President Joe Biden insists he’s running for reelection.
But a new poll makes one thing very clear: Most people don’t believe him.
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The survey by the Wall Street Journal found that just 29 percent of Americans are convinced he’ll run in 2024, when he will turn 82.
More than half – 52 percent – think he’ll bail, while 19 percent remain are unsure.
Biden’s first year in office has been marked by rising prices, sinking poll numbers, continued struggles with the pandemic, a botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, a war in Ukraine, and more.
And he’s gotten low marks from voters on nearly every issue.
There have also been whispers of potential health problems due to his advancing age, with some questioning whether he’s physically or mentally fit enough for the job.
“Everybody was very pleasantly surprised with the State of the Union address and breathed a sigh of relief when it was over,” one unnamed Democratic lawmaker confessed to the Journal.
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The newspaper said insiders admit Biden tires easily but insist he “remains a forceful personality behind closed doors, demanding information from his staff and professing belief in his political strategies and ability to persuade Congress using the experience of his 36 years in the Senate.”
But that may not be enough to help his party, not just in 2024 but here in 2022 as Democrats are expected to lose – likely badly – during this autumn’s midterm elections, which will determine control over both the House and Senate.
That could doom whatever’s left of his agenda – and hasten a decision on 2024.
So who could run in his place?
Kamala Harris: She was anointed Biden’s hand-picked successor when he tapped her to serve as vice president. But if there’s anyone in the country less popular than Biden, it’s Harris. RealClearPolitics puts her aggregate favorability rating at just 36.5 percent… more than 15 points underwater, and well below either Biden or Donald Trump.
Pete Buttigieg: He was a media sensation during the Democratic primaries, where he was known for his sweeping rhetoric. But voters noticed he was also vague, short on policy and skeptical of the far-left progressive agenda. As a result, those relentless TV appearances didn’t translate into votes. He collected just 2.5 percent of the popular vote during Democratic primaries… putting him behind even Michael Bloomberg.
Michelle Obama: She may be the single most popular figure in the Democratic Party right now, and polls show her to be the most admired woman in American three years in a row. “I really believe if Michelle Obama runs, she wins,” podcaster Joe Rogan said in November. The issue for Democrats? She has zero interest in a return to politics. “I’ve never had the passion for politics,” she said in 2018. Barack Obama has also said: “Michelle will not run for president. I can guarantee it.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: The leader of the progressive “Squad” in Congress is one of the most popular figures in the Democratic Party’s far-left faction. That could be enough to help win the nomination if she runs. But the “Democratic socialist” would likely be unacceptable not only to moderate members of her own party but to most independents and nearly every Republican.
Hillary Clinton: Could she return for a rematch against Trump? She seemed to rule it earlier this month amid rumors she was considering stepping in if Biden bowed out. But if she didn’t like the 2024 field, she could take a page out of Biden’s book. No one expected him to run at his age in 2020 – but he stepped in when he thought he would be the only one who could win.
Could Clinton feel the same way in two years?
— Walter W. Murray is a reporter for The Horn News. He is an outspoken conservative and a survival expert.