Joe Biden.

Now a 1945 Contributing Editor, W. James Antle III is the Washington Examiner’s politics editor. He was previously managing editor of the Daily Caller, associate editor of the American Spectator, and senior writer for the American Conservative. He is the author of Devouring Freedom: Can Big Government Ever Be Stopped? You can follow home on Twitter: @Jimantle.

Written By

W. James Antle III is the Washington Examiner's politics editor. He was previously managing editor of the Daily Caller, associate editor of the American Spectator, and senior writer for the American Conservative. He is the author of Devouring Freedom: Can Big Government Ever Be Stopped?

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Vandervecken

    April 19, 2022 at 7:30 pm

    ROFLMAO the only Democrat LESS likeable and less competent than Kamala Harris!

    PLEASE.

    • GhostTomahawk

      April 23, 2022 at 4:58 pm

      I was thinking the same thing. AOC is a “stuffed bra” she’s had other people writing her stitches and doing her talking points. Those people are gone and now she’s reduced to videos while she’s putting on her makeup.

  2. Commentar

    April 19, 2022 at 7:41 pm

    A country led by 80-year-old diaper wearers ain’t exactly setting a good light to the rest of the world but AOC is lightweight against gop in 2024.

    Perhaps Austin could run in the election two years time.

  3. Rich

    April 19, 2022 at 8:03 pm

    We can only pray that AOC is the Dem candidate in 2024! Please Lord let it be!

  4. Him

    April 20, 2022 at 1:41 am

    If AOC were to be the Democrat candidate for 2024, Trump would not even need to campaign to be assured a landslide victory. But, then again, with Dominion machines, drop boxes, no voter ID, inaccurate voter rolls, courts that refuse to see evidence, Republicans who cross the floor to vote with Democrats, and a Media in lock-step with the Democrats … hey, given that, I would not rule out an AOC victory.

  5. JDUC

    April 20, 2022 at 7:56 am

    I would vote for her, but she’ll have to leave the Democratic Party first.

    Till then, I’ll just rather not vote.

  6. Wim Vincken

    April 20, 2022 at 8:02 am

    Ha! I think that Biden will never reach the primaries, because he’ll be indicted and kicked out of the White House before that.

    And if there is an AOC as president, maybe we better wait with indicting, because Biden will be so much better compared with AOC.

  7. Eric

    April 20, 2022 at 10:51 am

    Him… I guess we have American misinformation spreaders on this site too.

  8. Bill in Houston

    April 20, 2022 at 3:58 pm

    She makes a better pole-dancer than president. IQ of a rock, all her lines are fed to her, and she’s probably a paid actress.

  9. Dan Jester

    April 23, 2022 at 6:23 am

    You can’t be serious? AOC could not win a committee assignment under a blind vote. She threw her weight behind Sanders who lost twice. AOC along with the progressive platform demonstrated they can’t win a democratic nomination because they are outside the mainstream. What are her accomplishments? Eric Adams out performed AOC in the Bronx. She doesn’t have an original thought in her brain.

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