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Chances of California Gov. Newsom running for president in case Biden drops revealed

Earlier this week, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump each secured their respective Democratic and Republican party nominations by winning primaries across multiple states. This development sets the stage for a November showdown as both presidential campaigns heat up, with efforts intensifying to gather more financial support for their campaigns. Currently, Biden’s campaign has outpaced Trump’s in fundraising, amid Trump facing numerous legal challenges and efforts to postpone his trials until after the election.

The choices

A significant portion of the American voters do not see either Biden or Trump as ideal candidates for the presidency. According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted in January, Trump holds a slight edge over Biden. The poll also revealed widespread dissatisfaction among voters forced to choose between the two, with seventy percent of those surveyed, including nearly half of the Democrats, expressing that Biden should not pursue re-election. Meanwhile, fifty-six percent, including roughly a third of Republicans, believe Trump should not run again.

The age main problem for both candidates

The advanced ages of the candidates are a primary concern for many voters dissatisfied with their options. At 81, Joe Biden, and Donald Trump, at 77, are considered by many, based on various polls, to be too old to effectively serve as President of the United States. Throughout the campaign, both have made numerous gaffes, amplifying worries about their capability to lead the nation effectively.

Other candidates

With Trump clinching the Republican nomination, he is now viewed as the sole Republican contender for the presidency. On the Democratic side, however, speculation persists that there could be a last-minute replacement for Biden. Names ranging from California Governor Gavin Newsom to Michelle Obama, though considered a long shot, have been floated for months as potential candidates. It’s in this context that Vice President Kamala Harris becomes a significant part of the discussion.

Read also: Ex-Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney makes surprising last effort to stop Trump re-entering the White House

VP Kamala Harris

Once seen as politically sidelined, Vice President Kamala Harris may now be subtly emerging from the shadows, not due to her own initiatives, but as a consequence of President Biden’s declining popularity in polls against Donald Trump. This shift is causing worry among Democrats and uniquely positions Harris as a potential candidate to lead the Democratic ticket in the fall. Although California Governor Gavin Newsom was considered a strong contender, his polling does not support the case for choosing him over Harris.

Polls of Gavin Newsom suggest he doesn't stand a strong chance in a potential presidential race, especially when compared to Harris or Trump

Harris popularity was not promising

Over the last three years, Harris’s approval ratings and her performance in hypothetical matchups against Trump have consistently lagged behind Biden’s. Her popularity had dipped to such lows that it appeared the Biden team might have been considering Pete Buttigieg for a more prominent role during the 2022 midterms, alongside other Democrats like Newsom, who were enhancing their profiles in anticipation of a Republican sweep potentially crippling Biden’s presidency.

Swing states problem for Biden

However, the expected Republican surge did not materialize in the midterms, which turned out historically poor for the GOP. This outcome quelled discussions of Biden serving only one term as Democrats quickly rallied around him. Yet, Biden’s poll numbers have seen a significant downturn since the conflict between Israel and Hamas, crossing a pivotal threshold in November that suggests a disadvantage in critical states such as Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, and Nevada. This scenario, if unchanged, positions Trump for a victory with 283 electoral votes in the 2024 election.

Read also: Former Senator Gingrich finds Biden’s SOTU speech ‘hateful’, then his comments backfired

Recent polls

The RealClearPolitics average for favorability is bad for both Biden and Harris, but the veep is getting closer, at a negative 18.6 percent against Biden’s negative 15.5 percent (Trump is negative 12 points). Recent polls, however, offer better news for Harris. The recent YouGov benchmark (unweighted data) has Biden at 54 percent unfavorable and Harris at 52 percent. New York Times/Siena has Harris at 54 percent unfavorable and Biden at 57 percent; The Wall Street Journal similarly has Harris 3 points better than Biden. Among independents in the YouGov poll, Biden is at 62 percent disapprove while Harris is it a less-dismal 56 percent.

Newsome nowhere to be seen

The political landscape for Gavin Newsom, California’s “golden boy,” appears bleak as polls suggest he doesn’t stand a strong chance in a potential presidential race, especially when compared to Kamala Harris or Donald Trump. Despite his prominence in the Golden State, comparative polling data indicates that Newsom’s appeal might not extend nationally. An Emerson/The Hill ballot test from February highlights this struggle, showing Newsom trailing behind Trump by a significant margin, and performing even worse than Harris in critical battleground states.

Polls of Gavin Newsom suggest he doesn't stand a strong chance in a potential presidential race, especially when compared to Harris or Trump

Read also: Trump has decisive move in his hands against Biden in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania

In a February poll, Newsom lagged Trump 46 percent to 36 percent, 7 points worse than Harris. And a series of state polls shows particular trouble for Newsom in Arizona and Nevada (17 electoral votes). Harris trails Trump 48-40 percent in Arizona against Newsom ’s 47-34 percent. In Nevada, Harris is down 9 points, but Newsom is down 17 points.

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