Meghan Markle 'testing water' as Democrat candidate says Basham

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Meghan Markle is the top choice among Democrats for a 2024 White House run, new polling shows. Exclusive polling for Express.co.uk by the Washington-based Democracy Institute of likely Democratic voters found 64 percent say the party should opt for a female candidate at the next presidential election in two years.

And the Duchess of Sussex, who is living in California with Prince Harry after quitting royal duties, came first in a list of potential runners with 27 percent from the 525 Democrats in the poll of 1,500 likely voters.

Vice President Kamala Harris was second with 25 percent.

Hillary Clinton – who lost to Donald Trump in 2016 – and left-wing Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were in joint third with 20 percent.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, a favourite of the liberal left who made a bid to be the Democratic presidential candidate in 2020, trailed behind on eight percent.

Michelle Obama, the wife of former US President Barack Obama, has previously ruled herself out despite being a favourite.

Democracy Institute director Patrick Basham said: “We have confirmed that most Democrats want a female and arguably demand a female candidate next time.

“It has been said for a few years that the Democrats will pretty soon be in a position where the national Democratic party stops nominating white heterosexual males as candidates.

“Previously we have had Michelle Obama in there, she is not a serious candidate because she does not appear to be serious about running.

“The elephant in the room on the Democratic side is Meghan Markle, who continues to make moves out there and I would argue test the water in various ways and in various senses.

“She finds herself partly because of her paint by numbers profile ahead.

“As a newcomer she hasn’t been tested and hasn’t been found to fail.

“She remains a viable contender if she chooses to go down that path.”

It comes as the monthly tracker poll carried out from November 1-3 suggests the Republicans will beat the Democrats in the races for the Senate and Congress in the upcoming US midterms.

The polling also found former US President Mr Trump was backed over incumbent Joe Biden.

On who they would vote for if the 2024 presidential election is between Mr Trump and Mr Biden, some 49 percent said the Republican compared to 45 percent who chose the Democrat. Six percent were undecided.

Earlier this week, Mr Trump – who has refused to accept the result of the 2020 ballot – dropped his strongest hint yet that he may run again.

He told crowds of supporters at a rally in Iowa that he would “very, very, very probably do it again” in 2024.

Meanwhile, speculation is high that former actress Meghan – who previously branded Mr Trump “divisive” and “misogynistic” – could one day make a bid for US President.

Mr Biden’s sister Valerie Biden Owens earlier this year invited the LA-born Duchess to join the Democrats.

Ms Biden Owens, the campaign manager for her brother, added that the ex-Suits star would make a “good presidential candidate”.

Acid-penned biographer Tom Bower, who wrote the Revenge book on the Sussexes’ rift with the Royal Family, has also said Meghan is “likely” to run for US President.

And Omid Scobie, co-author of the flattering Finding Freedom biography on Meghan and Harry, said: “Meghan is the embodiment of the American dream. One day we may see Meghan become president.”

Meghan has weighed in on a number of US political debates including the issues of abortion and paid family leave since stepping back as a working royal. 

Earlier this year, Harry’s wife spoke out when the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v Wade abortion ruling.

And in 2021, she called US Senators to advocate for paid leave for new parents in the US.

Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine later told Politico: “I was happy to talk with her. But I’m more interested in what the people of Maine are telling me about it.

“Much to my surprise, she called me on my private line and she introduced herself as the Duchess of Sussex, which is kind of ironic.”

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