Joe Biden: Are Democrats Stuck with Him? In the build-up to the 2024 election, national attention has been focused, almost exclusively on the Republican nomination. The Democratic side is understood to be set; President Joe Biden is expected to run. And sitting presidents aren’t displaced. So, most Democrats aren’t even running.
Joe Biden Is Getting a Challenger for 2024
If Biden announces his reelection bid soon, as is expected, “that means Williamson will attempt to defeat a sitting president for renomination, which has never happened in the modern primary era,” FiveThirtyEight reported.
But there’s a “but,” according to FiveThirtyEight. “The modern primary era has few examples of competitive primaries against sitting presidents, and it’s unwise to forge iron laws of politics (i.e., “sitting presidents are invincible in primaries”) from such a small sample size.”
Are Democrats Sick of Joe Biden?
And polling suggests that there may be a real appetite for challenging Joe Biden, “though it probably won’t be Williamson.”
Democrats, according to polling, are not enthusiastic about rolling Joe Biden out for another election; Biden was supposed to be a transitional figure, a quick pivot away from Trump, a segue to a younger generation of leaders – not an eight-year presidential institution.
“Only 31 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said they want the party to renominate Biden,” FiveThirtyEight reported, “while 58 percent said they’d prefer someone else.” That is a uniquely low level of enthusiasm amongst Democrats to reelect Biden.
By comparison, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump enjoyed majority support within their own parties when it came time to run for reelection.
Joe Biden, however, is polling nowhere near the majority.
But you can still expect Biden to be the Democratic nominee – because no one is going to run against him.
What Do Democrats Want?
Marianne Williamson doesn’t care, however.
She’s not a traditional politician; she’s a long shot under any circumstances; and she’s just going to go for it.
Yet “she doesn’t fit the profile of someone who could give Biden a real run for his money,” according to FiveThirtyEight.
So, what are Democrats looking for?
“First, they’re not looking for someone more progressive than [Biden]” Just over one-fifth of Democrats agree that Biden is “too conservative.”
It’s funny, because I’m not sure Biden has a progressive bone in his body. No, Democrats’ primary concern isn’t progressivism – it’s electability.
“A plurality of Democratic-aligned voters who wanted to replace [Biden] on the ticket said it was because they were afraid he would lose in the general election,” FiveThirtyEight reported.
Oh, and multiple polls have found that Democrats think Biden’s age is an issue.
To be clear, Biden’s age is an issue – he’s already 80 and a second term would bring him past his 86th birthday.
Williamson Won’t Win…
Williamson doesn’t check any of the boxes Democrats are looking for. First, because she’s progressive. Williamson is challenging Biden from the left, with the argument that Biden needs to be bolder about pushing progressivism. Second, Williamson does not assuage Democrats’ electability concerns. Williamson has run for office twice before (Congress in 2014 and President in 2020), losing both times.
Also, she has a spiritual sort of thing going on that has never really stuck in mainstream American politics. Third, Williamson is also old. While no one still vying for the presidency is as old as Biden, Williamson is 70; if she were elected, she would be the second oldest newly elected president in US history.
Williamson deserves credit for jumping in the ring, for challenging an incumbent no one is enthusiastic about and who is only falsely progressive. But Williamson is punching way above her weight class.
Democrats might not want Joe Biden, but they don’t want Williamson either.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.