a heartbeat from
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heartbeat (away) from being (something)
In a position to move into a position immediately upon the absence of one's superior or predecessor (often assumed to mean from death). The position of vice president may not seem important, but whoever it is will be a heartbeat away from being president, so we should take that into account when voting.
a heartbeat (away) fromvery close to; on the verge of.
See also: heartbeat