Although the 2022 midterm elections are less than 50 days away, the mainstream media is already looking ahead to the 2024 presidential election.

What’s even more surprising, the media is questioning whether or not President Biden will receive a primary challenge from none other than progressive darling and self-avowed socialist, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

While appearing on CBS This Morning, Sanders was asked point-blank if he would challenge the sitting president for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2024. Sanders responded, “that’s a big — you know, I haven’t made that decision.” In other words, if Biden’s favorability ratings remain in the dumps 18 months from now, you better believe Bernie will mount a primary challenge.

In a veiled swipe at Biden, Bernie added, “obviously you want people who are competent, capable, have the energy — I mean, my god, to be president of the United States requires an enormous amount of energy — but I would say, first of all, take a look at what people stand for. And we don’t do that enough. We’re too much into personality.”

In modern presidential politics, challenging an incumbent president is nearly unheard of. Yes, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) mounted a challenge to incumbent President Carter in 1980, but that was a feeble attempt with little chance of success.

However, no president in modern history has polled as poorly as Biden has during his first two years in office. Inflation remains at a 40-year high, gas prices are rising again, crime is out-of-control, the border is a mess, and Americans are disenchanted with the direction of the country.

Given Americans’ economic struggles, Sanders’ agenda of widespread wealth redistribution, Medicare for All, “free” college, and the like could resonate with a large portion of American voters. On the other hand, the polar opposite agenda of less government intervention into the economy coupled with lower taxes and more freedom could also be a winning message. Of course, 2024 is a long way away. And, in the meantime, the 2022 midterm elections will have a big effect on the direction the county moves in over the next two years.

At this point, it is interesting to ponder this hypothetical: In 2024, will more Americans be sick-and-tired of big government and desire a pivot to limited government or will the siren call of socialism gain broader appeal, which could be Bernie’s ticket to the White House after two failed prior attempts?

PHOTO: U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. Photo by Gage Skidmore. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0). 

Chris Talgo (CTalgo@heartland.org) is an editor and research fellow at The Heartland Institute and a researcher and editor at StoppingSocialism.com.