President Joe Biden was never the Left’s top choice to lead the Democratic Party in 2020, and now that he is suffering from a prolonged bout of political weakness, they are weighing a challenge to him in 2024.
“It’s definitely something that’s brewing under the surface,” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign chairwoman Nina Turner recently told Hanna Trudo. “It’s called the anxiety of the American people, which is causing this scramble in political bubbles about what the possibilities can be.”
Trudo, who covers the Left full time, added, “A sizable faction of progressives believe Biden should be doing more to deliver economic and social relief for working and middle-class people and that those same demographic groups could be searching for an alternative well ahead of November 2024.”
With approval numbers worse than Biden’s, the Left is not looking at Vice President Kamala Harris as their replacement candidate. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s corporate consultant background also makes his candidacy a nonstarter.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sanders are both possibilities, but Sanders strategist Chuck Roa tells Trudo they may not be the right demographic for the modern Democratic Party.
“Old-school progressives, old white liberals, are a part of the coalition,” Rocha told Trudo. “But the majority of the coalition looks like 'the Squad.' It’s people of color. It’s younger people. It’s really around environmental justice, social justice, and, most importantly, economic populism.”
The only name Trudo identifies with both the policy credentials and the star power needed to raise hundreds of millions online from small-dollar donors is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
A Democratic primary challenge to a sitting Democratic president is not without precedent. As recently as 1980, Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy attempted to wrest the party’s nomination from a similarly unpopular Democratic incumbent unable to control inflation.
With a new Harvard poll of young voters showing even a majority of this overwhelmingly Democratic group disapprove of Biden’s job as president, it might just be time for Democrats to start looking for a 2024 alternative.