The 2024 Horserace is Underway – Who are the Favorites?

Although the 2024 presidential election is more than two years away, the horserace has begun, with potential candidates jockeying for financing, recognition, and position. After all, the US President is still the most powerful position in the world, although how long that remains the case is questionable with the rise of new financial and political world orders which may leave the US on the outside looking in.

The incumbent president typically has a huge advantage in reelection, although there are notable exceptions named Carter, Bush, and Trump. President Biden falls into the Carter category, presiding over a dismal economy. At least Carter recognized and made some attempt to right the sinking ship.

Biden is instead babbling incoherently and shaking hands with the air. Can he be reelected despite is already failed presidency? The Washington Post believes he is planning on running for a second term.

Slow Joe’s approval rating has dipped into the political death zone, 29 percent according to a recent Civiqs survey. Rasmussen has him polling  higher, but still in the low 40s, a full 5-10 points below Trump at a similar point in their presidencies.

YouTube screen grab

Inflation is over 9 percent, and we are likely to confirm, in a few weeks what many already sense, that we are in a recession. The President and his team are making no effort to turn things around, only taxing, spending, and regulating America into further stagflation.

A Siena College poll finds 64% of Democrats, not even waiting for the midterm election results, want their candidate in 2024 to be someone other than Biden. What about Biden’s number two?

A Rasmussen Reports survey found Vice-President Kamala Harris as “unpopular and unqualified”, not a ringing endorsement if she were to run instead of her boss. Like Biden, her utterances are word salads devoid of meaning or leadership.

Hillary Clinton is the “best bet for Democrats in 2024” according to Democrat political consultant Douglas Schoen. Betting on a two-time presidential loser, who was deemed unsuited and unlikeable by voters for her party’s nomination against Barack Obama, then in the general election against Donald Trump, is a sign of the Democrats’ weak bench. Hillary has also said a presidential campaign in 2024 is “out of the question” although she has not been known for her veracity.

Who are the dark horses? One obvious name is Michelle Obama. Filmmaker Joel Gilbert, in his new film and book, “Michelle Obama 2024: Her Real Life Story and Plan for Power”, reviews her narrative and makes a compelling case for her candidacy in 2024, not as an endorsement, but as a potential option for Democrats given their lack of electoral talent.

Gilbert notes that like her politically successful husband, Michelle O hid her elite background and lifestyle, is creating a cult of personality, was a keynote speaker at the 2016 and 2020 DNC conventions, and is currently on a self-promoting book tour. These are all moves her husband made seeking his party’s nomination in 2008 and which served him well. Could these tricks work for his wife?

Given the sad state of the country, will Americans elect someone to run the country who never held political office and who has no relevant executive experience? After the Clintons and Bushes, America may not want another family dynasty.

Will Bernie make another go at it? Doubtful as he will be 82 years old on Election Day. Elizabeth Warren will be 75 and is as unlikeable as Hillary Clinton. Mayor Pete was a better mayor than Transportation Secretary, and that isn’t saying much. Any other Democrat retreads want to make a run, such as Michael Bloomberg or Howard Schultz? Perhaps Marianne Williamson and her mood rocks and scented candles?

Are there any competent Democrat governors out there? Most prominent ones beclowned themselves during COVID with draconian diktats that they themselves refused to obey, telling their subject not to travel while they vacationed freely out of state.

California Governor Gavin Newsom, having avoided being recalled, is making moves toward the White House. Aside from his policies making a mess of California, including crime, homelessness, and taxes, he too has a “practice what you preach” problem. He dined lavishly and maskless at the French Laundry while telling his residents to do the opposite, then took his family on vacation to Montana, a state he forbids travel to on state business due to Montana being insufficiently woke on LGBTQ issues.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker is also making moves, but the state of Illinois, like California, is nothing to brag about. Also, in the age of television and social media, Pritzker’s body habitus won’t work in his favor. Right or wrong (please don’t accuse me of fat shaming), has any president in recent memory not been tall and relatively slim? Trump might be an exception to the slim bit, but he is not the size of Pritzker and has enough charisma to overcome any negatives about his weight and orange hair.

Appearance matters and has for 60 years going back to the Nixon Kennedy debates. The Washington Post agrees, citing a study showing that voters dislike overweight candidates.

A dark horse potential candidate is my Colorado Governor Jared Polis. He is a Colorado native, an Ivy League grad, and wealthy. He has a net worth of $400 million from successful business ventures including Blue Mountain Arts, an e-greeting card firm, and Pro Flowers, an online florist. How many successful businesses has Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer created? Or Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren?

While Polis is a liberal Democrat, he tries to position himself as a libertarian, enough to fool moderate voters. During COVID, instead of playing dictator like many of his fellow governors, he allowed the counties to make their own rules regarding masks, preferring local rather than statewide public health decisions. He is also in favor of school choice and a zero state income tax rate.

Most importantly in Democrat circles, Polis is openly gay, checking the important Democrat box of intersectionality, yet he doesn’t wear it on his sleeve like Mayor Pete for example. As the Democrat house of cards continues to wobble, keep an eye on Jared Polis emerging from the fire as the Democrats’ best hope, assuming he has such ambitions.

On the Republican side, this is still Donald Trump’s party. He leads the 2024 GOP primary field by 20 points in New Hampshire and Texas, although polls this early are hardly predictive, other than gauging current sentiment.

A Harvard Caps Harris Poll found Donald Trump as the currently most popular politician in America, along with 70 percent of Americans believing the country is on the wrong track. DeSantis is leading Trump in fundraising this year, fueling speculation about his prospects as a presidential or perhaps Trump VP candidate.

Despite the mean tweets and Queens bluster, Trump presided over a strong America, economically and internationally, in sharp contrast to the current White House occupant. Could other Republicans make a run for it? Certainly, and names like DeSantis, Pompeo, Haley, and Pence pop up, but Trump is still the GOP kingmaker in terms of drawing crowds and creating enthusiasm, but it remains to be seen whether “Trump fatigue” will factor in leading Republican voters to say “thanks but no thanks” to another Trump campaign.

Regarding 2024, Trump recently said, “I’ve already made that decision”, but the timing and what that decision actually is are still up in the air. Whether Trump runs or not, he will have a major influence on the 2024 election. Given the dismal and declining state of America under Democrat leadership, 2024 is for the Republicans to lose.

Given their propensity to shoot themselves in the foot electorally, nothing is a sure thing but given their strong cadre of candidates, it should be a GOP cakewalk. Let the horserace begin!

Brian C Joondeph, MD, is a physician and writer.  Follow me on Twitter @retinaldoctor. Truth Social @BrianJoondeph. LinkedIn @Brian Joondeph

If you experience technical problems, please write to