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Who Replaces Joe Biden If He Doesn’t Run in 2024?

President Joe Biden appears to be taking his time to declare his candidacy for re-election. What if Biden won’t run?

Former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden speaking with attendees at the Presidential Gun Sense Forum hosted by Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
Former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden speaking with attendees at the Presidential Gun Sense Forum hosted by Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa.

If Not Joe Biden in ’24, Then Who? – Joe Biden is running for the White House again in 2024. But what if his health won’t allow it? 

Should he decide, due to his age or poor poll numbers not to seek a second term, Democrats could look to several other options.

Joe Biden: Who Takes His Place? 

Vice President Kamala Harris has recently stumbled with a series of blunders and embarrassing situations. However, she led a trial heat among Democrats in early February. Democrats were asked who they would support if Biden decided not to seek re-election, and 28% said they would support Harris. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg trailed her at 11%.

Harris played a key role in the Biden administration’s messaging on abortion following the overturning of Roe v. Wade last summer. Democrats are hoping that they can capitalize on their base’s enthusiasm for abortion rights, which they believe blunted the projected Republican red wave during the midterms last fall.

She also had an important role choosing Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for the Supreme Court after Justice Stephen Breyer retired last year. 

Harris’ negatives have been a serious worry for Democratic strategists because many privately believe she is not ready to be president. Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo snubbed Harris to her face during her recent visit to Ghana by asserting his support for China. Her trip was supposed to have worked to counter Chinese expansion in the region. 

Gavin Newsom? 

California Gov. Gavin Newsom could be another plausible replacement for Biden at the top of the Democratic ticket.

He has a strong Left-of-center record as governor of California. He defeated the recall effort against him in 2021 that materialized in the wake of his heavy-handed handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Newsom was in Florida back in April trolling likely Republican presidential candidate Gov. Ron DeSantis, claiming that DeSantis was a weak guy who has to “bully” the most vulnerable.

His handling of the state’s homelessness crisis could be a general election liability for him. The state’s capital of Sacramento has seen a 67% increase in homelessness since the start of the pandemic. 

Voters from his home state are on record not wanting to see him on the ballot.

What About Robert F. Kennedy? 

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. already indicated an intent to run against Biden even if he stayed in the race to highlight the Biden administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kennedy will indeed run against Biden for the nomination – and has been gaining momentum.

“I have filed with the FEC and will announce my candidacy for President on April 19 in Boston. I am grateful for the outpouring of support. Help me in my bid to win in 2024 + reunite America,” Kennedy wrote.

Kennedy represents a more traditional kind of Liberal ideology that is skeptical of government power and of the role of the security state in government. He opposes the weaponization of government against political dissenters and is closer in his thinking to his father, the late Robert F. Kennedy, the late U.S. attorney general and senator. 

Kennedy’s comparison of COVID-19 lockdowns with the Nazi holocaust and his stances against vaccines likely would prove more challenging in the Democratic primaries and caucuses. Today’s Democratic Party is the party of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders, not the party of President John F. Kennedy. The latter’s positions today would be more at home in the Republican Party than among Democrats.

He could potentially lure blue-collar Democrats who became Republicans to vote for Donald Trump back into the Democratic Party fold to vote for him.

Self-help guru Marianne Williamson, who ran a colorful campaign in 2020, is also running for the nomination against Biden. She claimed during the early Democratic presidential primary debates that the only way to beat Donald Trump was to  “harness love for political purposes.” 

She is largely considered a fringe candidate, but the notoriety she gained from the last presidential cycle could increase interest in her this time around.

The 2024 campaign would be Harris’ to lose if her boss, Joe Biden, chooses retirement over spending his 80s in the White House. 

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Written By

John Rossomando is a senior analyst for Defense Policy and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics,, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator,, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award in 2008 for his reporting.