The Democratic Party today faces a major dilemma within these two years before running for the next presidential election: is Joe Biden the ideal candidate for 2024? In the midst of this dilemma, a recent poll revealed by the Wall Street Journal showed that for more than half of Americans (52%), Biden will not run in the next elections.
According to the WSJ, the reasons cited by most respondents who think Biden will not run are related to the president’s advanced age and the wear and tear involved in being the leader of a country facing different crises: border problems, rampant inflation, rising insecurity, and complex foreign policy cases such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In addition, the midterms are coming in 2022, where the Democrats could face a major political defeat after almost two years in office by the Biden-Harris administration.
“A new Wall Street Journal poll found that 52% of Americans do not believe Biden will run for re-election in two years, while 29% do expect him to seek a second term,” the recent report reads. “Nineteen percent are undecided about his future. Among Democrats, 41% said they believe Biden will run again, while 32% said they do not think he will. Twenty-six percent of Democrats are not sure.”
The numbers are shocking, despite Biden’s assurances that he will seek re-election, Democrats are quite unsure whether the incumbent will ultimately run for election. Between those who say no and those who are still unsure are more than 50% of blue party voters.
The WSJ also reported that, based on interviews with activists, voters and officials in various cities around the country, there is no consensus on what is the best decision for the Democratic Party regarding Biden’s eventual candidacy and that there is also no definite replacement for 2024.
Democratic supporters of Joe Biden told the WSJ that the president has been up to the job despite economic and political difficulties in these first two years. They said that, despite his advanced age that logically produces physical and mental exhaustion, he has done relatively well.
If Joe Biden is re-elected, he would be 82 years old, nine years older than former President Ronald Reagan, who began his second term in 1985 at the age of 73. Reagan was the oldest president to be sworn in until 2017 when former President Donald Trump was sworn in at 70. A record that was, once again, broken by Joe Biden in January 2021.
In addition, Republicans have made efforts to discredit the mental faculties of President Biden, who has been repeatedly seen disoriented or making mistakes in public, during interviews, speeches or press conferences.
The Republican Party has a much clearer pathway for the 2024 election
The GOP also appears to have a clearer pathway for choosing a presidential candidate for the 2024 election, having the lead of Donald Trump in most polls seconded by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Another problem that the Democrats would face in case Joe Biden does not run in 2024 would be his replacement. Today the most logical choice seems to be his running mate, Kamala Harris, because of her position within the government, youth and lack of a gravitating star in her party. However, Harris is the most unpopular vice president of this century, according to a recent Los Angeles Times poll comparing Harris’ popularity with that of Biden and other vice presidents.
Another name that is among the possibilities is former candidate Hillary Clinton, whose political career was severely stalled after being defeated by Donald Trump.
In the absence of certainties regarding Joe Biden, the Midterms and a reasonable replacement for president, the question remains unclear: what should the Democratic Party do for the next presidential election?