President Biden's Approval Rating Drops to 33% as Overwhelming Majority of Democrats Seek New 2024 Candidate

New poll numbers cast a dark cloud over Biden's reelection goals, with age and job performance cited as the primary reasons for losing Democrats' support

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 21: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on infrastructure at the Portland Air National Guard base on April 21, 2022 in Portland, Oregon. The speech marks the beginning of the president's multi-day trip to the Northwest, with stops in Portland and Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)
Joe Biden. Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty

New polling data suggests that President Joe Biden could face an uphill battle to reelection in 2024.

According to a New York Times/Siena College poll conducted last week, only 1 in 3 Americans approves of Biden's job performance. Perhaps more daunting for Biden's political future, though, is that only 26% of registered Democrats wish to see him secure the Democratic Party nomination during the next presidential election.

Biden's lackluster ratings aren't unprecedented — after the Jan. 6 insurrection, President Donald Trump only had 29% of the nation's support, according to the Pew Research Center; during the 2008 financial collapse, President George W. Bush's ratings dipped even lower — but they aren't hopeful, especially this early in his term.

When Democrats were asked why they would prefer someone other than Biden on the ticket in the next election, 33% cited his age (at 79 years old, he's already the oldest president in U.S. history), 32% cited his job performance (many feel he's been too quiet about issues like inflation, access to abortion and gun violence), and 12% simply preferred new blood.

Other cited reasons include that he's not progressive enough (10%), unable to win the general election (4%), lacks mental acuity (3%) and has poor views on domestic issues (1%).

Trump Biden
Donald Trump (L); Joe Biden. JIM WATSON/Getty Images (2)

The most hopeful result of the poll for Biden is that in a hypothetical 2024 matchup between him and Trump, he still comes out narrowly ahead, with 44% of the popular vote to Trump's 41%. That's because — though he's struggled to inspire his party's base — 92% of Democrats say they'd vote along party lines if he and Trump were the nominees.

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With more than half of his term remaining, Biden has time to regain Americans' trust. Many of his most serious Democratic challengers have vowed to stay out of the 2024 primary election if he chooses to run again.

Even so, pressure is mounting for Biden to step back and make room for a fresher face to lead the party (some see parallels to Jimmy Carter's unexceptional four-year presidency, soundly cut short by Republican challenger Ronald Reagan) — because despite their internal division, Democrats agree on one thing: that they will do what it takes to avoid putting executive power back in Republicans' hands.

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