A plurality of Democrats say they want President Biden to step aside and not seek a second term in the White House next year, according to a new national survey
Forty-four percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters questioned in a Monmouth University Poll released on Monday said the president should step aside and allow someone else to run as the Democratic Party’s standard-bearer in 2024. A quarter of respondents said Biden should seek re-election next year, with 30% saying they had no preference.
The poll’s release comes as the president gears up to run for re-election. Biden has repeatedly said he intends to seek a second term in the White House, but he has yet to make any formal announcements. However, the president hinted toward a re-election campaign during a speech early last month to party leaders and activists at the DNC’s winter meeting, which was held this year in Philadelphia.
‘We’re just getting started,’ Biden told a boisterous crowd. ‘I intend to get… more done.’
‘Let me ask you a simple question – are you with me?’ the president asked the crowd. The question instantly elicited cheers and loud chants of ‘four more years.’
While no major Democrats are expected to primary challenge the president, best-selling author and spiritual adviser Marianne Williamson earlier this month launched her second straight long-shot bid for the party’s presidential nomination.
But if the president surprises the political word and decides not to seek another term, the Monmouth poll indicates that Democrats have no clear idea on whom they’d like to see as their party’s 2024 nominee.
Just over half of those questioned (51%) couldn’t offer a name when asked who they would like to see as the Democrats’ standard-bearer next year if the president declined to run again.
Vice President Kamala Harris grabbed the backing of 13%, with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont – the runner-up in the 2016 and 2020 Democratic nomination races – and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg – who ran in 2020 – both at 6% support. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts – another 2020 Democratic presidential contender – was at 4%, with California Gov. Gavin Newsom at 3%. No one else topped 1% in the survey.
While only a quarter of those questioned said they wanted Biden to run for re-election, the president enjoyed a favorable rating of 74% in the poll.
‘Democrats appear to be saying they like the job Biden has done, but maybe it’s time for him to move on when his term is up. However, no top tier of candidates emerges when these voters are asked to name a preferred alternative. Part of that could simply be the holding pattern that Democrats are in because Biden has signaled that he will, in fact, run,’ Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray said.
The Monmouth University poll was conducted March 16-20, with 542 Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters nationwide. The survey’s sampling error for results in the release was plus or minus 6.3 percentage points.