As rumors swirl that Vice President Joe Biden may jump into the 2016 presidential race, pressure is mounting on California governor Jerry Brown to decide whether he will enter the race–a possibility he has not entirely ruled out.
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton is still the favorite to win the nomination. But Clinton’s candidacy is struggling, as voters say they do not trust her, thanks to the exposure of years of insider dealing and a widening scandal surrounding her use and destruction of private emails during her tenure as Secretary of State.
Across the country, socialist Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is running for president as a Democrat, has been pulling in standing-room-only crowds, and threatening Clinton’s lead in the polls in key primary states.
Sanders is nearly 74 years old, but age seems to be no obstacle to his ability to connect to younger audiences. Biden is only a year younger than Sanders, and four years younger than Brown. Though Brown has previously said age was a factor in his decision, Sanders’s success–and Biden’s interest–may cause him to take a second look.
Some analysts, like NBC’s Chuck Todd, have long considered Brown to be a dark horse candidate for the nomination. He has the best–or at least the most substantial–governing record of any Democrat today. He is credited with repairing California’s budget, and is considered a leader on climate change policy.
Yet the window of opportunity may be closing soon.
If Biden enters the race, he will draw on the same wells of blue-collar support that Brown would need to sustain a run. If Brown wants one more shot at the top spot, he will have to decide quickly.