Let’s assume that Hillary Clinton has to withdraw by the end of the year for health reasons. Who would be the likely Democratic nominee in such a scenario? Currently the contenders are Sanders, Webb, Chafee, and O’Malley. Would Bernie Sanders stand a chance in such a scenario? And which of them would be most electable against Jeb Bush? I just don’t see O’Malley being able to win. Isn’t he unpopular in his home state of Maryland? But if he’s out, that leaves Sanders, Webb, and Chafee. I think Webb might do better again set Bush than Sanders would, but I would be tempted to support Sanders in the primary as he can rally the liberal base. Let’s assume the Clinton withdrawal happens toward the end of this year, which might limit someone else deciding to run so late in the process. I also assume that if she has to withdraw due to a scandal that this would be enough to tilt the general election for the Republican nominee, which is why I am asking about a health problem rather than withdrawal due to scandal.
If that happens, there will be other candidates.
I could see a scenario where Biden runs with a one term only pledge.
I’d say Jerry Brown, but the dude’s 77 years old… and he’s declined to run. Maybe Biden/Gore? Running on the campaign “We don’t have to be the best, we just have to beat Jeb!”
I think it’d almost certainly be O’Malley.
Certainly not Sanders or Chafee, Neither have much institutional support in the party (and Sanders is probably too old for a serious run as well, he’d be 75 by the time he was sworn in), as both became Democrats more or less just to make a run for Prez.
And Chafee also has the problem of having probably left his last office because he (probably) couldn’t win re-election. I think its tough for a candidate to go from running from a losing race to get the Presidentail Nomination.
Webb is a little better (he switched parties to, but long ago enough that I don’t think it’d hurt him). But he bailed on his Senate seat, which I think would makes him look less than serious as a candidate.
O’Malley on the other hand is pretty deeply connected in the party. He was relatively popular in MD, could pretty easily slide into the Clinton Machine if Hillary was out, is youngish, has a decent resume and has been a fairly middle of the road Dem. He seems the natural second choice if Hillary drops out, and I think someone trying to force their way into the race at the last minute would have to come up with a pretty good reason why not O’Malley to make any headway.
It depends on when Clinton dropped out. If it was early, the other candidates could fight it out - and you’d probably have new candidates entering.
But if it was a year from now and if the predictions are correct and Clinton takes a strong early lead before being forced to drop out, I don’t think any of the other active candidates could step in to replace her. Being beaten by the lead candidate in the primaries puts a stigma on a candidate - it raises the question of how they can win the general election if they couldn’t win the nomination within their own party.
So if Clinton dropped out after beating the other Democrats, I think the party leaders would look to bring in a fresh candidate - like Biden or Cuomo - rather than promote one of the defeated candidates into the nominee.
I’d have gone with “Two Vice Presidents equal one President.”
Eh, anyone coming in late after Clinton dropped out would just look like they stayed out because they knew they couldn’t beat Clinton, so more or less the same logic would apply.
Plus lots of losers of past primaries go on to win future nominations. I don’t think being behind in a primary is really seen as much of a liability. Doubly so against Clinton, who is pretty clearly winning due to momentum and a big institutional advantage, rather than due to any particular weakness with the other candidates.
I don’t see anything derailing Hillary, but IF she were forced to withdraw, I think Al Gore is one of the few Democrats who has the name recognition, experience and broad enough appeal to step in as a candidate acceptable to most factions of the Party.