OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
As President Joe Biden prepares to give his State of the Union Address Tuesday evening, a new survey reveals some more bad news.
An Associated Press/NORC poll released Monday asked Democrat voters if they want the president to seek a second term in 2024, in a sample that sought to mimic the U.S. population. Of those surveyed, just 37 percent said they want to see the 80-year-old run again.
“His age and possibly his mental acuity is not where I would want the leader of the country to be,” Ross Truckey, a 35-year-old lawyer and voter from Michigan, told the AP. “He, at times, appears to be an old man who is past his prime. Sometimes I feel a little bit of pity for the guy being pushed out in front of crowds.”
“I, honestly, think that he would be too old,” added Sarah Overman, 37, a Democrat in North Carolina. “We could use someone younger in the office.”
According to the results of a CNBC All-America Economic Survey released in late December, a majority of respondents said they, too, did not want Biden to run again in 2024.
“The survey found 61% of the public think Trump should not seek the presidency, compared with 30% who believe he should. And 70% say Biden should not run for a second term with just 19% supporting a run,” CNBC reported, citing the survey’s results.
“Substantial numbers in each politicians’ own party prefer their names not be on the ballot, including 37% of Republicans who don’t want Trump to run along with 61% of independents and 88% of Democrats,” the report continued. “For Biden, 57% of Democrats say he shouldn’t stand for office in 2024 along with 66% of independents and 86% of Republicans.”
The report provided additional insights gleaned from the survey, per CNBC:
Biden has other problems other than age. Despite a stronger-than-expected showing by Democrats in the congressional elections and several legislative victories, Biden’s overall approval slipped to 41% from 46% in the October survey, with his disapproval rising to 54% from 50%. The President’s economic approval slipped to 38% from 40% and disapproval rose a point to 57%.
Just 20% of the public think the Biden administration’s efforts to ease inflation are helping, a five-point decline from October; 28% believe they are hurting, a two-point decline, and 49% say they’re not making much difference, a 7-point jump.
Pollsters went on to note that while most Democrats and Republicans do not want Biden and Trump, respectively, to run, they would nevertheless support both of them if they became their party’s presidential nominee. Trump has formally announced a 2024 run, while Biden has yet to do so; should Biden decline to run again, it isn’t clear that Vice President Kamala Harris is the odds-on favorite to win what would likely be a bruising Democratic primary season.
Reports on Monday noted that a New York Times profile piece published over the weekend did not portray Vice President Kamala Harris’s political future in a positive way, either, furthering speculation that Biden — if he runs — may dump her ahead of the 2024 election.
Several Democrats who spoke to the outlet — anonymously — doubted she would be the 2024 nominee and added that she has not done much to define herself and her role in the administration.
“Even some Democrats whom her own advisers referred reporters to for supportive quotes confided privately that they had lost hope in her,” says the report from Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Katie Rogers, and Peter Baker.
The report noted further that a “panic” has emerged within the Democratic ranks as many begin to question whether an 80-year-old President Biden will even run again, leaving Harris as the next obvious, an unappealing, choice.
“Through much of the fall, a quiet panic set in among key Democrats about what would happen if President Biden opted not to run for a second term. Most Democrats interviewed, who insisted on anonymity to avoid alienating the White House, said flatly that they did not think Ms. Harris could win the presidency in 2024,” the Times report noted. “Some said the party’s biggest challenge would be finding a way to sideline her without inflaming key Democratic constituencies that would take offense.”
The White House, naturally, offered praise for Harris, but the Times noted that she has been polling worse than Biden for most of his term, and his numbers aren’t stellar. She was also put in charge of issues like mitigating the still-ongoing crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border, but she’s seen as having done little to fix it.