The 2024 Election season has already seen its fair share of controversy, and not simply because of who is running for the Republican ticket. There are many liberals and moderates who are unhappy with the job that Joe Biden has done and President, and think that were he to step aside, there is a candidate that could step forward who would be far better suited for the job. Let’s take a look at some of the options.

1. Bernie Sanders

Starting the list off strong with many leftist’s favorite Senator, Bernie Sanders is a strong contender for president. He clearly thinks so as well, given that he has now run for the nomination twice, and lost it both times. First to Hillary Clinton in 2016, and then to Joe Biden in 2020.

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The Jewish Senator from Vermont is an Independent, but caucus’ with the Democrats and gives them one of their two bonus seats in a narrowly divided Senate. He’s one of the more progressive liberal Senators, and has pushed for progressive policies such as universal healthcare multiple times on the floor of the Senate.

Popular With Leftists and Other Liberals

Bernie Sanders enjoys wide popularity, particularly among millennials and Gen Z. They see him as the ultra-progressive candidate that this country needs to make steps forward, and there are many who have called for his nomination for president on social media.

Source: Wikimedia/Jake Bucci

This is in spite of the fact that Sanders himself has stated outright that he will not be entertaining a bid for president during the 2024 run, and instead provided his endorsement for Joe Biden. This is in an effort not the split the Democratic vote and given Biden the best chance for reelection.

But Unfortunately…Too Old

Even if he were running for president during the current election season, Sanders faces a major hurdle among many more moderate liberals and even conservatives, despite his popularity with leftists. And, unfortunately, it is the same weakness that the current president has: his age.

Source: Wikimedia/Jackson Lanier

Sanders, like Joe Biden, is an octogenarian, at 82 years old. His advanced age has caused many to call into question his fitness for politics, and would surely be a negative talking point with the opposition if he were to run for president again this year.

2. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or AOC as she’s become known on social media, is a representative out of New York who has made a splash in national news time and time again. She’s got big ideas about the direction that this country needs to go, and isn’t afraid to make her opinions known to both her constituents and the press.

Source: Wikimedia/Dimitri Rodriguez

AOC, along with several of her colleagues who have come to be known as the “Squad,” are known for their deeply leftist views. Some of the stances that she supports includes free public university, universal healthcare, a federal jobs guarantee, the Green New Deal, and abolishing ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

AOC Is Loud, And Proud

AOC has garnered plenty of supporters and attackers alike for her loud stances, which some people say are not necessarily in line with what many Americans want. She was the first female member of the Democratic Socialists of America to be elected into Congress, and it has become clear over her terms as a representative that she is more interested in pushing a progressive narrative than she is of playing nice with moderates and conservatives.

Source: Wikimedia/Staff of Rep. Ilhan Omar

This attitude has endeared her to many younger Americans, who see her as the push necessary to bring the United States into the twenty-first century. She espouses many ideals that other first world countries have as basic human rights, and there are many, particular Gen Z-er’s, who see her blunt perspective as a breath of fresh air.

Unfortunately, Not Old Enough

As far as a presidential run, though, AOC faces two hurdles. One, she isn’t old enough to Constitutionally run for president. The Constitution of the United States requires candidates to be at least 35 years old in order to run, and AOC is only 34 years old.

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The other issue stems from the fact that AOC has expressed absolutely no desire to run for federal office. She’s focused solely on her role as a representative of her district and has made her interest in local politics clear, making her a less than ideal candidate if the Democratic party wanted to take her leftist ideals onto the federal stage.

3. Dean Phillips

Unlike the other individuals who have been listed on this list so far, Dean Phillips is running for president in 2024. He is a United States Representative who has been serving the 3rd District of Minnesota since he was first elected in 2019, and announced a bid for president late in 2023.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

Dean Phillips has run for the Democratic nomination on the platform that Joe Biden is too old to be running for president again, and that it’s time for the country to see a change. New blood is needed that can usher in a new generation of politics, and Phillips sees himself as the candidate who can make that happen.

And Admirable Stance, But Perhaps Unrealistic

This stance is admirable, but Phillips has a tall hill to climb if he’s looking to secure the nomination. The Wall Street Journal, in a piece about Phillips and his presidential aspirations, called him a “long-shot candidate.”

Source: Facebook/Frank Sternberg

Admittedly, Phillips has been running a respectable campaign so far, despite the long odds. Throughout the ongoing primary season he has continued to fundraise and speak to voters, and has made his stance against Joe Biden clear.

Zero Electoral Votes So Far

While his campaign is respectable, it unfortunately doesn’t appear to be holding water with voters. Phillips has won less than 20% of the votes in every primary that has been held during the 2024 season so far, including the primaries where Joe Biden was a write in candidate, not even formally on the ticket.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

Biden has garnered nearly 90 electoral votes for the presidential nomination, where his formal competitors have won none. Still, that doesn’t appear to have dampened Phillips spirit. As of February, he still hasn’t called off his campaign, and appears to be in it until the very end.

4. Marianne Williamson

Another candidate running a formal campaign against the current president, another one with unfortunately very slim chances of achieving the Democratic nomination at all. This is the second time that Marianne Williamson has run for the presidential ticket, and it appears that this will be the second time that she doesn’t secure the bid.

