Big majorities don’t want Biden in 2024

Biden Africa Summit
President Joe Biden endorsed granting the African Union permanent membership to the G20 Thursday. Patrick Semansky/AP

Big majorities don’t want Biden in 2024

BIG MAJORITIES DON’T WANT BIDEN IN 2024. President Joe Biden has not officially, finally announced that he is running for reelection in 2024. But he has done everything short of coming out and saying it. The word is that Biden will make a final decision with his family over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Recent news reports suggest that first lady Jill Biden, who not long ago was said to be skeptical about a second presidential campaign, is now “all in” for a 2024 run. All of this means that, once the new year comes around, Biden is likely to declare his candidacy.

The problem is, a Biden run is something large majorities of voters don’t want. A series of new polls outlines the challenge Biden faces convincing people he should serve four more years.

Start with a recent USA Today-Suffolk University survey that asked the simple question: “Do you want Joe Biden to run for reelection in 2024, yes or no?” Sixty-seven percent of respondents said no, while just 23% said yes. (Nine percent were undecided.)

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Another poll, this one from Quinnipiac, asked registered voters just as simply: “Would you like to see Joe Biden as the 2024 Democratic nominee for president or not?” Sixty-four percent of respondents said no, while 27% said yes, and 9% didn’t know.

One more. A new Fox News poll asked, “Would you like to see Joe Biden run for president again in 2024 or not?” Sixty-four percent of respondents said no, while 33% said yes.

There are more polls with similar results — enough to conclude that big majorities of voters do not want the president to run for another term. It’s as simple as that.

All the polls show people are deeply unhappy with Biden’s job performance. His overall job approval rating is around 43% in the RealClearPolitics average of polls, which is as high as it has been in a year. But it is still well below 50% — the last time Biden actually had majority approval was Aug. 14, 2021. There is no issue, not the economy, not immigration, not crime, not Ukraine, not foreign policy in general, not anything else, on which a majority approves of Biden’s performance.

But the real problem with a Biden second term, as everyone knows, is the president’s age. He is 80 years old and has visibly slowed down in the last few years. He would be 82 in a reelection campaign and, if he is elected, would serve until he is 86. That is entirely without precedent in American history. Put simply, most people know that, whatever else they might think of him, Biden is simply too old to be president. That is an unchangeable fact.

As these results are coming in — as voters are jumping up and down waving their hands to say they don’t want Biden to run — at this very time, a number of Democratic leaders are saying they want the president to run again. This week, outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) sang Biden’s praises and said they are eager to support a 2024 reelection bid.

“I hope that he does seek reelection,” Pelosi told CNN. “He’s a person with a great vision for our country. He’s been involved for a long time, so he has great knowledge of the issues and the challenges we face.” For his part, Schumer told CNN that Biden has “done an excellent, excellent job. And if he runs, I’m going to support him all the way.” Apparently Biden’s presidency has been so great that just one “excellent” does not fully describe the president’s excellence.

Schumer and Pelosi point to Biden’s accomplishments in office, mostly the giant spending bills he has managed to get through a closely divided Congress. They also point to the Democratic Party’s better-than-expected performance in the midterm elections, in which the party lost control of the House by a smaller margin than many predicted and retained control of the Senate.

There is some disagreement about what the midterm results say about Biden. A president’s job approval rating is often a good predictor of how well his party will do in midterm elections. In the 2022 voting, Biden did better than his job approval rating would have indicated. The question is whether that is a good sign for a Biden 2024 run or a measurement of how strongly issues such as the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade affected the voting.

Biden will certainly choose the former. And he might take comfort in the fact that voters don’t always get the candidates they want. There have been plenty of presidential elections in which voters, through opinion polls, said they did not want either candidate in the race and yet one of those candidates ended up president. That is the way our two-party presidential system works, and Biden may think it will work that way for him in 2024.

And yet there remains the unfixable problem of the president’s age. Recently, at the age of 82, the same age Biden will be in 2024, his great supporter Pelosi decided to retire from the Democratic leadership in the House. She will still keep her seat, but there will be no Speaker Pelosi or Minority Leader Pelosi or any other leadership title.

“Scripture teaches us that: ‘For everything there is a season — a time for every purpose under heaven,'” Pelosi said in her retirement speech on the House floor. “For me, the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect.” Now, Biden appears to be on the verge of rejecting the wisdom of Pelosi’s words and deciding that his time in office should extend until the age of 86.

You’ve probably seen a lot of articles about 2024 in recent days. Many of them are about former President Donald Trump and the problem he presents inside a Republican Party in which increasing numbers of GOP voters say they want to move on to a new generation of leadership that will continue Trump’s policies without the drama of Trump’s persona. That’s a real issue for Republicans to resolve.

But Joe Biden is president of the United States. His reluctance to leave the stage at an advanced age, a time in which millions of voters can see him aging before their very eyes, could be the most important factor in the 2024 race.

For a deeper dive into many of the topics covered in the Daily Memo, please listen to my podcast, The Byron York Show — available on the Ricochet Audio Network and everywhere else podcasts can be found. You can use this link to subscribe.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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