Tue, Jul

If Biden Steps Aside, Harris Poised to Be Unbeatable for 2024 Nomination, Experts Say


ELECTION 2024? - If President Biden steps aside, Vice President Harris would likely be the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination due to her strong endorsements, funding, optics, and the political landscape of 2028, according to top officials interviewed by Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei for a Behind the Curtain column.

Harris's candidacy would receive significant support if Biden endorses her, likely bringing in endorsements from the Obamas and Clintons. This alignment would make any challenge to her nomination a direct affront to the sitting president and two former presidents.

With Biden's endorsement, Harris's position as the first woman vice president, first Black American vice president, and first South Asian vice president would make her nearly unassailable within the Democratic Party. Top-tier Democrats would risk their political futures by opposing her.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who chaired the House Jan. 6 committee, told Axios' Hans Nichols that Harris is "incredibly strong." He emphasized that praising Biden's performance inherently includes recognizing Harris's contributions, suggesting that sidelining her would be detrimental to the party.

Despite rumors and polls suggesting a potential withdrawal, Biden has firmly stated he is not leaving the race. Following a new poll showing him losing ground to former President Trump, Biden joined Harris on a campaign call, insisting, "No one's pushing me out ... I'm not leaving."

Polls indicate that Harris performs similarly to Biden in hypothetical match-ups against Trump, sometimes better. A post-debate CNN poll found Harris in a statistical tie with Trump and slightly stronger than Biden due to broader support from women and independents.

Biden might endorse Harris publicly while pairing her with a moderate Democratic governor, such as Pennsylvania's Josh Shapiro, Kentucky's Andy Beshear, North Carolina's Roy Cooper, or Illinois's J.B. Pritzker, to strengthen the ticket.

Harris’s nomination would contribute significantly to Biden’s legacy. Democratic operatives believe she is nearly unbeatable for both political and practical reasons. If Biden decides to step down, top Democrats expect he would endorse Harris, solidifying her as his successor and continuing the governance they have shared.

Potential challengers would risk their future prospects by opposing Harris due to her established support and formidable campaign infrastructure. Defeating Harris, who would have the backing of the White House, DNC, and Biden-Harris campaign, and then overcoming the Trump machine within the limited time before Election Day, would be an exceptionally challenging feat.