Leading Democratic lawmakers have raised concerns about US President Joe Biden's ability to win reelection in 2024 after polls showed him behind several potential Republican 2024 candidates.
They acknowledged the primary challenge faced by the soon-to-be 81-year-old president is his age, which has a negative impact on how voters view his candidacy and adds to the overall lack of excitement for his 2024 reelection campaign.
A CNN/SSRS poll of 1,503 adults nationwide conducted Aug. 25-31 shows Biden's job approval rating stands at 39 percent. Additionally, 67 percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters say the Democratic Party should select a different candidate for the presidential nomination other than Biden in the upcoming year.
The survey also reveals that 58 percent of Americans have an unfavorable impression of President Biden, and a significant majority of respondents, nearly three-quarters, express concerns about his age.
“You got to be concerned about those poll numbers, you just do,” Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, said. “There’s plenty of time to get them back up. Whether he can or not, I just don’t know but you got to be concerned.”
Sen. John Hickenlooper, a Colorado Democrat, said he’s frustrated that Biden’s poll numbers are so bad despite the strength of the economy and the president’s legislative accomplishments, such as the Inflation Reduction Act.
Polling data released by CNN and SSRS on Thursday brought further unfavorable results for Biden, as it showed the Democratic incumbent was behind several Republican candidates in hypothetical head-to-head matchups.
Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley led the president by 6 points, with 49 percent support compared to his 43 percent. Former Vice President Mike Pence, South Carolina's GOP Senator Tim Scott and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie were all 2 points ahead of Biden, and the president was tied with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Former President Donald Trump, the clear frontrunner in the Republican field, also was ahead of Biden by 1 point.
On Wednesday, US Vice President Kamala Harris announced her readiness to fulfill her constitutional duty to assume the presidency should President Joe Biden be unable to complete his term, amid concerns over his health and age.
She described the idea of possibly stepping into the role of president as "hypothetical" but said she was ready while dismissing concerns about Biden being too old for office.
Biden is already the oldest president in US history and he would be 86 by the end of his second term if he were to win reelection in 2024.
A previous poll conducted in December had found almost 60 percent of registered voters in the US expressing serious concerns about Biden’s mental fitness, citing frequent instances in which Biden had appeared to be completely disoriented in public.