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Democrats voice unease over Joe Biden running for US presidency again in 2024

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Last November, the White House indicated that Joe Biden (79) plans to contest the next presidential election. Photo: Reuters

Last November, the White House indicated that Joe Biden (79) plans to contest the next presidential election. Photo: Reuters

Last November, the White House indicated that Joe Biden (79) plans to contest the next presidential election. Photo: Reuters

More Democrats in the US Congress have begun to voice what many have mulled privately: whether President Joe Biden, the oldest person to ever occupy the Oval Office, ought to choose retirement over re-election in 2024.

With his approval rating at 38pc – and having held below 50pc since May – the 79-year-old Mr Biden has been damaged by bruising inflation and voter worries that he will not be able to meet the demands of the presidency in 2025.

Last November, the White House said Mr Biden plans to run again in 2024.

A pair of Democratic US representatives have articulated the message clearly.

“The country would be well served by a new generation of compelling, well-prepared, dynamic Democrats to step up,” Minnesota Democratic Representative Dean Phillips said in an interview last week with a local radio station.

Mr Phillips lauded Mr Biden’s service, but added it is time for generational change.

Democratic Representative Angie Craig, who unlike Mr Phillips faces a tough re-election in November, said she is “in lock step and alignment” with Mr Phillips.

Recent opinion polls have found similar views among Democratic voters. A July New York Times/Siena College poll found that 64pc of Democrats would like a new candidate in 2024, and a CNN poll last week found an even higher 75pc of Democrats hold that view.

Party activists normally rally around their president, especially if he is signalling that he will seek a second term. And they may do so if former president Donald Trump (76) decides to run again in 2024, a possibility he has been flirting with publicly.

“The hunger for a new generation of leadership is showing. But the hunger to beat Trump will always matter more. Biden is still the only name on the list of Republicans or Democrats who’ve done it,” noted Matt McAlvanah, a former Obama administration and Senate leadership official.

In July a poll by Reuters/Ipsos found that one-third of Republican voters think Mr Trump should not run again. Polls show Florida governor Ron DeSantis (43) gaining appeal among Republican voters.

White House officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment this week.

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One aide to a veteran House Democrat said this week that Mr Biden’s Covid-19 diagnosis last month kicked off a conversation among a half-dozen Democratic aides of varying political stripes about Mr ­Biden’s future. 

The aide noted there was a general consensus that it would be “foolish” to dump Mr Biden, given his strong win over Mr Trump in 2020. “It’s not like we have a ready alternative,” the aide added.

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer and other prominent Democratic lawmakers have expressed their support for a Biden run in 2024. Others are keeping their options open.

The chatter comes as Mr Biden points to a track record of legislative accomplishments. Last month he signed the first major federal gun safety bill in three decades.


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