Seven in 10 Americans say they do not want President Biden to run for a second term, according to a new poll that comes as Biden’s approval numbers remain low and his party braces for losses this November.
A Harvard CAPS–Harris Poll survey shared exclusively with The Hill found that 71% of respondents polled do not think Biden should run for a second term compared to 29% who say he should run.
Among the contingent of respondents who believe the president should not run, 45% said Biden should not make another bid because he is a bad president, while about one-third of respondents said he is too old and about one-quarter said because it was time for a change.
“President Biden may want to run again but the voters say ‘no’ to the idea of a second term, panning the job he is doing as president. Only 30 per cent of Democrats would even vote for him in a Democratic presidential primary,” Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey, said.
But a majority of respondents — 61% — also say former President Trump should not run for the White House in 2024. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said the former president should run again.
Among the respondents polled who believe Trump should not make another bid in the next presidential cycle, 36% said Trump was erratic, 33% said he would divide the country and 30% said he was responsible for Jan. 6, 2021, when a mob of pro-Trump supporters ransacked the Capitol in an effort to stop Congress from certifying the election results.
A majority of those polled said they would consider a moderate independent candidate should Biden and Trump square off against each other in 2024, including majorities of both Republicans and Democrats polled.
Sixty percent said they would consider a moderate independent candidate for president if Biden and Trump ended up running against each other in the next presidential cycle, compared to 40% who said they would not consider it.
Broken down by party, 53% of Republicans polled and 64% of Democrats said they would consider a moderate independent candidate in that situation.
The development comes as Biden continues to suffer low approval ratings. The Harvard CAPS–Harris Poll found that the president has an overall approval rating of 38%, with respondents giving him low marks on handling inflation (28%), the economy (32%), stimulating jobs (43%) and reacting to COVID-19 (50%), among other issues.
Democrats are already bracing for losses this November given Biden’s low approval numbers and the historical precedent that a first-term president’s party generally suffers losses in the following midterms.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling last week overturning Roe v. Wade, Democrats have used abortion as an issue to galvanize voters, though it is unclear how the issue will compare to inflation and other concerns in November.
The polling also demonstrates that while former President Trump is considered one of the most influential people within his party, Americans may not necessarily be married to the idea of voting for him in 2024.
Some of that comes against the backdrop of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot’s hearings, which has sought to show how the former president and his allies tried to get state officials and others like former Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 election results.
The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey was conducted on June 28 and 29 with 1,308 registered voters surveyed. It is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and the Harris Poll.
The survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.