Who are the Dark Horse Candidates Who Could Impact the 2024 Election?

Marc Nozell from Merrimack, New Hampshire, USA, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons Bill Norton, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Remember the good ole days when each presidential election cycle, there would only be a handful of candidates per party? Unfortunately, those days are long behind us as it seems everyone is throwing their hat in the ring to potentially run our country.

Hell, last I heard, I was a possible candidate, and I’m a nobody who rents a townhome and sports a bright purple mohawk. However, thanks to Barack Obama, who was considered a long shot when he first began his first campaign for the White House, and Donald Trump, who exploded the minds and delicate sensibilities of liberals everywhere, long shots from coast to coast now ask themselves whether they have a shot of moving into the White House one day.

So I figure now is as good a time as any to take a look at some of the dark horses out there who, while probably won’t hear “Hail to the Chief” played in their honor any time soon, if ever, might tip the scales in favor of one party or the other. So grab your coffee and get comfortable; these are your possible alternatives to the same old same old

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The Republicans

At the writing of this article, there are only three officially declared Republican candidates, though there are plenty in the rafters who have hinted at taking a swing for the fences.

One officially declared candidate, and one of my favorites, is Vivek Ramaswamy. Mr. Ramaswamy is an attractive candidate for many reasons. 

His youth alone is enough to get anyone excited. At 37 years of age though, this whipper snapper has accomplished quite a bit in his short time on this Earth.

As a largely successful entrepreneur, he has all the business savvy of The Donald without the spray tan and bad hair. His message is mostly the same as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a fight against ‘wokeism.’

However, my favorite aspect of this candidate is his constant railing against the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) push for investing. Unfortunately, Vivek’s likelihood of getting the nomination is slim to none. Still, it should be interesting to watch anyone try to debate him on anything related to business.

Next up is former Secretary of State and CIA Director Mike Pompeo. His remarks regarding whether he would support a Trump presidential run, “Oh goodness, no,” would make having the two gentlemen on the debate stage exhilarating.

Then again, Mike might never declare, given that he’d have to answer to declared candidate Nikki Haley who he claimed in his book attempted to replace Mike Pence as Vice President. Good luck with that argument Mike.

Finally, deep state, heavyweight man of foreign coups mystery— John Bolton. Please, yes, please, John, run for President so we can hear all about how you may or may not have had a hand in toppling foreign governments during the four different administrations you served under!

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The New Age Guru

One of my favorites from the last Presidential circus, errr… I mean, election was good old Marianne Williamson. The spiritual leader is back, and let me tell you, I am here for it.

Ms. Williamson opines on the power of love, was a spiritual advisor to Oprah Winfrey, and adds a bit of flair to any debate stage. For example, in 2019, she famously said, “If you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I’m afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days.”

Using the term ‘wonky’ coupled with the drop of ‘dark psychic forces’ is enough to keep me tuned into what is usually a tedious exchange of word salad platitudes. For those of you who think Marianne shouldn’t run, I argue that you wouldn’t recognize a good time if it hit you in the face.

I, for one, am tired of the same tagline garbage said at every political debate. So instead, I want to see Joe Biden discuss the pros and cons of creating Marianne’s Department of Peace.

For those who want to count her out as a long shot, she said after Trump’s 2016 election, that it was “odd for anyone to think they can know who can win the presidency.” But, she says of her current bid that “I’m running for president to help bring an aberrational chapter of our history to a close, and to help bring forth a new beginning.”

None of that means anything, but it certainly sounds more interesting than anything coming from the White House.

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The Dreaded Third Party

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the possibility of a third-party candidate or a ‘spoiler candidate’ as is commonly known in political science circles. The probability of one of these dark omens popping up is high given that the organization ‘No Labels’ has qualified to put its third-party candidate on the Arizona, Colorado, and Oregon ballots.

Who will be the ‘No Labels’ candidate? Rumor has it that the group is courting Joe Manchin, Krysten Sinema, and Susan Collins. In a tweet ‘No Labels’ argued, “Republicans and Democrats will lead you to believe you have to choose one or the other, but Independents (43%) outnumber Republicans (30%) and Democrats (24%) for the highest percentage since Gallup started tracking affiliation.”

Usually, a third-party candidate is considered just someone who ‘steals’ votes from one or the other party; however, if Biden and Trump become the two leading candidates at ages 81 and 77, respectively, a third-party candidate might carry more power than previously. According to a Reuters poll, 86% of voters think the cutoff age for Presidential candidacy should be 75 or even younger.

Plenty of previous Presidents ran as third-party candidates before and after they won the seat: 

  • Martin Van Buren ran as the ‘Free Soil’ candidate in 1848
  • Millard Fillmore ran as the ‘American’ (Know-Nothing) candidate in 1856
  • Teddy Roosevelt ran as the ‘Bull Moose’ candidate in 1912

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Final Thoughts

Does a third-party candidate have a chance to win the 2024 Presidential election? No, but there’s a slim chance that the right third-party candidate in a Biden v. Trump race could cause neither to receive the 270 electoral votes needed to clinch the seat.

Humor me, if that were to happen, the House of Representatives would choose the next President, and all signs would point to a Republican President. Of course, as a political science nerd, that would be a historical sight.

I’m all for changing up the two-party system. I’m tired of voting for the shiniest turd in the proverbial toilet bowl. 

If I must live through basically a circus every four years, it might as well be as entertaining as a real circus. Heck, I found out that radio shock-jock Howard Stern is thinking about jumping into the ring.

Stern promises to make the country “fair” again by getting rid of the Electoral College as his first priority… because the President can totally do that (they can’t). He also promises to ask Bradley Cooper to be his running mate. That might be a good-looking Vice Presidential debate if he can convince him to cut his hair.

You can’t tell me Kamala Harris could keep her cool across from Bradley Cooper; then again, she can’t keep herself cool in front of an air conditioner, so it doesn’t matter.

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USAF Retired, Bronze Star recipient, outspoken veteran advocate. Hot mess mom to two monsters and wife to equal parts... More about Kathleen J. Anderson

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