With the midterms steering this week’s news cycle, the major parties’ final pushes to get out the vote on Election Day featured their heaviest hitters. Their names, along with a highly charged political climate, made 2022’s midterms feel like the 2024 campaign’s opening scene.
Trump Chases GOP Control
Largely, politicos entered 2022’s home stretch assuming voters would penalize the party in power, the Democrats. Needing only five Congressional-seat gains to win control of the House, the Republicans seemed ready to celebrate. Seeking Senate control, as well, former President Donald Trump stormed through several states whose ballots featured close Senate races. Rallies in Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida were on the former president’s agenda.Read More »
Certainly, headlining the GOP’s push across the finish line puts Trump in a familiar place, the public eye. Will he run? Will he, in fact, announce a 2024 candidacy soon? The cameras will surely be on if he does.
Biden Brings Friends to the Trail
President Joe Biden also campaigned in crucial 2022 races. His final push’s slate featured stops in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Illinois, California and New Mexico. He brought his good friend and one-time boss, former President Barack Obama, to Temple University’s Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.
The standing-room crowd roared as Josh Shapiro and John Fetterman walked onstage across from Biden and Obama. While most experts forecast Shapiro to win Pennsylvania’s governorship, Fetterman’s Senate race with Mehmet Oz may hinge on the Democrats’ final efforts.
The 2022 midterms’ results could dictate Biden’s 2024 participation. A Republican sweep may cause the Democrats to plot a new path. If the Democrats hold the line, Biden will likely consider that success a positive referendum on his administration and seek reelection.
Notably, Biden is the oldest person ever to assume the presidency, and his 80th birthday is Nov. 20. The President’s decision may rest on Trump’s status. Pundits commonly forecast a rematch of 2020 in 2024.
If Biden runs in 2024, Saturday’s attendees in Philly got a taste of his future stump speech. “This ain’t your father’s Republican Party. This is a different breed of cat,” he told the crowd. “I really mean it. Look, they’re all about the wealthier getting wealthy and the wealthier staying wealthy. The middle class gets stiffed. The poor get poorer under their policy.”
DeSantis Stumps Home Turf
With his own name on Tuesday’s ballot against Democrat Charlie Crist, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis campaigned in Florida. Winning reelection in 2022 keeps DeSantis relevant for a 2024 presidential run.
Florida’s governor clearly desires the Oval Office. Earlier in 2022’s election season, he publicly campaigned alongside Republican candidates seeking office in contentious races outside Florida. Such a move often tips an aspiring presidential candidate’s hand.
Crucially, DeSantis and Trump may not be friends in the 2024 campaign. Some establishment Republicans believe DeSantis can be a more palatable Trump. Expect a brutal primary fight if DeSantis pursues Trump’s MAGA crown.
Pence Seeks His Lane
Trump’s former understudy also showed voters he may pursue the nation’s highest office in 2024. Former Vice President Mike Pence stumped recently for Republicans seeking midterm election in Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia.
After Election Day, voters will see Pence promote his new political memoir, “So Help Me God,” via a book tour. The title hits bookstores and online outlets on Nov. 15.
Will Other Republicans Jump in the 2024 Pool?
Campaign events, news channels and social media spaces have witnessed several Republicans with longshot White House aspirations in recent weeks. Notable names include Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a distant runner-up to Trump in the 2016 primary; Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the Senate’s sole Black Republican; and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who also could not catch Trump in the 2016 primary.
Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley campaigned busily on Sunday and Monday. Her prominence as Trump’s one-time UN Ambassador made Haley popular on the stump in Georgia, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
Will Any Democrats Challenge Biden?
The Democrats are a big-tent party. Challengers may arise due to division or ambition. Still, Biden currently appears ready to defend his presidency, especially if Trump officially enters the 2024 fray.
Biden is the horse that beat Trump. If he wants to run again, the party will surely back him, and any Democrats who dream of residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will simply wait until 2028.
This term or next, Biden’s presidency will near its end. At that time, watch Vice President Kamala Harris, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and California Governor Gavin Newsom. Any of those three Democratic stars could lead 2024’s field.
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