The Washington Post on Sunday published a piece headlined “The top 10 Democratic presidential candidates for 2024, ranked.”
The list was, in a word, underwhelming.
Here are the Post’s top 10:
- 10. New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
- 9. California Governor Gavin Newsom
- 8. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker
- 7. Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown
- 6. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper
- 5. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
- 4. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
- 3. Vice President Kamala Harris
- 2. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg
- 1. President Joe Biden
The list includes four failed candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, a governor who faced a recall vote and a two-term member of Congress who will have been eligible to be president for just 22 days come Election Day 2024.
In the piece, the writer cited a YouGov poll, noting it said “only 21% of Democratic-leaning voters said their choice was the incumbent Democratic president, Joe Biden. That put him barely ahead of the 18% who said they weren’t sure whom they supported; Vice President Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders each had 14% shares.”
“This is not normal. We’ve seen some evidence that Democrats aren’t sold on nominating Biden for a second term, including a poll in November showing a majority of Democrats didn’t want him to run again. But lots of Republicans say the same about a repeat run for Donald Trump in 2024 – yet he’s the clear front-runner when you pit him against actual would-be opponents,” the Post said.
The most interest passage in the article was questioning whether Biden would run unopposed for the Democratic nomination if he chooses to run again in 2024.
“In previous installments, we excluded Biden from the list, suggesting we’d probably have a true primary only if he didn’t run. But we increasingly need to consider the possibility that, if he does run, he won’t have the field to himself – and that he might not be the most likely nominee, all things considered,” the article said.
On Ocasio-Cortez, who is just 32 (the Constitution mandates presidents be 35 years old, which AOC would barely make by November 5, 2024), the Post said she polled at just 6% in the YouGov survey. Yet the liberal paper said she’d have a “built-in base” if she chose to run for president.
“She doesn’t seem to be taking the kind of steps that others on this list are, but she would have a built-in base, and the progressive lane will be significantly more open this time, since Sanders has said he’s very likely out,” the Post said.
In another unusual move, the paper put the Transportation Secretary ahead of the vice president, “but not with any great conviction on our part.”
“He ran a good campaign in 2020 – we’ll repeat that he was very close to winning the first two contests – and would enter 2024 with more heft as a Cabinet secretary. Mostly, we’d expect a Biden-less race to be one of the most wide-open contests in recent memory. To the extent people don’t want Biden or Harris, he’s next in line just in terms of sheer plausibility,” the outlet reported.
And as for Harris, the Post said: “We’re dropping Harris down a slot this time. Being vice president is certainly a good launchpad, but it’s not at all clear Harris has put it to good use.”
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent, and ran the Drudge Report from 2010 to 2015. Send tips to email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.