Who would you prefer as the Democratic nominee if President Joe Biden decides not to run for re-election?

July 6, 2024
  • 1. Kamala Harris
  • 2. Gavin Newsom
  • 3. Gretchen Whitmer
  • 4. Josh Shapiro
  • 5. Pete Buttigieg
  • 6. Cory Booker
  • 7. Amy Klobuchar
  • 8. Andy Beshear
  • 9. Hillary Clinton
  • 10. Michelle Obama
  • 11. JB Pritzker

As the 2024 Presidential election approaches, the possibility of President Joe Biden stepping aside has sparked intense speculation about potential Democratic nominees. While there are several strong contenders, each comes with their own set of strengths and potential drawbacks. Let’s take a closer look at the leading figures who could step into the Democratic spotlight if Biden decides not to run for re-election.

Kamala Harris: The Obvious Successor

Pros: Vice President Kamala Harris is a historic figure, being the first Black and first female vice president. She has taken on critical issues like immigration and voting rights and recently emerged as a strong advocate for abortion rights. Her experience and position make her a natural successor, with a ready campaign infrastructure and high name recognition.

Cons: Harris has struggled with low approval ratings and has sometimes been viewed as a political liability. Her ability to inspire confidence against a formidable opponent like Donald Trump remains uncertain. Despite her recent improvements, doubts linger about her overall electoral appeal.

Gavin Newsom: The Progressive Governor

Pros: California Governor Gavin Newsom is a dynamic and accomplished campaigner with a strong record on progressive policies. He has effectively used his platform to criticize Trump and champion Democratic values. His experience governing a major state and his media savvy make him a compelling candidate.

Cons: Newsom’s tenure in California has been marred by significant challenges, including homelessness and high taxes. His infamous attendance at a lobbyist’s birthday dinner during COVID-19 restrictions has also tainted his image. These issues could be exploited by opponents and may hinder his campaign.

Gretchen Whitmer: The Battleground Leader

Pros: Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan has risen as a national star, especially after Trump’s attacks during the pandemic. Her successful re-election and progressive policy achievements in a key battleground state highlight her political prowess. Whitmer’s popularity in Michigan is a significant asset.

Cons: While Whitmer has a strong regional appeal, her national recognition is still developing. Her polarizing lockdown measures during the pandemic could be a double-edged sword, alienating some voters. Additionally, she would need to broaden her appeal beyond Michigan to secure a national victory.

Josh Shapiro: The Bipartisan Bridge

Pros: Governor Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania is known for his bipartisan approach and high approval ratings in a crucial swing state. His focus on practical issues and moderate stance could attract a wide range of voters. Shapiro’s ability to win over a deeply divided state is a promising sign.

Cons: Shapiro’s relatively low national profile could be a hurdle in a presidential race. His emphasis on bipartisanship might not resonate with the more progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Building a national campaign from his current state-level position would require significant effort.

Pete Buttigieg: The Young Visionary

Pros: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is a fresh and articulate voice with a strong focus on modernization and infrastructure. His previous presidential run showcased his ability to connect with younger voters and his skillful debate performances. Buttigieg’s intellectual rigor is a considerable asset.

Cons: Buttigieg’s experience is primarily at the local level as the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, which may be seen as insufficient for a presidential bid. His youth and perceived lack of experience could be points of contention for some voters. Additionally, his previous campaign faced challenges in garnering broad support among minority communities.

Cory Booker: The Charismatic Senator

Pros: Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey is known for his passionate advocacy and compelling oratory skills. His strong record on criminal justice reform and economic equity addresses key voter concerns. Booker’s charisma and national recognition are significant strengths.

Cons: Despite his strengths, Booker’s previous presidential campaign did not gain substantial traction. His ability to translate his Senate success to a national campaign remains untested. Questions about his broader electoral appeal and ability to unify the party persist.

Amy Klobuchar: The Pragmatic Senator

Pros: Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota offers a pragmatic and bipartisan approach to governance. Her focus on practical solutions and ability to work across party lines could appeal to moderate voters. Klobuchar’s midwestern roots provide a strategic advantage.

Cons: Klobuchar’s moderate stance might not energize the progressive base of the Democratic Party. Her previous presidential campaign, while solid, did not achieve significant momentum. Building a coalition that includes both moderates and progressives would be a challenging task.

Andy Beshear: The Red State Democrat

Pros: Governor Andy Beshear of Kentucky has demonstrated the ability to win in a traditionally Republican state. His focus on healthcare and education aligns with key voter priorities. Beshear’s success in a red state could provide insights into attracting a broader voter base.

Cons: Beshear’s national recognition is limited, and his success in a red state might not easily translate to a national campaign. His ability to appeal to the Democratic base while maintaining his red-state appeal would be a delicate balancing act.

Hillary Clinton: The Experienced Veteran

Pros: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton brings extensive experience and a well-established network. Her deep understanding of both international and domestic issues remains unparalleled. Clinton’s previous candidacy provides her with a solid foundation for another potential run.

Cons: Clinton’s previous loss to Trump and her polarizing figure within American politics might deter some voters. Questions about her ability to inspire new enthusiasm and overcome past controversies could impact her candidacy. Her re-entry into the race could also reopen old wounds within the party.

Michelle Obama: The Inspirational Leader

Pros: Former First Lady Michelle Obama is immensely popular and inspires millions with her advocacy on health, education, and community engagement. Her ability to connect with voters on a personal level is unmatched, and she could energize the Democratic base like no other.

Cons: Despite her popularity, Michelle Obama has consistently stated her lack of interest in running for office. Her absence of political office experience could be viewed as a disadvantage in a presidential campaign. Convincing her to run would be a significant challenge.

JB Pritzker: The Progressive Billionaire

Pros: Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has a strong record on progressive policies and substantial personal wealth. His victories in areas like abortion rights and gun control highlight his commitment to key Democratic values. Pritzker’s financial resources provide a significant advantage.

Cons: Pritzker’s status as a billionaire might alienate some voters who prefer a candidate with a more relatable background. His ability to connect with average Americans and address concerns about his wealth would be crucial. Additionally, his national recognition is still growing.


The Democratic Party faces a critical decision in selecting a potential successor to President Biden. Each candidate brings unique strengths and challenges, reflecting the diverse landscape of the party. While some candidates offer progressive visions, others provide a more moderate approach. As voters weigh their options, it’s clear that the path to the Democratic nomination will be both complex and closely watched. The question remains: Who would you prefer as the Democratic nominee if President Joe Biden decides not to run for re-election? Engage in the discussion and let your voice be heard.

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