Few people expected President Sanders to run for reelection in 2024. Even his most ardent supporters seemed to agree that the 83 year old was not likely to run for a second term, despite his accomplishments. Indeed, Sanders announced in mid-2023 that he was stepping down after 2024 due to health reasons.
Immediately, VP Tulsi Gabbard declared her candidacy and practically everyone expected her to be the Democratic nominee. After all, she and President Sanders had many accomplishments due to strong popular support, from leading an international agreement to gradually reduce and then abolish nuclear weapons, to gradually stabilizing the situations in the Middle East that can allow reconstruction and better fights against the remaining terrorists, while withdrawing the troops in the region. As well, there was massive investments in green energy and infrastructure projects that would create million of new jobs through the Green New Deal and job-outsourcing prevention, to raising the minimum wage for the working class, and reversing the Trump tax cuts in favor of progressive taxation which closed multiple wide open corporate loopholes. There are also some other successes such as better education funding, college student debt elimination, strict campaign donation restrictions and reducing many of the excessively unnecessary military budgets while revising American foreign policy in favor of diplomacy as opposed to interventionism.
But the greatest, the most hard-fought achievement from Sanders Administration was the passing of Medicare-for-all, which ensure universal healthcare for all American. The plan face heavy resistance at first, but President Sanders and his supporters have convinced people that the moderate public option that many advocated, or the so-called “Medicare-for-those-who-want-it”, did not address numer one problem, which is the constant price-gouging middle man along side with the unnecessary bureaucracies, defunding and failures of the preminums, co-pays, deductibles from the private insurer companies, which only increase the cost of healthcare over the year more and more. Also, there has been a huge backlash on the private health corporations for their corruption and manipulation through their coverage denial, price-fixing, prescription problems, political lobbying for the past decades that have resulted in countless Americans facing huge medical debts, which led to unstable finacial situation, then depression and suicide. They also convinced people that the problem with private heatlthcare, no matter if it’s good, is that it‘s very fragile and only tied to the employers, so one would lose it if he/she leave or lose the jobs or business bankruptcy or recession, so by eliminated it would resulted in more leave their jobs without anxiety to find a better one that truly satisfied them, instead of stuck in low-paying jobs with low benefits, and even creating more businesses, tremendously help many small busineses and entrepreneurs. Another argument is taxation and lower quality, but it was easily put down because the private system is more expensive(and one is already pay healthcare tax, but it’s higher than other American allied social democratic nation with healthcare like Germany, France, Canada, Japan, South Korea,...) and also because of the elimination of unnecessary bureaucracies along side with more funding from the surplus of revenues from ending the war, progressive taxation, successful projects, effective budgets/tax redirections, which they can spend more on improving the quality and attract more workers into the industry. While tax will be a bit higher, the elimination of premiums, co-pays, deductibles would resulted in much lower healthcare costs in the long run and would decrease more in the future as millions more start to all paying into the same system, leading it to become even better.
Sanders' presidency also inspired massive grassroots movements against conservative propaganda outfits and other corporate media from both the Democrat and Republican; the National Enquirer was abolished in 2022, and radio companies bowed to huge public pressure and pulled the plug on Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Mark Levin, and a handful of other right-wing propagandists. Even Fox news was under massive siege; many of their advertisers had pulled out and it was rumored that Fox was about to declare bankruptcy. Finally, rather than losing congressional seats as the president's party usually did, Democrats gained dozens of more seats in the House and flipped several more Senate seats as well.
Few Democrats opposed Vice President Gabbard. Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris both attempted to challenge her, citing her "extreme radicalism" as being a threat, but both of them dropped out after atrocious showings in the Iowa caucuses. Whoever else remained was insignificant and was just looking to boost their personal image and possible become a staff pick of Gabbard's. As such, Gabbard cruised to the Democratic nomination with no problems.
Republicans, meanwhile, were still reeling from Sanders' landslide in 2020. The party that was once fiercely unified behind president Donald Trump was now disembodied. In 2024, Republicans were extremely desperate to flip the state of Texas back into their column, as they knew a reliably blue Texas would spell doom for the party and would likely lead to Democratic control of the White House for decades. In 2023, Donald Trump jr declared his candidacy and quickly became the Republican front-runner. He promised a return to the policies of his father and that he would undo every single one of Sanders' policies. Although the son of the 45th president drew massive crowds, the Republican establishment was wary of nominating another Trump to the White House, as moderate voters were not likely to defect back to Trump like they did in 2016. Even worse, the conservative dominance of talk radio was over and Fox news had fired most of its controversial hosts (Carlson, Ingraham, Hannity, etc) in a desperate appeal to moderate and even liberal voters. Former Ohio governor John Kasich entered the race to run as a moderate alternative to Trump jr, but consistently trailed in the polls. It seemed that Republicans were not at all ready to give up their infatuation with the Trump family, and Trump jr easily won the Republican nomination.
Tulsi Gabbard and Donald Trump jr spent much of their campaigns in Texas, which was seen as the ultimate battleground state. Although Trump jr excited his father's old supporters, Gabbard still led in most swing state polls, including those of Texas. In an attempt to win back over Texas voters, Trump jr nominated their Senator, Ted Cruz, to be his running-mate. However, doing so opened up a barrage of new attacks against Cruz as he traveled with Trump jr to campaign. Gabbard cleverly exploited this by attacking Ted Cruz for abandoning his home state and turning his back on his voters. Meanwhile, Gabbard nominated Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema to be her running-mate, thus becoming the first all-female presidential ticket in American history
Gabbard and Trump jr engaged in 3 debates in October of 2024. Although both candidates spoke very well, Trump jr horrified many voters when he said that he would pull out of the nuclear arms abolition treaty that president Sanders had signed, and to start building up nuclear weapons once again. He also proposed a return to the reliance of corrupt big oil, private healthcare and coal for energy and the "resumption" of the construction of the border wall. Sinema and Cruz also had a debate. Although Cruz spoke much more eloquently than Sinema, his policies still disturbed many moderate voters.
Prior to the election, Texas allowed Senator Cruz to run for reelection as Senator while simultaneously running for vice president. Senator Sinema, meanwhile, was not allowed to run for reelection as Senator. This discrepancy ultimate cost Cruz even more voters. On election day, all the polls said that Gabbard would win very easily. Unlike 2016, the polls were correct: Tulsi Gabbard was declared the winner of the election by 9:30 pm ET. She expanded on Sanders' electoral landslide, Gabbard's surprising victories in Missouri and Alaska offset Trump jr putting Montana and Kentucky back in the Republican column. However, the real loser of the 2024 election was Ted Cruz. Not only did he lose his bid for the vice presidency, he also lost his reelection bid for Senator.