The fight for the nominations of the major parties is already off and running. Though there are still candidates contemplating whether or not to run. With Dems it depends on Biden’s decision. Several Republicans seem to be running regardless of the Trump candidacy. Here’s a look at the current field. First, the Dems.
All eyes are on Biden and on potential replacements if he bows out or is forced out by declining health or scandal. But would other Dems challenge him even if he wasn’t mortally hobbled, at least in their eyes? Maybe.
The DC rumor mill says California Governor Gavin Newsom wants to be president so bad he can’t wait for 2028. With press and some Democrats going after Biden on the classified documents issue, could that tempt Newsom or others into a primary fight against Biden? Yes, if the circumstances are right. Which means there would have to be a growing chorus against Biden, especially from black Dem leaders like Clyburn.
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Is that the case now? No. In fact Clyburn just warned Dems off Biden in 2024. But if circumstances change and Biden is seen by a consensus of Dem honchos as too vulnerable then expect Newsom, Harris, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, and a Sanders-like standard bearer from the hard left. That could be Pritzker. There may be more, but they are not readily apparent now. Half expect Beto or Abrams to jump in as well. Maybe Buttigieg too.
The GOP does not have a similar dilemma. Several will run against Trump. Despite his recent bizarre words on the Constitution and the comic book superhero move, Trump still commands a majority of the GOP base.
However, that number is gradually dwindling. From a high of 75 percent recent projections put it at a 55 percent support level amongst likely Republican primary voters. Though a solid majority on both sides of the aisle don’t seem to want either Trump or Biden to run again.
The Republicans who look like they will get in include Larry Hogan, Mike Pompeo, and Nikki Haley. DeSantis is still weighing his options. Hogan sees himself as a Trump picador to a DeSantis or Haley matador who would go in for the Trump kill after he was bloodied. Both Hogan and Pompeo think they can contrast their reasonable professionalism with Trump theatrics. Haley wants to play the female and immigrant card.
But Trump knows unless they solidify into one, max two, serious challengers by Super Tuesday, and probably before then, he will cut them up piecemeal and win primaries with 40 percent.
If that happens and a 2020 rematch goes down all bets are off. A damaged senile incumbent versus a former president who is loathed by half the country. It would be a choice America doesn’t want, but might get anyway. Jokers to the left, jokers to the right.
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