While President Joe Biden appears to be the leading Democrat heading into next year’s primaries, a definitive majority of Americans in a new survey did not give him a vote of confidence.
According to a newly released SSRS poll commissioned by CNN, fully two-thirds of respondents, or 66 percent, believe reflecting him would be tantamount to a “disaster or a setback” for the country as a whole.
“At the same time, the survey finds a decline in favorable views of Biden over the past six months, from 42% in December to 35% now,” CNN reported. “And results from the same poll released earlier this week showed Biden’s approval rating for handling the presidency at 40%, among the lowest for any first-term president since Dwight Eisenhower at this point in their term.”
Around 60% of left-leaning voters said they support Biden for the top spot on the Democratic ticket in 2024, with 20% supporting activist and attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and 8% supporting author Marianne Williamson. Roughly 8% said they would back an unidentified third party.
“Biden’s primary supporters are largely locked in: 58% say they would definitely support him and 42% say that they could change their minds. In contrast, those backing other candidates are far from committed, with just 19% in that group saying they definitely will support their first-choice candidate and 81% saying that they could change their minds,” the outlet added.
Speculation continues to grow that Biden will actually decide at some point in the near future not to seek a second term.
“When is the optimal time for Biden to drop out of the race?” says the headline of a recent op-ed in The Hill by Douglas MacKinnon, who wrote speeches for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
The Daily Wire’s Joseph Curl adds: “Biden’s 80 years old. His proclivity for gaffes (and falling down — or sometimes up, like when he stumbled ascending the stairs of Air Force One) is legendary. The list grows almost daily (on Monday he looked wobbly when meeting King Charles at Buckingham Palace, grabbing his arm for support). Biden rarely holds press conferences, and when he does, it appears as if he has the questions from the press in advance.”
MacKinnon went on to say that he’s hearing from “a number of Democrats — including staunch supporters of the president” that they’re “nervous” and “uncomfortable” about Biden running for reelection.
“As stated in this space in the past, I don’t believe Biden will be the Democratic nominee in 2024. Now, while the president, his White House, and his allies may predictably denounce such speculation as ridiculous or wishful thinking, what if I and others turn out to be correct?” MacKinnon wrote, adding in his own timeline for when Biden should drop out: “Immediately.”
Lyndon Johnson was the last incumbent president who chose not to seek re-election. He made the decision to withdraw from the presidential race on the final day of March in 1968, which was less than six months before Election Day. His announcement came just two weeks after Robert F. Kennedy, brother of former President John F. Kennedy, jumped into the race for the Democratic nomination.
When Johnson dropped out, his approval rating was a tad over 38 percent; Biden’s right now sits at around 41 percent, on average.
MacKinnon went on to note that LBJ’s and Biden’s situations are nearly identical.
“One reason for” Johnson dropping out “was a lack of confidence in then-Vice President Hubert Humphrey to retain the White House should he become the Democratic nominee. That concern was of course realized when Humphrey became the nominee and got crushed in the general election by Republican Richard Nixon,” he wrote.
There is a sense of apprehension among some Democrats regarding Vice President Kamala Harris potentially running for the nomination and winning, Curl noted further. Her approval rating currently stands at 39.2 percent, which is lower than Biden’s.
Moreover, he pointed out, there have been reports indicating that Biden has expressed uncertainty about Harris’s preparedness for political battles.
In March, Democratic sources informed Reuters News Agency that the president is frustrated with Harris’s approach to her duties and doubts her ability to defeat a Republican candidate next year.