In response to a question this summer, Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota said he doesn’t want 79-year-old President Joe Biden running for re-election in 2024, when Biden would be 81.
“I think he’s a man of decency, good principles, compassion, empathy and strength. But to answer your question directly, what I know is pretty rare, uh no I don’t,” Philips said of a potential second presidential nomination for Biden.
Rep. Angie Craig, another Minnesota Democrat, shared a similar sentiment: “I would say we need new leaders in Washington up and down the Democratic Party.”
Her public stances represent an unusual split from the broader Democratic Party, which has largely raised the question of another run to Biden himself. At least six US senators and nine members of the House of Representatives have evaded a full answer on the question, an August tally showed axios. Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York, who said during a primary debate that she didn’t think Biden would run again, pilloried by Republicans who highlighted her opinion as an example of Democratic confusion. Within days, she publicly apologized. “Mr. President, my apologies. I want you to run. I happen to think you won’t run, but if you run or if you run, I’ll be there 100 percent,” she said on CNN.
But now there’s evidence that nearly three-quarters of Americans agree with Reps. Phillips and Craig: They don’t want the incumbent president to seek a second term. A whopping 72 percent of Americans do not support Biden’s candidacy, according to a national poll released Thursday by Marquette Law School.
Unsurprisingly, 12 percent of Republicans who took the poll want Biden to run again, while about half of Democrats do. Just 21 percent of independent voters, who tend to be more ideologically centrist than people who register as Democrats or Republicans, support Biden’s candidacy for re-election — a staggering number considering Biden presented himself as moderate versus more progressive during the 2020 presidential primary has positioned candidates like Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
The lack of fervor for the president isn’t because Democrats believe Biden is doing a terrible job. In fact, the president’s overall approval rating among Americans of all political affiliations rose from 36 percent in July to 45 percent in September, according to the same Marquette poll. Among Democrats, a whopping 82 percent think his performance is satisfactory.
Thursday’s poll didn’t break down why the vast majority of respondents don’t want to see “Biden 2024” yard signs. But it may have something to do with voters of all ideologies wanting fresh faces into politics, having attributed some of the nation’s stagnation on key issues like worsening climate change and staggering student debt to the tendency of career politicians to to maintain the status quo.
“My guess is that we need fresh leadership across the board — Democrats, Republicans, I think it’s time for a generational shift,” Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, who is running for the Ohio State Senate, said in September.
However, age isn’t stopping as many Republicans from hoping for Donald Trump to run for re-election in 2024. In fact, Marquette’s poll found that Republicans have more excitement for Trump’s re-election than Democratic voters for Biden: while 52 percent of Democratic respondents said they support Biden, who is vying for a second term, 66 percent of Republicans polled said they did said they wanted Trump to try again, at which point the embattled former president would be 78.
The poll also called for a presidential election in 2024, which became a repeat of the 2020 election. In a hypothetical match between the same two competitors, Biden would have 40 percent of the poll’s support, while Trump would get 36 percent.
The remaining respondents said they would refuse to vote for either: a whopping 19 percent said they would in a Trump vs. Biden rematch. The remaining 6 percent would not vote at all.