Despite his assertion that he will run for reelection in 2024, a majority of Democrats, 63% now believe President Joe Biden should serve only one term. According to a recent poll from The Associated Press, only 37% of Democrats want him to run for a second term, down from 52% in the weeks leading up to last year’s midterm elections.
While Biden has touted his legislative accomplishments and ability to rule, the poll indicates that few U.S. adults rate him highly in either area. According to follow-up poll answers, many believe the 80-year-old’s age is a problem, with many focusing on his coughing, stride, gaffes, and the likelihood that the world’s most stressful job would be better suited for someone younger.
“I honestly believe he would be too old,” said Sarah Overman, a 37-year-old Democrat working in education in Raleigh, North Carolina. “We could use someone younger in the office.”
As the president delivers his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, he will have an opportunity to confront basic misgivings about his ability to govern. Biden has previously relied largely on his track record to assert that he is more than capable of handling the job. When questioned if he can handle the obligations of the job at his age, the president has frequently responded as if accepting a dare: “Watch me.”
Democratic candidates outperformed expectations in the 2022 midterm elections, proving Biden’s agenda of safeguarding democracy and uplifting the middle class. Despite the fact that history predicted a Republican tsunami, Democrats increased their Senate majority by one member and barely lost their House majority.
When asked about the survey’s conclusions at a news briefing, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the results of last year’s election were more important than polling numbers.
“The way we should look at this is what we saw in the midterms,” Jean-Pierre remarked, noting that the Democrats’ relative success was due to “the president going out there and speaking directly to the American people.”
According to the study, 41% approve of how Biden is handling his job as president, which is similar to scores at the end of last year. Despite the fact that a majority of Democrats approve of Biden’s performance as president, their enthusiasm for a reelection campaign has waned. Only 22% of all U.S. people believe he should run again, down from 29% before last year’s midterm elections.
The fall in Democrats suggesting Biden should run for president again appears to be centred among younger Democrats. Among Democrats 45 and older, 49% believe Biden should run for reelection, nearly as many as 58% did in October. However, among those under 45, 23% now believe he should run for reelection, up from 45% before the midterms.
Linda Lockwood, a Democrat and retired Kansas City resident, said she isn’t concerned about Biden’s age.
“He seems to be in pretty good condition in my opinion, and that’s coming from a 76-year-old woman,” Lockwood remarked. “You might be a little more cautious going down the steps as you get older, but the important thing is that your brain is still working.”
Already the oldest president in U.S. history, Biden has been dogged by age-related questions, as he will be 86 if he spends the whole eight years. He frequently works long days, standing for hours at a time, recalling the names of folks he encounters while travelling who want to tell him about their life.
Nonetheless, he has been a national political figure for more than a half-century, having been elected to the Senate from Delaware in 1972, and the occasions when he appears disoriented on stage or stumbles through speeches often receive more attention than his programmes.
Voters like Ross Truckey, 35, have been keeping a close eye on the president. Truckey, a lawyer from Michigan, did not vote for Biden or Republican Donald Trump in 2020. He believes Biden is the latest in a long line of “subpar” presidents.
“His age and possibly mental acuity are not where I would want the leader of the country to be,” Truckey added. “At times, he appears to be an old man past his prime.” Sometimes I feel sorry for the individual who is being pushed out in front of crowds.”
Biden has consistently stated in speeches that it is critical for the public to understand the entirety of what his administration is doing. With coronavirus relief, the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the CHIPS and Science Act, and tax and budget provisions that help address climate change and improve the IRS’s ability to enforce the tax code and assist taxpayers, it has scored four major legislative successes.
However, only 13% had high confidence in Biden’s ability to achieve significant policy goals, which could be due to the fact that he now has to deal with a Republican majority in the House that wants to cut spending in exchange for boosting the government’s legal borrowing authority.
According to the poll, only 23% of US citizens had “a great deal” of confidence in Biden to effectively govern the White House. This is down from 28% a year ago and is much lower than 44% when Biden took office two years ago.
Only 21% have high confidence in Biden’s ability to handle a crisis, down from 26% in March.
In terms of dealing with congressional Republicans and managing government spending, approximately half of U.S. adults have little confidence in the president, and only about one in ten has strong confidence.
Republican voters are unwilling to give Biden the benefit of the doubt, undermining his popularity.
John Rodriguez, 76, endorsed Trump and believes Biden is simply doing his aides’ bidding. This presents a dilemma for a president who campaigned on uniting the country.
“I don’t think he’s the one making the decisions,” said Rodriguez, who lives in Cutler Bay, Florida. “He’s a puppet, told where to go and what to say.”
However, voters like Vikram Joglekar, 46, who works in the computer business in Austin, Texas, could be a major challenge for Biden. He supported the president in 2020, only to sum up his sentiments on Biden’s tenure as “meh.”
“It is not up to me to decide whether or not someone should run,” Joglekar remarked. “I’m not sure who will be on the ballot, but I’m hoping for someone better from his party.”
The poll of 1,068 individuals was conducted from January 26 to 30, using a sample taken from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is supposed to be representative of the United States population. For all respondents, the margin of sampling error is 4.2 percentage points.