A large majority of Democrats don’t want Joe Biden to be the 2024 nominee for president mostly due to his age and poor job performance, especially on the economy.
Among Democratic voters, 64 percent said they would prefer another candidate while only 26 percent said the party should renominate him in 2024, according to a New York Times/Siena College poll released Monday.
At 79, Biden’s elderliness weighed heavily on respondents, with 33 percent of Democrats citing his advanced age as the reason for favoring an alternative candidate. The president is the oldest in American history. Younger voters are particularly eager for a fresh face more responsive to their interests, with 94 percent of Democrats under the age of 30 favoring someone new, according to the survey.
In late June, a video of Biden falling off his bicycle went viral on social media, leading to more frank discussions on both sides of the aisle about the president’s physical and mental health as he approached his 80th birthday.
A minority of Democrats cited concerns aside from Biden’s age in justifying their opposition to his 2024 candidacy: 10 percent said he was not progressive enough, 4 percent cited his ability to win a general election, and 3 percent specified his mental acuity as a barrier.
Jobs and the economy were the most motivating issues to 20 percent of voters, followed by inflation and the cost of living, which were the most important to 15 percent.
Inflation climbed to an alarming 8.6 percent for the twelve months that ended in May, according to CPI data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, positive signs are emerging for gas prices, with the average cost at the pump dropping by 3.1 cents on Friday to $4.721 a gallon after approaching $5 in some parts of the country, according to auto organization AAA.
More than 75 percent of voters in the poll said the economy was “extremely important” in their assessment of the country’s direction. Only 1 percent of respondents graded the economy as excellent. Meanwhile, 93 percent of working voters, those aged 18-to-64, graded it as poor or only fair.
Many Americans are feeling financially constrained, unable to afford the same commodities and leisure items in this economy in comparison to years ago, the New York Times indicated. Others are growing disillusioned with a president who has exhibited symptoms of cognitive decline and slipped into embarrassing gaffes repeatedly in public appearances and speeches.
Despite the angry progressive reaction to the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, abortion only looms largest for 5 percent of voters, specifically one percent of men and 9 percent of women, the poll shows, mollifying some Republican fears that the decision could ruin the GOP’s expected midterm spoils.
The midterm election doomsday scenario for Democrats is becoming clearer, scarier, and more real as inflation and gas prices remain stubbornly high and dissatisfaction with President Biden is through the roof.
Democrats are seeing their chances of retaining the House slimmer than ever, with both history and the dreary political environment working against them. In the Senate, where the party had hoped strong swing state candidates could help save the majority, fears are also growing.
It seems that wherever voters look, things are bad in Biden’s Washington — and getting worse.
“Democrats haven’t done things they promised,” said Connor Farrell, a strategist who founded the progressive consultancy Left Rising. “In this environment, the best general election candidates will be bold [ones] that can distinguish themselves from what we’re getting from the White House.”
The high national anxiety — which many lawmakers, operatives, and activists are now openly acknowledging as problematic — was further laid bare when a poll released by the New York Times found that just 13 percent of voters surveyed think the country is on the right path. More strikingly, 64 percent of Democratic voters want someone other than Biden as their nominee in 2024.
The high prices of daily essentials, a gloomy appraisal of what’s happening around the country, and the prospect of more impending losses are leaving Democrats more concerned than ever about their odds in November.
“Democratic leadership should look no further than the fact that they need to wake up and step up to the plate,” said Jon Reinish, managing director at the political strategy firm Mercury.
While the idea that Democrats need to brace for a potential fall wipeout is not new, Monday’s poll highlights a trend that many see as particularly damning — a majority of registered Democratic voters are not happy with the overall direction of the U.S. under Biden’s leadership and they are not on board with another four years of it.
Sixty-three percent of Democrats polled said the country is headed in the wrong direction, while only 27 percent said it is on the right track.
“They’re not just losing Independents or you know, Never-Trump Republicans,” said Reinish, referencing two blocs that helped Biden establish a diverse coalition in 2020. “They’re losing their own voters. Democrats’ own voters don’t feel as if their leaders hear their concerns.”
That mindset is adding to what many already fear is an uphill midterm battle. A Politico/Morning Consult poll conducted last month did, however, find that registered voters are evenly split on the generic congressional ballot if the election were held that day.