(Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden, who took office in early 2021, faces little opposition in his bid for the Democratic Party nomination in the 2024 presidential election.
With former President Donald Trump the frontrunner in the Republican Party’s nominating race, Biden’s strong position in the Democratic primary sets up a likely repeat of the 2020 presidential election battle.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., formerly in the Democratic race, will now be an independent candidate, potentially taking votes away from both Biden and Trump.
Biden, 80, already the oldest U.S. president ever, will have to convince voters he has the stamina for another four years in office, amid concerns about his age and poor approval ratings. Biden allies say he believes he is the only Democratic candidate who can defeat Trump.
In announcing his candidacy, Biden declared it was his job to defend American democracy, and referred to the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters. Vice President Kamala Harris is again his running mate.
The economy will factor in his reelection campaign. While the U.S. escaped an expected recession and is growing faster than economists expected, inflation hit 40-year highs in 2022 and the cost of food and gas is weighing on voters.
Biden has led the response of Western governments to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, persuading allies to sanction Russia and support Kyiv, and his administration is working in the Middle East to prevent a wider war. At home, he has pushed through massive economic stimulus and infrastructure spending packages to boost U.S. industrial output, although he has received little recognition from voters for the latter.
Biden’s handling of immigration policy has been criticized by Republicans and Democrats as migrant crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border hit record highs during his administration.
The best-selling author and self-help guru Marianne Williamson, 71, has launched her second, long-shot bid for the White House on a platform of “justice and love.”
She ran as a Democrat in the 2020 presidential primary but dropped out of the race before any votes had been cast. She launched her latest campaign on March 23 and will be on the ballot in the New Hampshire primary.
(Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)