Most US Democrats want new candidate for 2024 presidential election, poll finds

Only 26% of President Biden’s party want him to run again, citing age, other concerns; more than 75% of Americans say US going in wrong direction

US President Joe Biden speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in the Oval Office of the White House, June 16, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
US President Joe Biden speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in the Oval Office of the White House, June 16, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Only one-third of Americans approve of US President Joe Biden’s performance, and more than two-thirds of Democrats said they prefer a different candidate to represent the Democratic party in the 2024 elections, a New York Times/Siena College poll reported Monday.

Among Democrats, 70 percent of voters approve of Biden’s performance, a low figure for members of a president’s party. An almost equal percentage of independents disapprove of Biden’s performance, with nearly 50% strongly disapproving of his performance, the poll said.

Biden is the oldest sitting US president at 79 years old, and his age has become a focal point in discussions regarding his 2024 candidacy. Biden has been clear about his intention to run for a second term, a prospect the White House reiterated in June.

However, Biden’s desire for a second term is out of sync with the opinion of his party. The survey reported that a mere 26% of Democrats favor renominating Biden to represent their party in the 2024 elections. Among voters under the age of 30, only six percent were in favor of his doing so.

Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont lost the Democratic primaries leading up to the 2016 and 20202 elections. He announced that he would not be challenging Biden’s bid for reelection in mid-June, according to CNN. No other major potential Democratic candidates have come forward to challenge Biden.

The incumbent’s age was the most-cited reason for preferring another candidate, which 33% of Democrats surveyed cited as their reason. Thirty-two percent of respondents noted Biden’s job performance and 12% said they prefer someone new.

Then US president-elect Joe Biden points to the crowd as he stands on stage after speaking Saturday, November 7, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Other minor reasons included Biden not being progressive enough, doubt in his ability to win the general election, mental acuity and domestic issues.

Over three-quarters of registered voters across the various groups surveyed believe the US is going in the wrong direction, the New York Times survey found. A mere 13% of respondents said the US is on the right track, the lowest percentage New York Times polling has seen in over a decade. Only 27% of Democrats saw the US as heading in the right direction, despite usually higher approval ratings among members of the party in power.

A primary issue American voters face is the state of the US economy and inflation. Over 75% of voters said the economy was “extremely important” to them, and in a separate question, twenty percent of respondents said that jobs and the economy are the most important issues facing the US, while 15% of respondents cited inflation and the cost of living.

Inflation has caused the fastest price increases of consumer goods in the US since the 1980s. The US Bureau reported an 8.6% increase in the price of consumer goods in May 2022 from a year prior, reflected in the rising prices of food, fuel and other essentials.

Illustrative: Gas prices are shown on March 7, 2022, in Tumwater, Washington, as the cost of gasoline hit the highest price that American motorists have faced since July 2008. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

One percent of overall respondents said economic conditions were excellent; among working-age respondents, that figure rose to 6%. Ninety-three percent of respondents in the same age range ranked economic conditions as poor or fair.

Biden nonetheless scored well when compared to former US president Donald Trump. In a theoretical election between the two, 44% of voters chose Biden, while 41% said they would vote for Trump. Among Democratic voters, 92% of them said they would vote for Biden in a competition between him and Trump.

The New York Times/Siena College poll surveyed 849 registered voters across the US and was conducted by telephone using live operators between July 5-7, 2022. The margin of error was 4.1%.

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