About half US Democrats want Joe Biden to run again: Poll

Democrats approve of the job the president is doing and would back him, but they have concerns about his age, poll shows.

Joe Biden points a finger in a press conference.
At 80, Joe Biden is already the oldest US president [File: Andrew Harnik/AP Photo]

As Joe Biden prepares to launch a re-election bid, a new poll shows that about half of Democrats want him to run again, but more than 80 percent said they would still back the US president against a Republican rival in the general elections in 2024.

The poll released on Friday by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed that 26 percent of Americans overall – including 47 percent of Democrats – want to see Biden seek a second term.

Biden’s candidacy appears to be gaining support among Democrats. A January poll showed 37 percent of Democratic respondents said they would like him to run.

A total of 81 percent of Democrats say they would at least probably support Biden in a general election if he is the nominee. The poll included 1,230 respondents.

Biden has indicated explicitly that he intends to pursue the presidency again, but he has not made a formal announcement. Several US media outlets have reported that the president will launch his campaign early next week, perhaps on Tuesday – four years to the day after he announced his 2020 campaign.

In Friday’s poll, 78 percent of Democratic respondents said they approve of the job Biden is doing as president. But his age seems to be the main concern about his candidacy.

At 80, Biden is already the oldest president in US history. If re-elected, he would be 82 at the time of his second inauguration and 86 by the end of that term.

Jenipher Lagana, 59, told the AP she likes Biden and described him as an “interesting man” who has had an “incredible political career”.

But “my problem with him running in 2024 is that he’s just so old”, said Lagana, who is retired and lives in California.

Sitting presidents eligible for re-election rarely face serious primary challenges from within their party. Biden would be a clear favourite to win the Democratic nomination if he runs again.

So far, two other Democrats have announced 2024 presidential campaigns, but their bids are largely seen as long-shot efforts.

Marianne Williamson, a self-help author and 2020 candidate, announced a primary challenge against Biden earlier this year, promising more progressive policies.

Robert F Kennedy Jr, a descendant of one of the most powerful Democratic families who is known as a vaccine sceptic, also launched a presidential campaign this month, promising to push back against what he called the “corrupt merger between state and corporate power”.

Kennedy is the nephew of slain US President John F Kennedy and the son of Robert Kennedy, who served as attorney general and was assassinated as he was running for president in 1968.

On the Republican side, former President Donald Trump appears to be the frontrunner for the 2024 nomination despite his legal troubles.

The former president is facing criminal charges in New York as well as various investigations, including into his push to overturn the results of the 2020 elections.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has yet to announce his bid, is widely considered Trump’s most serious rival for the Republican nomination. DeSantis has been rising to prominence in conservative circles as he championed right-wing causes on social issues in Florida as governor.

Nikki Haley, a former US envoy to the United Nations, is also seeking the Republican nomination.

Other candidates include former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Vivek Ramaswamy, an entrepreneur and author, and conservative commentator Larry Elder.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies