Despite President Joe Biden’s multiple claims he intends to run again, strategists and members of his party have doubts.
With economic turmoil ongoing and disastrous public polling, many of the president’s allies are concerned the upcoming midterms will further weaken his campaign.
Biden will also be 81 years old in November of 2024 and is already the oldest president in history after being sworn in at age 78.
“If he’s weakened, the sharks will be circling the tank,” said one Democratic strategist who asked to speak candidly to The Hill.
Should Biden not run, his successor is not as apparent as one would think.
Vice President Kamala Harris should be the obvious successor, yet she faces her own hurdles.
After a series of staff resignations, she has mostly stayed secluded in Washington. Her approval rating is no better than Biden’s and her unpopularity among other top Democrats is apparent.
“I’m not so sure whether any Dems will defer to the VP if President Biden decides not to run,” said Democratic strategist Jim Manley. “If he decides not to run, I don’t think she has a lock on it.”
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is seen as eager to run, though his younger age (40) leaves him comparatively inexperienced compared with other potentials.
Progressive Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are also obvious contenders.
Most recently, New York Mayor Eric Adams is allegedly considering a run should Biden bow out.
For now, Democrats are focused on midterms, which could provide the answers they’re waiting on.