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Vice President Kamala Harris: Not ready for prime time? Photo: Gage Skidmore, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en).

Will Biden Even Finish His 1st Term? One In Five Say ‘No’ — I&I/TIPP Poll

Just 45% Have Confidence In VP Harris As Commander in Chief

As President Biden’s approval rating continues to plumb new depths, even some members of his own Democratic Party have begun to ask the once unthinkable: Will Joe Biden last through his first term in office?

Such a question might have seemed a bit over the top, as Biden only entered office in January of 2021. But, after a year of record inflation and gasoline price hikes, devastating COVID lockdowns, a surge of illegal immigration, the botched departure from Afghanistan, and growing questions over the 79-year-old president’s mental fitness, a surprising number of Americans now think Biden won’t last even another two and a half years in office, according to the latest I&I/TIPP Poll.

The poll asked adults: “In your opinion, how likely is it that Joe Biden will complete his first term in office?”

Predictably, most Americans (71%) said Biden was likely to last through his four years. But 21%, or one in five, said it was “not likely” he would last.

A closer look at the data provides little comfort for Biden’s own pollsters and political advisers.

Just 45% of those responding said it was “very likely” Biden would last. Some 25% said it was only “somewhat likely,” hardly a vote of confidence in Biden’s presidential future. Another 8% said they are “not sure.”

And, as often in recent years, the poll’s results are deeply skewed by political affiliation. Some 90% of Democrats believe Biden will make it to the end of his term, while 49% of Republicans do. Once again, independents split the difference at 66%, though they are closer to the GOP than to the Dems.

Meanwhile, only 6% of Democrats say it’s “unlikely” Biden will last, compared to 43% of Republicans and 22% of independents.

Questions are growing over whether Biden can weather another two-plus years in office. Even the left-leaning media, silent during the election and most of Biden’s first year about the age issue, now openly worry about it.

A recent story in California five-term Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s hometown newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, said the 88-year-old Democrat’s memory is “rapidly deteriorating” and opined that, if true, she should step down.

That prompted MSNBC’s Chuck Todd to bring up the until-now-unspoken dilemma: “It’s a tricky thing,” Todd said. “If you start . . . questioning Dianne Feinstein, the president of the United States is going to start getting this stuff, and that’s something the party doesn’t want to have to deal with, those questions here.”

Of perhaps greater concern for his own party than the infirmities of age is Biden’s shocking plunge in popularity in recent polls, which threatens an epic drubbing for the Democrats in the upcoming mid-term 2022 election.

Biden’s plunging approval-to-disapproval rating in the respected RealClearPolitics poll average for the most recent seven national polls showed how deeply troubled his presidency is: The poll average for “approve” was just 40.6%, versus 52.1% who “disapprove” of the job he’s done. That’s a minus-11.5 job rating from the public.

“That has sent some Democrats into a new round of panic, fearing that a presidential job approval rating in the high 30s would surely mean a Republican House and Senate in this November’s midterm elections,” the Washington Examiner’s Byron York wrote. “Biden could bring his whole party crashing down around his shoulders.”

Then there’s the giant elephant in the room, which, until relatively recently, was almost entirely ignored by the mainstream media: Presidential son Hunter Biden’s questionable business dealings and the possibility that President Biden used his positions as a senator, vice president and even president to profit from Hunter’s business finagling.

“President Joe Biden was more involved in Hunter Biden’s financial and business dealings than previously acknowledged,” a new review of text and email documents by Just The News and the Government Accountability Institute found, “allowing his son to pay some of his bills, diverting one of his tax refunds to his son, rubbing elbows with the first son’s foreign clients and even directly referring a friend who wanted to ‘do some work’ with his son.”

Also troubling are recent verbal gaffes and bizarre behavior by Biden that have raised questions about whether he is mentally healthy enough to do the job of the presidency.

Just last week, as Biden finished a speech, “he turned around and tried to shake hands with thin air and then wandered around looking confused,” tweeted the Washington Free Beacon. Other recent instances of clear verbal and physical decline have raised concerns about Biden’s ability to fulfill his duties.

There are a handful of ways for Biden not to finish his term. One is impeachment and removal from office. Another is resignation. And then there’s the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which allows for a president’s replacement if the majority of his cabinet deems him “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

Confidence In Harris Is Low

Which brings the inevitable question: If President Biden leaves office before his term is up, will Vice President Kamala Harris be competent enough to succeed him?

