Though the White House is insistent that President Joe Biden is in perfect health and fully intends to run for a second term in office, even some Democrats have their doubts.
If Biden were to bow out ahead of the 2024 election, who would take up his spot at the top of Democrats’ ticket? According to a new report from the New York Post, two big names have taken the lead in the latest poll of Democratic voters: Vice President Kamala Harris and former First Lady Michelle Obama.
Obama came out second behind Harris in a new survey by The Hill and HarrisX, which polled 939 registered voters between Nov. 18-19, with a margin of error of 3.2%.
Crunching the numbers
Though the former first lady has repeatedly made clear that she has no interest in taking up a career in politics, it seems voters are still hoping she’ll change her mind.
At the top of the list of candidates who could take Biden’s place was Harris, who earned the support of 13% of respondents. Obama was a close second, following on the VP’s heels with the support of 10% of those polled.
Other prominent Dems to make the list hit just 5% or less in terms of support. Instead, a clear plurality — at 36%, or more than 1 in 3 — said they were “unsure” of who the nominee should be.
Another 13% said their ideal choice was somebody who did not appear on the pollster’s list.
Is Biden up to it?
As the debate over who will be the Democratic Party’s next shining star rages on, it’s worth pointing out that Biden, were he to run again and win, would be 81 years old upon the start of his second term. At 79, he’s already the oldest president in U.S. history.
That’s not to mention the very real concerns many Americans have with regard to Biden’s health, both physical and mental. The president recently underwent a physical that declared him a “healthy” and “vigorous” septuagenarian, as The New York Times reported — but are voters buying it?
In a poll taken Nov. 13-15, Politico and Morning Consult asked 1,998 registered voters whether they agree with the statement that Biden remains “in good health.”
According to the pollster, 50% of respondents said no, while just 40% were sold on the president’s health. That’s a difference of nearly 30 points since the question was last asked by the pollster in October 2020 — and not for the better.
Asked specifically whether the president is “mentally fit” to hold office, 46% said of respondents yes, while 48% said no — a difference of -2 points that is stunning in light of the 21-point positive margin Biden enjoyed on that same question just a year prior. The poll had a margin of error of 2%, Politico said.