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Analysis: People *really* don’t want Joe Biden to run again

1) Around 7 in 10 Americans (71%) said they did not want Biden to run for president again in a new Quinnipiac University national poll. While large majorities of Republicans (81%) and independents (77%) felt that way, so did a majority (54%) of Democrats.
2) A new Des Moines Register Iowa poll — conducted by the highly esteemed pollster J. Ann Selzer — showed that two-thirds of Iowans (67%) hoped that Biden would not run again in 2024. Again, that number included a majority — 52% — of Democrats.
Those two polls come just a week after a national New York Times/Siena College poll, which showed that 64% of those who planned to participate in the 2024 Democratic primaries preferred someone other than Biden as the party’s next presidential nominee.

That series of numbers comes even as Biden is doing everything he can to signal that he is, at least right now, planning to run again.

“The next election I would be very fortunate if I had that same man running against me,” Biden said in March of the possibility of facing former President Donald Trump for a second time in 2024.
“I’m not predicting,” Biden said during his recent Middle East trip of a possible rematch with Trump. “But I would not be disappointed.”
And Biden’s team is ramping up their own preparations for a formal announcement in the spring of next year.

“With Biden’s approval ratings continuing to slide and the odds of a recession next year rising, the planning is in part an effort, though not entirely successful, to dampen broad concern in the party about his ability to mount a conventional campaign due to his age and energy level.”

(Sidebar: After Biden’s positive Covid-19 diagnosis on Thursday, the White House was quick to share an image of him working despite the illness. Biden also posted a video on social media in which he said he was “doing well.”)

The question for Biden and his team is whether the large majorities of Americans who say they don’t want him to run for reelection are really just expressing general displeasure with how his presidency has gone so far, or if there is a deeper reason (or reasons) for their expressed interest in moving on.

There’s no question that Biden’s approval numbers in the two new polls are very, very low. Just 31% of Americans in the Quinnipiac poll approved of the job he is doing, while an even lower 27% of Iowans approve of Biden’s job performance. (Biden lost Iowa by 8 points in the 2020 election.)

The hope among the Biden team would be that if and when his approval numbers improve, the percentages of people who don’t want to see him run again will begin to drop.

Which, maybe!

But the X-factor in all of this is Biden’s age. He is 79 years old, the oldest person ever elected to a first term as president. And in the New York Times/Siena College poll, 1 in 3 Democratic voters who said they wanted someone other than Biden as the party’s 2024 nominee cited his age as their main reason.

The Point: Predicting the political future is a fool’s errand. But at the moment, there is reason to be at least somewhat skeptical about Biden seeking (and winning) a second term.



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