To that end, the I&I/TIPP Poll asked a simple but vital question about Harris’ qualifications: “How confident are you that Vice President Kamala Harris would be an effective commander-in-chief against an adversary posing a military threat to the United States if she were to become President?”

There, the answers are not good for Harris. Only 45% of Americans said they would be “confident” in Harris, and only 25% said “very confident.” An equal 45% said they’d be “not confident,” with 30% of that total saying “not at all confident.”

Again, the response by political party was lopsided: 80% of Democrats expressed confidence in Harris, compared to just 14% of Republicans and 32% of independents. Her support is narrowly confined to her own party.

She would hobble into office of the chief executive and commander in chief as one of the least liked presidential successors in modern times, with even worse poll numbers than Biden’s.

Her ongoing problem with key staff quitting is another issue, with deputy chief of staff Michael Fuchs announcing his departure earlier this month. With Fuchs becoming the 11th Harris aide to depart, even some in her own party question her managerial ability.

Perhaps of greater concern for a vice president who might one day be commander in chief of the world’s most powerful military is her frequent lapses into what critics call “word salad” while speaking — including during overseas visits, where clarity is critical.

She’s also garnered criticism for a tendency to laugh inappropriately while discussing awful events, such as the tragedy in Afghanistan and the plight of Ukrainian refugees, to name but two of many such examples.

Harris’ recent stabs at foreign policy, including serving as an envoy for President Biden in Europe during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have given supporters little to cheer about, and her critics a lot of fodder to further question her abilities.

Would such political weakness for a new president and commander in chief tempt our nation’s foes to act up?

What would a President Harris do if China copied Russia and invaded Taiwan? Or if Iran suddenly announced it had a nuclear weapon? Or Russia decided it needed even more lebensraum after gobbling up part of Ukraine? Or the U.S. again came under terrorist attack or cyberattack?

On these and other questions of national security, the I&I/TIPP Poll suggests Americans are wary of Harris’ potential as a leader of our military if she should take over for Joe Biden.

These polling data come from the April I&I/TIPP Poll of 1,305 adults across the country, which was conducted online from April 4-6. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.

Each month, I&I/TIPP provides timely and informative data from our polls on this topic and others of interest to Americans. TIPP has earned a reputation for excellence 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.

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Terry Jones

Terry Jones was part of Investor's Business Daily from its inception in 1983, working in a variety of posts, including reporter, economics correspondent, National Issues editor and economics editor. Most recently, from 1996 to 2019, he served as associate editor of the newspaper and deputy editor and editor of IBD's Issues & Insights. His many media appearances include spots on the Larry Kudlow, Bill O’Reilly, Dennis Miller, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved and Glenn Beck shows. He also served as Free Markets columnist for Townhall Magazine, and as a weekly guest on PJTV’s The Front Page. He holds both bachelor's and master's degrees from UCLA, and is an Abraham Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute

15 comments

  • They will keep Biden in until he dies. It has nothing to do with Biden or Harris. Those two are smokescreens for Obama. Obama is the ‘real acting’ president, but Obama is also Muslim and Muslims hate America and have said they will destroy America. Obama is simply destroying America in the name of Allah!

    • I have been saying this since the start too, Mikel Paulson. Bath House Barry and Iranian-born swine Valerie Jarrett set policy from his DC mansion, and roll it out to Ron Klan and Susan Rice to implement it on daily Zoom calls. Leftist Groomers are the TRUE enemies of America.

  • I think whether he leaves around the midterms depends on several things,

    1. If before November it will occur if the Left determines to go for the “sympathy vote” based on the idea that he “decides” to step down for the “good” of the country, so support as he walks into the final sunset. The advantage of this is that the MSM could try to work it so we can’t say anything bad about him.

    2. At anytime, Hunter gets indicted and a paper trail leads to Joe. Since having him around will further harm the Left, it is decided to let him pardon his son then, after the Left erupts with outrage, he steps down. The advantage of this is the Left can make a claim for the higher moral ground.

    3. If after the midterms, the Left loses bigger than even they thought possible. He resigns for the “good” of the country while the Left rebuilds itself around the survivors.

    In any case, watch who becomes VP.

