A new poll found that Vice President Kamala Harris and former first lady Michelle Obama are voters’ top two selections for the presidential nomination in 2024, should President Joe Biden decide not to run again.
The survey of 939 registered voters, conducted by Hill-HarrisX between November 18-19, found that Harris led all potential contenders with a 13% share of support from respondents. Mrs. Obama followed closely behind with 10% of the vote. The poll had a 3.2% margin of error.
Harris notably won the largest amount of support from voters who supported Biden in 2020, with 22% of the vote.
Other candidates who received 5% or less of voters’ support included Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Biden Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, former Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg, and investor and former candidate for both President and New York City Mayor Andrew Yang.
Another 13% preferred a candidate not on the list. 36% responded that they were “unsure” who they would vote for if Biden decided not to seek re-election.
Members of the Biden White House have said that the president plans to run for re-election in 2024, but Biden would be 81 on Election Day 2024 and 82 upon his swearing in for a second term. Biden’s approval rating has also cratered following the administration’s mishandling of the Afghanistan withdrawal and the double-edged sword of inflation and the supply chain crisis, especially as the Christmas season approaches. Biden’s job approval rating stands at just 41.7%, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls.
Voters are also skeptical of Biden’s ability to carry out another campaign and a second term. A Politico/Morning Consult poll found that a near-majority of voters disagreed that Biden, the oldest person ever to serve in the Oval Office, was “in good health.” Fifty percent of voters disagreed, while 40% agreed, and only 10% did not know or had no opinion.
Biden himself received his annual physical last week. His physician noted two outstanding health issues: Biden’s chronic cough, which the doctor said was “more frequent and pronounced” (though he noted that it could simply be a perception brought on by increased public scrutiny), and his walk, which the doctor said was noticeably “stiffer and less fluid.” Reports also suggest that Biden did not take a cognitive test during the exam.
Talk of Biden’s successor has gained traction in recent months, but Harris is dealing with problems of her own, including bogged down approval ratings. A recent poll found that Harris’ job approval rating sits at a paltry 28%, ten points lower than Biden’s in the same poll. Two of Harris’ aides have moved on amid the low approval rating and rumors of a rift between her and Biden.
Harris’ floundering poll numbers have led to some speculation about a possible run from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, especially after a Politico/Morning Consult poll found he had a higher approval rating than many other members of the Biden cabinet.