At least six Democrats have opted to play it safe and not voice support for a President Joe Biden 2024 reelection bid heading into the midterm elections.
While voters have soured on Biden, with 64 percent of Democrats not supporting Biden’s 2024 reelection hopes, midterm candidates are following their electorate’s lead for fear that supporting the Democrat party’s leader will hurt them in their elections. According to a July 27 CNN poll, 75 percent of Democrat voters want Biden replaced atop the 2024 presidential ticket, up from 51 percent in February.
Biden’s hopes of retaining reelection support came to a head on Tuesday when Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) declined to voice support for Biden in the primary debate for New York’s 12th congressional district. Nadler and Maloney are in a highly contested primary battle after state redistricting place them in the same district after serving in Congress for decades.
“Too early to say,” Judiciary Committee chairman Nadler told the moderator. “I don’t believe he’s running for re-election,” Oversight and Reform chairwoman Maloney admitted to the audience.
"Should President Biden run again in 2024?"
Democrat Rep. Jerry Nadler: "Too early to say."
Democrat Rep. Carolyn Maloney: "I don't believe he's running for re-election."
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 3, 2022
Nadler and Maloney, both establishment politicians, are not outliers. Far-left populist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has also declined to support Biden’s reelection hopes.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,” Ocasio-Cortez told CNN in June. “If the president has a vision and that’s something we’re all willing to entertain and examine when the time comes … we should endorse when we get to it. We’ll take a look at it.”
Reps. Dean Phillips (D-MN) and Angie Craig (D-MN) have also refused to support Biden in 2024. “The country would be well-served by a new generation of compelling, well-prepared, dynamic Democrats who step up,” Phillips said about opposing Biden’s reelection.
Craig told MinnPost on August 2 that she wants a new form of Democrat in power after the November elections. “I’m talking about Congress and I’m talking about up and down the ballot,” Craig said. “I think Dean Phillips and I are in lockstep and alignment with that and I’m going to do everything in my power as a member of Congress to make sure that we have a new generation of leadership.”
Failure to support Biden extends past the House. For example, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who hails from a state that overwhelmingly supported former President Donald Trump in 2020, has also declined to voice unwavering support for Biden’s hopes of winning in 2024.
“You know, I’m not making those choices or decisions on that. I’m going to work with whatever I have,” Manchin told NBC News’s Meet the Press, when asked about Democrats’ prospects in the midterms.
“Everybody’s worried about the election. That’s the problem,” Manchin reiterated on ABC News’s This Week. “It’s a 2022 election, 2024 election. I’m not getting involved in…”
The lack of support for Biden comes as the nation is reeling from 40-year-high inflation, soaring gas prices, a recession, an invasion on the southern border, supply chain woes, and the deadly Afghanistan withdrawal that left 13 U.S. service members dead and hundreds stranded behind enemy lines.
Despite the crises, Biden reportedly told former President Barack Obama in April he intends to run in 2024 because the president believes he is the only Democrat who can defeat a potential presidential bid by Donald Trump. Yet public opinion seems to be in Trump’s favor. Multiple polls have shown Biden behind Trump in a hypothetical head-to-head contest.
According to a July 14 poll by Politico/Morning Consult, just 14 percent of voters believe Biden is definitely running in 2024. Another 14 percent say Biden will only probably run in 2024. Forty-six percent say Biden will definitely not run in 2024, along with 18 percent who indicate he probably will not.