A longtime adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) says the self-proclaimed democratic socialist will likely take a "hard look" at launching a 2024 campaign to be selected as the Democratic Party's presidential nominee, the Washington Examiner reported.
However, such a move would also likely be contingent upon President Joe Biden not running for re-election to a second term in the next cycle.
Biden has repeatedly signaled that he intends to run again in 2024, but nothing has been made official yet, and that decision would likely be dependent upon several significant factors like his age, physical and mental health, and public approval numbers.
CBS News reported Thursday that Faiz Shakir, a longtime senior adviser to Sen. Sanders, told the outlet that the progressive Vermont senator would give some consideration to a 2024 run in the event that President Biden was not already seeking re-election.
"I assume that he would give it a hard look. I don't want to make the judgment for him. Obviously, it would be his choice to make. But I assume that he would want to reevaluate it," Shakir said.
Given that Sanders would be 83 in 2024, the top aide acknowledged that the senator is "very aware that he's older now and he'd have to make a real judgment about his own vigor and his stamina and his desire and hunger and passion to do this a third time."
"But if it were an open field? Yeah, I'm confident he would take another look at it and say, 'Do I want to do this or not?'" he said.
Shakir also acknowledged that Biden has stated his intentions to seek another term as president, which, if true, would render another Sanders run as a moot point -- hence, no preparations for a 2024 run by the left-leaning independent senator have been made as of yet.
"Personally, I take President Biden at his word and our orbit takes him at his word that he's taking it seriously and presume that he is leaning toward yes," Shakir added of a Biden re-election campaign.
According to a Top 10 list of potential Democratic candidates for 2024 compiled by The Washington Post, including President Biden in the top slot, Sen. Sanders was ranked seventh overall.
That places him behind the likes of Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg, Vice President Kamala Harris, Governors Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Gavin Newsom of California, and fellow Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
The Vermont senator fares a bit better in terms of his national polling average in various surveys of a prospective 2024 Democratic presidential primary field, however.
If Biden does seek re-election, Sanders would draw around 11.4 percent support in third place -- behind Biden's 39 percent and Harris' 14.4 percent -- but if the current incumbent were not in the running, then Sanders would be in second place with 13.3 percent support behind 25 percent for Harris.
Sanders, of course, has already run twice unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 2016 and 2020, and in both instances was clearly the preferred alternative of Democratic primary voters to the eventual nominees in those cycles, Hillary Clinton and Biden, respectively.