scorecardDemocrats may have their eyes on governors to pursue a presidential run in 2024 if Biden doesn't
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Democrats may have their eyes on governors to pursue a presidential run in 2024 if Biden doesn't

Kayla Gallagher   

Democrats may have their eyes on governors to pursue a presidential run in 2024 if Biden doesn't
PoliticsPolitics2 min read
  • Democrats are desperately seeking a 2024 presidential candidate if Biden chooses not to run.
  • Governors J.B. Pritzker and Phil Murphy are on the list of potential candidates, Politico reported.

Democratic governors across the country might be planting seeds for a 2024 presidential run.

On Thursday, Politico reported that Democratic strategists are taking note of a slew of governors who are well-positioned to build campaign infrastructure as the party openly debates whether their nearly 80-year-old leader should run for reelection in 2024.

While President Joe Biden recently reaffirmed his plans to run for a second term, it hasn't tamped down much of the talk around his retirement. Biden himself signaled to his top advisors during his 2020 campaign that he would serve just one term if he was elected president.

Some Democrats are not-so-secretly concerned about the president, now 79, turning 82 by the time the 2024 presidential winner is inaugurated, as well as the state of his poll numbers with the midterms around the corner in November.

"Democrats need fresh, bold leadership for the 2024 presidential race," Sheila Higgins, a member of the Democratic National Committee and lawyer from Durham told the New York Times earlier this month. "That can't be Biden."

As some in the Democratic party desperately search for a candidate to turn to, governors are building their presidential resumes.

With the possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned by the Supreme Court, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has been rallying for abortion rights. California Gov. Gavin Newsom joined former President Trump's social media platform, Truth Social, to step right into the Republicans' lion's den.

David Axelrod, a former top advisor to Barack Obama, told Politico that if Biden chooses not to run, but late in the game, it doesn't give candidates enough time to "introduce themselves" to the country. This would put favor in the hands of candidates who already have the resources, like Pritzker and Murphy, according to Axelrod.

A major obstacle for governors is national name recognition, which takes time and resources to build. Candidates also have to build a national donor network to fundraise for their campaigns.

"Governors are a bit freer to get out there because they're not situated in Washington, but also because the imperative is greater for them to get into those national conversations," Axelrod told Politico.

Some governors have drawn national attention with their responses to COVID-19. In 2020, Dan Balz of the Washington Post wrote that, facing the crisis of the pandemic, many governors had "risen to the moment with presidential-style leadership."

Talk of Colorado Gov. Jared Polis' unique approach to the coronavirus has also been circling.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, has already set up a federal super political action committee (PAC) airing over $2 million worth of TV ads about what he's doing to combat inflation.

There are also whispers of some 2020-hopefuls stepping back into the ring. Vice President Kamala Harris would be likely to join some of her former opponents in the race, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey.

Sanders aides released a memo earlier in the year saying he has not closed the door on running for president a third time. But if Biden runs for re-election, Sanders has said he "will support him."

Biden still seems ready to battle Trump again. If the former president decides to run for a non-consecutive second term, Biden might not be able to resist. When Biden first started taking his presidential run seriously, New York Magazine reported that the president asked his aides: "If I don't run, who's going to beat him?"