by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Joe Biden’s sliding popularity has caused Democrats in competitive elections this November to distance themselves from their party’s standard-bearer.
But Biden’s approval problems could hamstring his own political aspirations, with polls indicating that Democrats would prefer another nominee on the ballot in 2024.
Two polls finding that Democrats support usurping Biden as their party’s leader reflect “unhappiness” with the president’s job so far, according to Democratic strategist Stefan Hankin.
Does it show that the Democratic Party is not 100% thrilled with everything that Biden has done? Sure, but we’re Democrats. This is what we do,” he told the Washington Examiner.
But Hankin was adamant that the polls were “relatively meaningless” since Democrats will vote for the nominee, whoever it is. That is because the Democratic Party has become a “coalition of the Left and center Left” without a “unicorn” candidate capable of pleasing both factions, he said.
When pressed, Hankin conceded that the situation was not ideal. But he contended that high favorable ratings and enthusiasm levels are a “near impossibility,” particularly with an evenly divided Senate.
A CNN poll published this week found that 51% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters want another nominee for 2024, while 45% would stick with Biden. That survey reflects an earlier narrower Suffolk University study in which 46% of Florida Democrats said they would pick Hillary Clinton over 43% who would do the same for Bidne if the 2024 primary were held today.
The poll results are “a dangerous signal that there is vulnerability within the party,” according to Suffolk University Political Research Center Director David Paleologos. The surveys’ repercussions are “fluid” considering rising consumer prices and that Russia-Ukraine tensions may ease, but the economy is still Biden’s “Achilles heel,” he said.