What if Biden’s re-election gets trouble within the Democratic party?

The challenge of the incumbent President in party nominating opposition

Xiaodong Fang

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Last week, Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips announced that he was running for president, kicking off a long-shot Democratic primary challenge to President Joe Biden. Environmental lawyer and vaccine critic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. left the Democratic primary earlier this month to run as an independent, raising concerns that he would pull votes from Biden and help Republicans.

Although recent polls suggest that Biden would likely win the support of the vast majority of Democratic-aligned voters in 2024, there is still a possibility that President Biden could face a challenge from fellow Democrats in the 2024 presidential race.

During the 1980 presidential nominating process, the incumbent President Jimmy Carter faced significant challenges from Democrats. Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts emerged as the most prominent challenger to Carter’s re-nomination bid. Kennedy’s strong liberal credentials and name recognition made him a formidable opponent. He criticized Carter’s economic policies, particularly his handling of inflation and unemployment, which were pressing concerns during that period.

Carter secured the Democratic Party’s nomination, but the contested primaries had taken a toll on his candidacy. The divisive nature of the nomination process contributed to a weakened party base and a sense of disarray within the Democratic Party. This internal strife, coupled with broader issues such as the Iran hostage crisis and the nation’s economic challenges, played a role in Carter’s defeat in the general election.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

The journey to win a presidential election is undoubtedly arduous, but it becomes even more daunting when an incumbent President faces opposition in their own party’s nomination. The internal contestations and struggles that arise from a challenged nomination can significantly impact the incumbent’s path to re-election.

Let us explore the complexities and factors that come into play when an incumbent President vies for their party’s nomination while looking ahead to the general election.

Challenges Faced by Incumbent…

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Xiaodong Fang

Political Scientist studied and worked at #Georgetown #IowaState #JamesMadison | Observing #Elections and #China