Contingencies: What Happens If Biden and Trump Withdraw from 2024 Presidential Bids? Here’s the Potential Scenario

Credits: NBC News

The prospect of one of the 2024 presidential candidates facing legal challenges and the other dealing with concerns about age and “diminished capacities” raises questions about what happens if a candidate has to drop out of the race.

In the likely rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, both candidates have factors that could impact their ability to complete the presidential race.

If a candidate were to drop out or face incapacitation, the procedures vary depending on the timing and circumstances. Here are potential scenarios: Before the Party Nominations:

Biden and Trump (Credits: CNN)

If a candidate withdraws before securing their party’s nomination, the party would typically go through its internal process to select a new nominee. This could involve delegates at a convention or the party leadership making the decision. After Party Nominations but Before the General Election:

If a candidate withdraws or faces incapacitation after winning their party’s nomination, the political party may have the authority to replace the candidate.

This process is governed by party rules, and states may have different regulations. After Winning the General Election but Before the Electoral College Vote:

In the unlikely event that a candidate wins the general election but is unable to assume office before the Electoral College vote, the electors may have the discretion to vote for an alternative candidate.

This would depend on state laws and the electors’ willingness to deviate from their pledged vote. After the Electoral College Vote but Before Inauguration:

If a candidate withdraws or faces legal challenges after the Electoral College vote but before the inauguration, the Vice President-elect would likely be sworn in as president. This assumes that the Vice President-elect is eligible and has not faced similar challenges. After Inauguration:

If a sitting president becomes incapacitated or faces legal challenges after inauguration, the Vice President would assume the presidency. The procedures for handling a sitting president’s removal are outlined in the Constitution’s 25th Amendment.

It’s important to note that these scenarios are hypothetical, and the actual processes could be influenced by legal interpretations, party rules, and political considerations. The specifics would be determined by the unique circumstances at the time.

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