Vice President Kamala Harris and former first lady and secretary of state Hillary Clinton were the top two candidates in a poll that measured the Democratic field if President Joe Biden decides not to run for re-election in 2024.
Premise took the poll of over 2,000 people, and Harris came out on top with 29%. Clinton was next with 20%. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had 11% and the other candidates were all in the single digits.
Biden has repeatedly hinted that he will be running for re-election and is expected to be announcing his bid in the coming weeks.
But polling has shown that most people don’t want Biden to run for re-election, and some Democrats have expressed doubts about whether Biden should be the nominee.
Where are the good candidates?
It’s entirely possible, however, that Biden is still the best choice for the 2024 nod. Harris’s approval has polled even lower than Biden’s, and voters’ disdain for Clinton was a big part of what pushed Donald Trump into the White House in 2016.
Both Clinton and Harris are fairly desperate to get to the White House–Clinton would be the first woman president and Harris would be the first black woman president, giving them a permanent place in the history books. But is either one of them a quality candidate for the leader of the free world?
It seems that there is a dearth of high-quality candidates in the Democrat party currently, or at least ones that have the national visibility and backing to win a national nomination.
Age is also a problem Harris is the only potential candidate in the top three who is under age 75, but she has many of the annoying qualities that made Clinton unpalatable to voters (vapid speeches, an annoying cackle she deploys at inopportune times).
Of course, we on the right believe that candidate quality is reflective of the quality of ideas that the party has espoused in recent years, but we have our own problems with candidate quality, as it turns out.
Matchup against Republicans
Pollsters have not yet begun to explore how Harris and Clinton would match up against the two GOP frontrunners, former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Trump beat Clinton in 2016, and she would have twin obstacles of age and unlikeability to overcome.
Trump would have a field day with Harris because there are just so many things to mock. As long as he stays away from race, and he undoubtedly will, he will never run out of fodder, if the past few years are any indication.
DeSantis just seems to be a steamroller of policies people don’t like, which has made him popular, but it remains to be seen whether he can withstand Trump’s attacks on him and win the nomination.
A war seems to be brewing in the GOP between those who want to move on from Trump and see DeSantis as a viable alternative and those who remain loyal Trump supporters.
Whatever happens, 2024 won’t be boring.