Poll: Only 12% of Democrats say Biden should lead party

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 16: U.S. President Joe Biden waves as he walks toward Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House February 16, 2023 in Washington, DC. Biden is traveling to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland for his annual physical health exam. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — Only 12% of Democrats believe President Joe Biden should lead the Democratic Party, and less than half see him as their party’s current leader, a new AP-NORC poll revealed.

The recent survey asked Democrats and Republicans who they considered the current leader of their respective parties as well as who they think should lead their political parties.

Even with Biden as the current president, only 41% of Democrats viewed Biden as the Democratic Party’s current leader. However, the president still held a lead over other party members with only 12% of Democrats saying Biden should lead their party. Rep. Hakeem Jefferies (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) followed behind Biden with a three-way tie at 5% each.

According to the poll results, many Republicans could not name a current leader of the Republican party (38%) or who they believe should lead it (34%). However, about 22% of Republicans believe Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis should lead it, while former President Donald Trump trails him at 20%.

Overall, only 43% of all respondents approve of Biden’s job performance, with 77% of Democrats and 9% of Republicans approving of how the president is handling his job.

A previous AP-NORC poll from January revealed that a majority of Democrats think one term is plenty for Biden, despite his insistence that he plans to seek reelection in 2024. The results showed just 37% of Democrats say they want him to seek a second term, down from 52% in the weeks before last year’s midterm elections.

Follow-up interviews with poll respondents suggested that many believe the 80-year-old’s age is a liability, with people focused on his coughing, gait, gaffes and the possibility that the world’s most stressful job would be better suited for someone younger.

Some allies see Biden’s blunders as an increasing vulnerability in the eyes of voters as he’s grown older.

However, a Politico columnist reported that high-level Democrats are rallying behind Biden’s reelection because they fear the potential alternative of a Kamala Harris nomination and the election of Donald Trump.

“Nobody wants to be the one to do something that would undermine the chances of a Democratic victory in 2024,” Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) told Politico. “Yet in quiet rooms, the conversation is just the opposite — we could be at a higher risk if this path is cleared.”

As the oldest president in U.S. history, Biden hit his milestone birthday in 2022 faced with the decision of whether he should run for reelection. He’d be 86 at the end of a potential second term.

But Biden faces more pressing issues other than having to prove his age isn’t a factor: economic uncertainty, a wearying war in Ukraine and growing tensions with China are all challenges at the forefront for the president to overcome.

In addition, Biden has been contending with inflation that reached a four-decade high last summer. It’s since come down but still remains elevated.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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