It’s difficult to find anything that over 70% of Americans agree on in 2022. But there’s one issue that brings the nation together. In a new Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll, a stunning 71% of the country does not want President Joe Biden to run for reelection.
Only 29% support a second run.
Reasons vary among respondents as 45% believe he is a bad president, one-third say he is too old and roughly one-quarter simply want a change. A full 60% have doubts about his mental fitness.
Mark Penn, the survey’s co-director, said the results send a clear message of voters’ wishes and the job the vast majority of the U.S. believe Biden is doing.
Only 30% of Democrats say they would even vote for him in their presidential primary.
Put up against the potential Democratic field, Biden outperformed Vice President Kamala Harris, who netted 18%. Single-digit finishers included former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
If Biden chooses or is forced to step away, Harris is the top Democratic choice with 25%. Interestingly, it is the suddenly highly visible Hillary Clinton next in preference with 15%.
Of the 2020 presidential contenders, former President Donald Trump scored nearly 10% higher than Biden in respondents who want him to make another bid for the White House. That still showed 61% against the idea of a third attempt.
In the more telling result, Trump wins head-to-head over Biden 43% to 40% and Harris 45% to 39%.
If the former president chooses against another run, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis becomes the clear early favorite for 2024 with 36% support. Former Vice President Mike Pence finishes second with only 17% of likely Republican primary voters.
For what it’s worth, 60% of respondents say they would consider a moderate independent if Biden and Trump square off again. Consideration and actually voting for are very different acts as the U.S. historically shows little interest in a third hat thrown into the ring.
Still, the most obvious take from the polling is that Americans are unhappy with the status quo. Where that takes us in 2024 is anybody’s guess at this point, but it’s virtually impossible to see a scenario where Biden begins a second term in 2025.