    • 1. Why would he do that? Does Biden get credit for the fact that we have full employment? Or that the economy is actually doing quite well in spite of inflation which is mostly caused by rising wages compounded by supply issues? There’s no reason for a “sympathy vote”. Biden has been mostly good for America.

      2. Hunter is a sad human being. He’s lived a privileged existence, but with a life that has been filled with tragedy, death, and drug abuse. There’s not one iota of evidence that his father facilitated any of his questionable dealings beyond giving him the name “Biden”. He even admits in emails when Joe Biden was VP, that he had little real influence in his dealings in Ukraine. He later introduces his father, as a newly minted private citizen, to potential investors in a Chinese venture that then fell apart. There’s no sign that the elder Biden bit, and even if he had it would not have been illegal. It could have been a sweetheart deal to be sure, but certainly not anywhere in the same category as Kushner taking billions from the Saudis.

      3. Given that there really is no Left left in this country, they’ve already ‘lost big’. If you’re talking about the Democrats, the party in power always loses in the mid-term. I see no reason that this election will be any different. We have big problems in this country like climate change, income inequality, and healthcare access. And we have small ones like short term inflation, a chronic low level presence of undocumented immigrants, and a blip in the murder rate masquerading as overall crime. You can bet the farm that the opposition will hammer home and distort the small stuff while ignoring (or ridiculing…) anything real, and will be at least partly successful. When the GOP inspired smoke and mirrors of the looming election are in the rearview mirror, however, more people will begin to realize what I said in #1: Biden has been mostly good for America. And many who don’t will fail to come up with the name of anyone better. His calm steady approach with real world results will be better understood.

      A lot could happen in the near term. No one knows about Ukraine, and maybe Biden really will fall on his face in some way, although I don’t see that happening. Inflation as an issue will likely fade, except that it’s demise could also dent progress we’ve made in the economy overall. But all in all, cutting through the wishful thinking of the delusional Right, I’d give better than even odds that Joe Biden will win and will survive a 2nd term.

      • You may want to spend some time reading economic data if you believe the first argument you made. His best reason for resigning before the November catastrophe are family survival.

  • It seems President Biden is declining mentally. Soon, he may be in the same mental state as his supposed successor, VP Harris. Pray for help.

  • Normally I would say this is nonsense, but Biden is dangerously incompetent. Thing is, there are no good alternatives. The second in line is Harris, not really up to the task, and a political nightmare! After that, Pelosi, yet worse. Patrick Leahy would be a decent temporary caretaker, but he’s pretty far down the line of succession. The only thing we can hope for is a major loss for Democrats in order to limit Biden’s damage, but that’s no way to run a superpower.

  • We may plead and pray for Biden to leave before his term is complete.

  • I’d like to know who the 45% are that think Harris is competent to perform in the position of POTUS.

  • Joe was just shacking hands with Harvey. What’s wrong with that?

  • The Democratic party is a party of the ignorant, arrogant, self righteous, entitled and grievance mongering. Their values are the values of the NY Times editorial page and the ACLU not those of the average American.

  • Based upon realistic factors rather than feelings, it would be my wager that Joe Biden will resign well, well before the January seating of the new House and Senate. If he does not he, and his son and brother will be impeached, convicted and then quite likely prosecuted for crimes against the IRS and his nation. Mrs. Biden (Doc) must see that he is being used by the Dem’s to blame their ideology’s failures on Joe rather than on policies that the left want.

    Joe will leave before November, probably in October after he pardons his son and brother. He will hand it to Kamala and with a 50-50 Senate Mitch McChina will find a compromise VP candidate that he can ride into the White House…like a Pompeo. It is the single best way for Mitch to keep Trump and Desantis from the White House…just sayin

    Kamala will be very likely mpeached in March or so of 2023 for her tole in permitting the border to allow criminals into the nation….. and the nation may just be saved because of it

  • This “poll” is extremely optimistic on behalf of Democrats. I doubt 1 in 2 believe Xiden will make it to 2024, or that more than 1 in 3 think Harris will be any less of a disaster.

  • The same people who believe Biden won’t finish out his term are the same ones who think Trump is coming back this year or even crazier…is still President. Biden is not going to be impeached and he won’t step down unless he dies which by the way…if his age is such a big issue then why would we vote for another craggy old guy in Trump? Maybe the Constitution should be changed to forbid people over 75 from running for President. Right…like that is going to happen.

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