Marion Bae, FISM News
As the midterm elections approach, Democrats increasingly seem to be setting themselves up with alternative options for their party’s 2024 presidential nominee, due to dissatisfaction with Biden’s job performance and fears surrounding his age and mental capacity. Recent polls and actions demonstrate that those within his own party have turned against Biden, with the majority of his base saying they don’t want Biden to run for re-election.
A recent poll produced by the New York Times and Siena College showed that Biden’s approval rating is now just 33 percent. Additionally, only 13 percent of Americans believing the country is currently heading in the right direction, the lowest percentage since the Obama-era recession. Not coincidentally, the predominant issue now driving voter concern is the state of the economy as inflation continues to rise.
What’s even more troubling for Biden is the loss of support with his base. According to the poll, 64 percent of Democrats stated they would like to see a change in leadership for the 2024 presidential nomination, while just 26 percent said they would like to see him renominated. The data was notably skewed towards Democrat voters under the age of 30, of which 94 percent said they wanted someone other than Biden to represent them as their presidential nominee.
The poll asked those who wanted a new nominee what they viewed to be the “most important reason” why. The top reason proved to be Biden’s age, with 33 percent saying this was their most pressing concern. Joe Biden is currently 79 years old, making him the nation’s oldest president. If he were to run for re-election he would be 82 years old at the start of his second term.
While there are minimum age limits for most government offices there are no limits for maximum age, though many have proposed that there should be.
“I hope there’s an age limit…If I were just 80 years old, if I was 15 years younger, I don’t believe I could undertake the duties I experienced when I was president,” former president Jimmy Carter said prior to the 2020 election, voicing concern that both candidates were too old for the job.
A YouGov poll from earlier this year showed that the majority of Americans believe that there should be a maximum age limit with 58% polling in favor of establishing some sort of measure. The majority of those who believe that there should be a limit, said it should be set at 70 years old, surpassing Biden’s current age by nearly a decade.
Concerns regarding the president’s age were prominent amongst conservatives throughout the election cycle and have become even more pronounced over the last year-and-a-half since he’s been in office. However, in response to frequent miscues, faux pas, and apparent lapses in mental clarity, Democrats are also voicing similar concerns, they once smeared as Republican propaganda.
Outside of age, Biden’s job performance was a major concern for those polled. It came in as the second highest (32%) reason given by those wanting to replace him. This was followed by 12 percent saying they just wanted someone new, and 10 percent who said Biden was not progressive enough.
While the latter feedback may be shocking to some, the idea that Biden is not progressive enough seems to be spreading amongst a sizeable portion of Democrats. This became more evident when RootsAction, a progressive crowdfunding site, published a campaign Monday titled Don’t Run Joe, which they plan to push after the midterm elections.
RootsAction, which partly credits itself for helping Biden secure his spot as president against incumbent President Donald Trump in 2020, plans to launch the campaign against Biden’s re-election on November 9, the day after the midterm elections.
Their chief complaints against Biden are his lack of boldness in leadership, as well as what they deem to be his “moderate” policies. This included his inaction on, “climate emergency, voting rights, student debt, health care, corporate price-gouging, and bloated military spending in tandem with anemic diplomacy.”
The announcement closed with a threat toward the current president, saying, “Joe Biden should not seek [renomination]. If he does, he will have a fight on his hands.”
In the past, Biden has been insistent on his intentions to run for re-election in 2024, but with many of Biden’s base opposed to this idea, and a portion actively mobilizing to prevent him, it’s unclear how the Democratic party will respond.