Half of likely Democratic primary voters in a crucial early voting state in the party’s nominating calendar don’t want President Biden to seek re-election next year, according to a new survey.
And Biden only grabs the support of a quarter of Democratic voters in a hypothetical primary field, according to a poll released Thursday from the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.
Biden, whose approval ratings among all Americans remain in negative territory, has repeatedly said that he intends to seek a second term in the White House, but he has yet to make any formal announcements. Biden told reporters this past weekend that an announcement would come ‘relatively soon.
He’s facing long-shot bids from two primary challengers – Marianne Williamson, the best-selling author and spiritual adviser who launched her campaign in early March – and environmental lawyer and high-profile vaccine critic Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who declared his candidacy on Wednesday.
According to the new poll, Biden grabs only 25% support among likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire when respondents were offered a list of possible 2024 contenders. While nothing to brag about, Biden’s support is up from 18% in the University of New Hampshire’s previous survey, which was conducted in January.
Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of neighboring Vermont, the progressive champion who was the runner-up in the 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential nomination races, stands at 17%. Sanders has said he wouldn’t challenge Biden in 2024 if the president seeks re-election, but hasn’t ruled out another campaign if Biden doesn’t run. Former first lady Michelle Obama stands at 10% support. While many Democrats opine for another Obama as the party’s standard-bearer, the former first lady has never indulged in the speculation.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who each unsuccessfully ran for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, stood at 9% and 8% in the poll, with everyone else in the lower single digits.
‘Support for Biden is at its highest level for the 2024 cycle but has never come close to 50% support in New Hampshire,’ the poll release highlighted.
According to the poll, 50% of likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire said they don’t want Biden to seek a second term, with 43% saying he should run again. But while he’s still underwater, Biden’s numbers are an improvement from the January survey, when by a 67%-27% margin, respondents didn’t want the president to run for re-election.
Biden’s taken plenty of heat in recent months in New Hampshire for his move – which was approved by Democratic National Committee (DNC) – to move the Granite State’s presidential primary out of its position as the first in the nation primary. New Hampshire will now vote second in the DNC’s calendar, along with Nevada, three days after South Carolina, under the DNC’s new schedule. The DNC changed the nominating calendar in an effort to reflect more diversity in the Democratic Party. Both Iowa, which was booted from the lead off position, and New Hampshire, are overwhelmingly Caucasian.
With New Hampshire law mandating that the state hold the first primary in the White House race, it’s all nearly certain that the state will move up the date of their contest and hold a primary that will not be sanctioned by the DNC. And with the president likely to stay off the ballot in New Hampshire to avoid an unsanctioned primary, Kennedy and Williamson could grab plenty of national media attention and potentially create a bit of mischief in the Democratic nomination race.
The president came in a distant fourth in the Iowa caucuses and fifth in the New Hampshire primary in 2020, before rebounding to a second-place finish in Nevada. Biden then won South Carolina — where Black voters play an outsized role in Democratic Party primaries — in a landslide, boosting him towards his party’s nomination and eventually the White House.
Biden’s push to move South Carolina to the top of the 2024 calendar – which would give him a friendly nomination pathway – was taken as another signal he would run for re-election next year.