Democrats, Republicans, and Independents are getting restless. They want to know if President Joe Biden is running for re-election and if Vice President Kamala Harris will be on the ticket. Political analysts and observers are expecting a triumphant announcement soon – most likely a photo op with Biden and Harris holding their arms up high promising four more years – but that hasn’t happened yet. That leaves voters wondering who will be on the Democrat ballot for president in 2024.
What Are People Saying?
Fox News took the opportunity in Nashville, Tennessee to take the pulse of people on the street and ask them what they thought about Harris staying on the ticket. Some people said neither the president nor the vice president should run again.
One voter wondered whether Biden should keep Harris. “I don’t think he should,” one man, Kenny, told Fox News. “I think that she’s in over her head a little bit and probably needs more experience.”
Only Person Out of a Dozen Had Nice Things to Say About Harris
Fox News said it interviewed over 12 people in Nashville and they had similar sentiments except for one person who preferred that Harris run again. “When I vote, I look at who the person is, not the party and the politics that stuff involved,” Dawn said. “She’s a good person, and that’s why I voted for her.”
A voter named Bill disagreed and has negative sentiment about Harris. “She shouldn’t even be considered. She never should have been considered,” he said. “She didn’t do well in the presidential election when she was running, and I believe there’s only one reason she is vice president — a woman and her color.”
Others noted that Biden is too old to run again, and that Harris supports policies that are unpopular.
Can We Infer Much About Nashville?
Tennessee is a conservative state so that could explain some of the animus directed at the Democrats. In 2020, the state went 61 percent to 37 percent in favor of Donald Trump. However, Nashville is in liberal Davidson County. There the presidential vote was flipped. Davidson County went for Biden and Harris 64-32 over Trump and Pence. If that is a trend, this informal and nonscientific poll could be a warning to Democrats – that some of the party faithful do not approve of a Biden-Harris ticket in 2024 – even in a blue county. Of course, a few of the Fox News interviewees could have been tourists from other conservative states, but the negative sentiment was pronounced among those surveyed.
Biden and Harris Are Struggling in Approval Polls
These findings track with opinion polls. Election polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight has the average approval rating for Joe Biden at 42.6 percent with 52.7 percent disapproving as of April 20. The RealClearPolitics average is 42.9 in favor of Biden. Harris is struggling too. Her approval average on FiveThirtyEight is 40 percent. While on RealClearPolitics her approval is 39 percent.
Some voters do not know who would replace Harris should she be kicked off the ticket. Going back to the Fox News unscientific impromptu survey, a voter named Anna Marie said, “I really don’t know. Kennedy probably would be better than either one of them two.”
She was referring to Robert F. Kennedy Jr. who has announced he is running for president as a Democrat. Kennedy obviously has name recognition and is polling relatively well out of the gate. Bobby Kennedy’s son has 14 percent of support from Democrats in a USA Today/ Suffolk University poll. His race can be compared to the primary challenge his uncle, Ted Kennedy, ran against Jimmy Carter in 1979 and 1980. Kennedy won contests in 12 states and garnered over seven million votes across the country before ultimately losing to Carter.
This should send a warning signal to the Biden supporters working to re-elect the president. Their strategy may include an effort to portray Kennedy as a vaccine skeptic and highlight his other policy stances that may be out of step with Biden. As for Harris, the White House is trying to place her in the middle of the abortion debate to give her an issue area where she can excel. Harris has been criticized for her waning communication skills and lack of a clear role in the administration.
Biden needs a focused event to restart the excitement and enthusiasm in his candidacy and to put rumors to rest that he will not run and that he may replace Harris with a different vice presidential choice. The clock is ticking and the longer he waits the more people will speculate about his future.
Author Expertise and Experience:
Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.