A recent CNN survey has set off alarms within the Democratic camp, revealing that almost half (46 percent) of registered voters think any Republican presidential nominee would fare better than President Joe Biden in the 2024 election.
Even more worrisome for Democrats, 49 percent of respondents cited Biden’s age as their primary concern regarding his candidacy.
Biden’s overall approval rating in the poll was a paltry 39 percent, with just 74 percent approval among his fellow Democrats.
In hypothetical head-to-head matchups, Biden found himself in tight races with most of his potential Republican opponents, including former President Donald Trump, who is currently the front-runner for the GOP nomination. Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley led Biden by 6 points in a theoretical general election showdown, as per the CNN poll.
While some Democrats and Biden allies argue it’s too early in the 2024 election cycle to give much weight to these head-to-head matchups, they emphasize Biden’s strong track record and his campaign’s active mobilization of voters and ad campaigns in battleground states.
However, the CNN poll is just one in a series of concerning surveys for Biden. His approval ratings remain stagnant, and worries about his age persist among voters.
Concerns Over Joe Biden’s Age Abound
These fresh states are part of a broader trend of recent surveys highlighting concerns about Biden’s age. At 80 years old, he would be 86 at the conclusion of a potential second term
A Wall Street Journal poll conducted in late August found that only 42 percent of voters approved of Biden’s performance as president, and a staggering 73 percent of registered voters described Biden as “too old to run for president.”
An Associated Press/NORC poll conducted around the same time indicated that 77 percent of Americans and 69 percent of Democrats believe Biden is too old for a second term. However, 82 percent of Democrats said they would probably or definitely support him as the party’s nominee.
Anyone But Biden?
The CNN poll also revealed that while approximately two-thirds of Democrats or Democrat-leaning independents prefer someone other than Biden as their nominee, the majority could not identify a specific alternative. This underscores Biden’s status as the party’s standard-bearer as the 2024 cycle approaches.
Despite the absence of a serious challenger within the Democratic Party, Biden and his campaign will likely need to address questions about his age, which show no signs of dissipating.
Biden ‘Not Rattled’
Kate Bedingfield, former White House Communications Director and longtime Biden aide suggested the survey was unlikely to “rattle” the Biden White House, telling CNN “[it] is not going to be rattled by this because their view is there are going to be 500 polls between now and Election Day.
“But there’s a lot of information that isn’t here. That’s a reminder that campaigns don’t happen in a vacuum, and it’s on the Biden campaign to make this election a choice and to make it about the contrast between what Republicans are offering and what Biden is offering.”
Georgia Gilholy is a journalist based in the United Kingdom who has been published in Newsweek, The Times of Israel, and the Spectator. Gilholy writes about international politics, culture, and education.