California Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom “wants to run for president in 2024” but is backing President Biden ahead of next year’s presidential election to garner support for himself, according to a prominent Democratic pollster and consultant.
In a recent op-ed for the Orange County Register, Douglas Schoen, who served as an adviser to President Clinton and as a pollster for the presidential campaign of Michael Bloomberg, argued that Newsom’s goal in traveling to different parts of the country with Biden is all about “self-promotion.”
“Gavin Newsom wants to run for president in 2024, that much is clear. The California governor would not be campaigning for President Joe Biden in red states with 16 months until the presidential election if he wasn’t trying to prove his own political bona fides and build a future base of national support for himself,” Schoen stated.
“Last week, Newsom traveled to Idaho, where registered Republicans outnumber Democrats by more than four to one, and is reportedly planning to visit other politically similar states, like Montana and Utah. The ostensible purpose of these trips is to tout Biden’s accomplishments and shore up enthusiasm for the Democratic Party, but Newsom’s underlying goal is undoubtedly self-promotion,” he added.
Schoen also suggested that the “main challenge” for Newsom – should Biden announce he will not seek re-election – would be that “Biden would want to wait as long as possible before becoming a lame duck president.”
“If Biden were to step aside because of his age, health or standing in the polls, it would likely be late in the process, perhaps December of this year or even January of next year, one month before primary voting would begin,” Schoen noted. “If that were the case, it would be particularly difficult – but not impossible – for Newsom to enter the primary contest against the likely nominee and would-be front-runner, Vice President Kamala Harris.”
As for how Newsom would fare in a general election against former President Donald Trump or another Republican, that remains, in Schoen’s opinion, an “open question.”
How would Gov. Newsom fare in a general election against former President Donald Trump or another Republican. That’s an “open question,” Schoen says. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)
“On one hand, Newsom is young, charismatic, a political force, and the governor of a large state who handily survived a recall election. He has also swung to the center to reject the far-left’s agenda in his state, including the reparations task force proposal, which would have cost taxpayers billions of dollars when the state is already on the precipice of budget deficit, per the CalMatters Organization,” Schoen noted. “That being said, California is still far to the left of the country, and Newsom’s tenure has been mixed. He has presided over a surge in homelessness and an affordability crisis, and 4-in-10 Californians have reportedly considered leaving the state, per recent PPIC polling.”