Michigan swing voter focus group unanimously rejects Biden 2024 run, call for competitive Democratic primary

February 17, 2023
Ben Marquis

No official announcement has been made yet, but President Joe Biden has repeatedly signaled that he fully intends to seek re-election to a second term in the White House in 2024.

The American people may have something to say about that, though, if the results of a focus group of Michigan swing voters who unanimously rejected the idea of another campaign for Biden can be more broadly applied, according to Breitbart.

That focus group consisted of 13 Michiganders who had all voted for former President Donald Trump in 2016 but switched to vote for Biden in 2020, and while none wanted Biden to run again, all agreed that he should at least earn the Democratic Party's nomination through a primary process against other challengers if he did choose to seek re-election.

Age, mental health, fitness for office questioned

Axios reported that the 13 participants in the focus group conducted by Engagious/Schlesinger included seven Democrats, four independents, and two Republicans -- again, all of whom had initially voted for Trump but then shifted their support to Biden.

Among the top concerns those voters mentioned about Biden were his age, his "mental acuity," and his continued fitness to serve in the demanding job as president.

Though all agreed that Biden should endure a primary challenge in order to win his party's nomination, aside from Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), no other prospective Democratic challenger was named.

Furthermore, regardless of how a hypothetical Democratic primary might play out, eight of the participants indicated that they were open to the idea of voting for "a generic, not-at-all controversial, middle-aged white male Republican governor who has mainstream conservative views."

Biden "frail" and "doesn't seem fit" to hold office

According to Axios, participant Valerie C. said that Biden "looks extremely frail to me, and I swear every time I see him, he looks older" while "Trump looks exactly the same." She added that Trump "doesn't look like he's going anywhere for 30 years," while with regard to Biden, "I worry that he might be gone next week or something, so that's kind of scary to see."

Participant Jill O. said of Biden, "From the way I’ve seen him think and sort of be out of it when he’s in public, he doesn’t seem fit to be holding such a high position in office," and concerning the desired Democratic primary process, added, "I just think there are others that may be more -- I don't want to say more credible -- but the longevity of a person matters. I mean, there's never been a president older than him."

Rich Tau, the president of Engagious who also moderated the focus group, told Axios of his findings, "Without hesitation, Michigan swing voters would deny Joe Biden what the last four presidents enjoyed -- an unimpeded pathway to re-nomination."

Poll shows only 37 percent of Dems support 2024 run

The results of that focus group, in which President Biden was unanimously rejected by the swing voters, aren't too dissimilar from the results of a recent Associated Press/NORC poll of more than 1,000 American adults in late January that found support for the president had slipped substantially among his base of voters.

A prior survey by the same pollsters in October had shown that 52 percent of Democrats supported a second term for Biden, but that number had declined to just 37 percent by January, with the most significant drop being among young Democrats aged 18-44, from 45 percent down to 23 percent, but also among Democrats older than 45, from 58 percent down to 49 percent.

Overall, only 22 percent of all Americans wanted to see Biden run for office again, down from 29 percent in the October poll.

This is all bad news for both Biden and his Democratic Party, as their standard-bearer is now broadly rejected across the board and there really isn't an heir apparent -- aside from the equally rejected Vice President Kamala Harris -- standing ready to take the party's flag and run with it on the national level.

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