Source: Wikimedia/Matt Johnson

Williamson is a unique candidate in that she is not a politician, at all. Rather, she is a spiritualist and a self-help author who has made a name for herself as Oprah Winfrey’s former spiritual advisor and frequent guest on her show.

Short, and Failed, Political History

Williamson ran as an independent for a California House of Representatives seat in 2014, where she finished in fourth place. Then, in 2020, she ran for the Democratic bid for president but eventually dropped out of the race, choosing to endorse Bernie Sanders instead.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

Williamson supports some rather unusual stances in her political views, including policies that would create a Federal Department of Peace and formally end the War on Drugs. Other stances, such as a federal minimum wage raise, are less unusual, but still not popular enough to rocket her to significant political prominence.

A Challenging Road in Federal Politics

Williamson, unfortunately for her, carries some baggage on the national political stage as well. She is deeply skeptical of the pharmaceutical industry and the overprescription of medications that she sees as problematic. This has been linked with the vaccine hesitancy movement for Williamson, though she has vehemently denied any connection to anti-vaxxers.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

Williamson does have the edge over Biden in her age, given that she is significantly younger than the incumbent. She’s also made a point of connecting with people during her campaign, rather than seeking out big donors or large names for her endorsements, but it appears that these efforts might, once again, be for naught.

5. Kamala Harris

The Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, is old hat at politics. She’s been in various government positions for decades, and she first ran for president against Joe Biden in 2020 during a crowded presidential primary race.

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She ultimately dropped out of the primaries when it became clear that she couldn’t secure the nomination, and there were many who were thrilled when Biden announced her as his pick for VP in his presidential run. Harris is the first female vice president, as well as the first VP of color, making her a standout in American political history as a whole.

Some Major Hurdles for VP Harris

Harris could be a good contender to follow Biden in the White House, though she faces some major hurdles. First, since taking her position as VP the popularity spike that Harris initially enjoyed after hers and Biden’s win seems to have declined, with many unsure of what she’s been doing as Biden’s Vice President.

Source: Wikimedia/The United States Senate – Office of Senator Kamala Harris

While this is not necessarily Harris’ fault – the Vice President works the jobs and positions that are assigned to them by the president, after all – it does create a challenge for her should she want to run for President in the future. A lack of material accomplishments as Vice President doesn’t garner support from the general populace during a presidential bid, unfortunately.

Some Perks, As Well

However, Harris does have some perks that her boss doesn’t. She’s several decades younger than President Biden, which immediately makes her more attractive to some people. She could potentially be the first female president, which is another perk, and she’s a woman of color, which many liberals believe is lacking in the highest office in the nation.

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And while Harris has expressed no interest in hemorrhaging the vote against Biden by potentially launching a presidential bid against him, she’s still young enough that she could attempt a run again in 2024. The future is wide open for Harris, assuming that she continues in politics after her time in the White House.

6. Gavin Newsom

Last but not least on this list is a Democrat who has been making waves in not only local but national politics. Gavin Newsom is the governor of California, and was elected to the head of the Golden State in 2019.

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Newsom is no stranger to politics, having served as the lieutenant governor of California from 2011 to 2019, and then as the mayor of San Francisco before that. He’s deeply enmeshed in the politics of his home state, but his choices in leadership have made many take notice and speculate whether he would be a good fit for the presidential office.

Bold Politics for a Bold Man

Newsom has made bold moves regarding several areas of politics that many have seen as both controversial and much needed. He is vehemently against the death penalty and has placed a moratorium on executions on California during his gubernatorial reign, and has expanded clemency for migrants in an environment that he perceives as increasingly hostile.

Source: Wikimedia/Office of the Governor of California

Likewise, he supports sweeping measures to make aspects of life better for his constituents. He has signed laws into place that have raised minimum wages and increased gun control regulations for the safety of Californians. His stances are widely popular with many liberals and moderates, which makes him an attractive pick for president.

A Possible Future Run

Unfortunately for many idealists, though, Newsom has been firm in his choice and stance not to run for president, at least for the current election season. He is wholly focused on his job as the Governor of California right now, and is happy to let the current presidential primary play out as it’s going to.

Source: Wikimedia/Government of California

That’s not to say that Newsom will never run for president, though. In 2023, Newsom launched a PAC called Campaign for Democracy, whose intent is to take on authoritarian leaders. This is in direct response to his disapproval to Donald Trump, and has been seen by many as a possible hint at a presidential bid in 2028.

Who Will It Be?

It appears that Biden has the Democratic nomination secured for the 2024 election season, especially ahead of what appears to be a clear Republican pick for Trump. While some of these other candidates are running admirable campaigns against the incumbent president, it doesn’t appear that any of them are going to take home the gold.

Source: Wikimedia/The White House

That doesn’t mean that none of these names will ever been seen in the White House, though. Newsom, Harris, and AOC in particular all could have a real shot at being the President of the United States someday, and only time will tell where the chips will fall regarding party affiliations and the country as a whole as the years roll on.