AOC for President in 2024? According to the latest polling data from FiveThirtyEight, President Joe Biden has remained historically unpopular – with 55.6 percent of Americans disapproving of his performance and just 39.2 percent approving. The polling firm further noted that you’d have to go back to Harry Truman to find a president with a net approval rating that bad at this point in his term.
Biden’s popularity is even slipping in his childhood hometown of Scranton, Penn., so much so that he could have a difficult time in winning swing-state Pennsylvania should he seek re-election.
Say it Ain’t So, Joe
When asked if he actually planned to run for a second term, President Biden has made his point crystal clear – he’s planning to run. The only caveat was that if his health allowed it. Of course, there are already plenty of Americans out there who don’t believe Biden’s mental capacities are up to the task.
It is entirely possible that if the Democrats “take a shellacking” in the midterms – and see a replay of the 2010 results that much more populist President Barack Obama faced – then Biden could change his mind. By all indications, there is little hope for a blue wave in November, and it is almost a certainty that Democrats will lose control of the House and possibly the Senate as well.
Democrats will see the writing on the wall, and Joe Biden might have to accept it would be best to support some new blood instead. Already a few names have been mentioned, but there is one that is increasingly gaining steam…
AOC for President? Don’t Be Shocked
Topping the list for Democrat challengers is now Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) – known commonly by her initials AOC – who charged onto the national stage after she won her party’s primary election for New York’s 14th congressional district just four years ago.
She successfully defeated Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley, a 10-term incumbent, in what was widely seen as the most significant upset victory in the 2018 midterm elections. As the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress, she has quickly become a “media darling” thanks mainly to her progressive platform. Along with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), AOC became the first female member of the Democratic Socialists of America elected to service in Congress.
AOC has increasingly been touted as the “new” Barack Obama – a young outsider who is ready to shake things up.
AOC for 2024 Picks Up Steam
According to Democratic political strategist Michal Starr Hopkins, writing in an op-ed for The Hill, Ocasio-Cortez could be the party’s best hope to hold the White House in 2024 – especially if former President Donald Trump were to throw his hat back into the ring.
“Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is less of a personality and more of a movement. Yes, the smart, photogenic congresswoman is the face of the rising progressive movement, but she is also the future of the Democratic Party. AOC has cultivated a following beyond politics. She’s an influencer in its purest form. Her ability to relate to her supporters and allow them a glimpse into her private life is a blueprint for Democrats trying to act less like mannequins and more like humans,” Hopkins wrote.
The strategist further cited the film masterpiece The Godfather – fitting in that the film is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year – suggesting that if Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who had twice made a White House run, is “The Godfather,” than AOC is Michael Corleone, the son who brought the family into a new era.
“Bernie passing the torch to AOC and recruiting her to run for president would be bold and would strengthen and solidify her base of supporters before she even gets out of the gate,” Hopkins added, noting that she “wields a superpower that is rarely found in Washington.”
Hopkins had previously supported Joe Biden in 2020 but has been vocal that perhaps the sitting president “deserves a primary challenger” in 2024, just to prove that he is still a “fighter” for the Democrats. Such a scenario hasn’t happened in a generation.
The last first-term president to face primary opposition was President Jimmy Carter in 1980 when he face Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy. Four years early, Republican incumbent President Gerald Ford, who was, of course, elevated to the office, had been challenged by then former Governor of California Ronald Reagan – in which neither secured a majority of delegates before the convention. It is also worth noting that neither Ford nor Carter won the general election.
It is entirely possible that Biden could find himself in a similar scenario, with a similar outcome. Instead of looking like a “fighter,” he may appear a “loser” in waiting.
Alternatives to a Biden-Trump Rematch
There is little denying that the two men who might most want a Biden-Trump rematch are Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Biden may want to prove, even with low poll numbers, that the American people really chose him over Trump; while Trump seeks a comeback and vindication, which could support his claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
Of course, even as both men received more votes than any other candidates in U.S. election history, the fact remains many in their respective bases want fresh blood. Currently, 64 percent of Democrats surveyed in a New York Times/Siena College poll last month said they want a different nominee, while 51 percent of Republicans wanted someone other than Trump.
AOC could be the standard-bearer the Democrats seek, mainly as more Americans may be concerned with issues including health care costs and out-of-control inflation. The question is, which Republican hopeful might have the superpowers to challenge her?
A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.