Just when it seemed President Joe Biden could get no lower in the public’s political esteem, a new I&I/TIPP Poll of Americans’ preference for the 2024 Democratic presidential ballot is a shocker: Just over one out of five want Joe Biden back at the top of the Democrats’ ticket in three years.
A number of recent I&I/TIPP Polls (here and here) have documented Biden’s sharp decline in favorability with the public due to a number of issues, ranging from his leadership of the military, the botched Afghanistan withdrawal, the recent inflation surge and supply-chain crisis, the border crisis, and a number of other vexing White House issues.
Even so, no favorite has emerged among the large field of potential challengers to run against Biden in the 2024 primaries. The I&I/TIPP Poll gave respondents the names of 16 other possible candidates, asking “Who do you want to see run for president on the Democratic ticket in 2024?”
As mentioned, Biden was named by just 22% of those asked, while 12% mentioned Vice President Kamala Harris, whose abrasive style, lack of preparation and revolving-door personnel changes have drawn criticism even from formerly friendly Democrats and the left-leaning media.
None of the rest rose above low single-digits: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg garnered 4%, while New York Rep. Andrea Ocasio-Cortez, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy and Georgia 2018 gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams each attracted 3% of the support.
New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet all got thumbs up from 2%.
Among those failing to breach even the 1% support barrier included Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
Meanwhile, 6% of all those who answered preferred someone “other” than those on the list, while a whopping 31% said they were “unsure,” a likely sign that for many it’s still too early to form strong opinions about 2024.
The data come from the December I&I/TIPP Poll of 1,013 registered voters. The poll was conducted online from Dec. 1-4 by TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, I&I’s polling partner. The poll has a margin of error of +/-3.2 percentage points.
As is often the case, a look at the demographic breakdown shows some interesting trends.
It’s no shock, of course, that just 8% of Republicans preferred Biden to be the Democrats’ candidate. That’s to be expected, especially given the sharp political divisions now apparent across the spectrum.
But only 8% of independents and other non-major party voters also want Biden back as Democratic standard-bearer. And 10% want Harris, not Biden. For Biden, that suggests near non-existent support among independents, the swing voters who make up a third or more of all those who go to the polls each election.
Even Democrats seem less than enthused about Biden holding the top spot. Just 37% want him there. And only 16% give Harris the nod as presidential standard-bearer, alarming given that Vice President Harris is next in line to be president should Biden not complete his term in office.
With no one else getting even more than low single-digit support, the 2024 presidential election is shaping up to be a wild one for the Democrats – at least at this early point in the game. Much will depend, of course, on the perceived success of Biden’s policies over the next two years.
As for right now, Biden’s support by gender might surprise some. Men and women are split, with 27% of men saying they want Biden to lead the Democratic ticket in 2024 (higher than Biden’s overall support of 22%), versus just 16% of women.
Nor does Biden do much better in a breakdown by race.
Just 20% of Whites say they want him to run, while a slightly-larger 26% of Black and Hispanic respondents agreed. Minority voters, the backbone of Democratic Party support, show little enthusiasm for Biden and only 17% say they want Harris in the job.
Among other things, the data suggest that at just under 11 months into his term as president, Biden’s political support, never strong to begin with, is collapsing.
The RealClearPolitics average of all polls shows President Biden’s approval rating at 42.3% and his disapproval rating at 52.2%.
Another data set, this an average of favorability polls, shows that as recently as early March Biden’s unfavorability among voters averaged about 36%. Today, it’s close to 52%, and rising.
Because of Biden’s health issues and declining popularity, some already speculate that Biden won’t get a second term, and that two of his administration’s top officials — Harris and Buttigieg — have already begun butting heads to become his anointed successor.
“The worst kept secret in Washington, DC is that Joe Biden is a one-term president — whether he knows it or not,” wrote Stephen L. Miller in the American Spectator three weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Democratic pollster Brian Stryker recently issued a stark warning to Democrats about next year’s midterm elections and beyond: “We’ve got a national branding problem that is probably deeper than a lot of people suspect. Our party thinks maybe some things we’re saying aren’t cutting through, but I think it’s much deeper than that.”
In the coming weeks and months, I&I/TIPP will continue to provide timely and informative data from our monthly polls on this topic and on others of interest, including a look at former President Trump’s prospects for the 2024 elections. TIPP has distinguished itself by being the most accurate pollster for the past five presidential elections.
Terry Jones is an editor of Issues & Insights. His four decades of journalism experience include serving as national issues editor, economics editor and editorial page editor for Investor’s Business Daily.