A large majority of voters in a new Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll said President Joe Biden should not seek a second term in office, with most saying either that he has been a bad president or that he'll be too old to serve for four more years.
Most respondents, at 71%, said they don't think Biden should run again, compared to 29% who say he should seek a second term.
Of those who said Biden shouldn't run:
- 45% said he is a bad president.
- 36% said he's too old.
- 60% said they have doubts about his mental fitness.
- 26% said they believe it is time for a change.
"President Biden may want to run again, but the voters say no to the idea of a second term, panning the job he is doing as president. Only 30 percent of Democrats would even vote for him in a Democratic presidential primary," said Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS–Harris Poll survey.
Meanwhile, Biden came out as the favorite among potential Democrat candidates, but only netted about a third of the Democrats polled. His nearest potential challenger for the nomination was Vice President Kamala Harris, at 18%, followed by other possible candidates such as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, getting only single-digit nods.
If Biden chooses not to run, Harris was the choice of most voters, at 25%, followed by Clinton at 15% and Sanders at 12%.
Biden's approval ratings suffered in the poll as well, as he got a 38% overall approval rating. He scored low in other categories as well:
- Handling inflation, 28%
- The economy, 32%
- Stimulating jobs, 43%
- Reacting to COVID-19, 50%
Meanwhile, a majority of the poll's respondents, at 61%, also said former President Donald Trump should not run for the White House again either, with 39% saying he should run.
Among those who said that Trump should not run:
- 39% said he was erratic.
- 33% said he would divide the country.
- 30% said he was responsible for Jan. 6.
Furthermore, most voters, at 60%, said they would consider a moderate, independent candidate should Biden and Trump running against each other again, with 40% saying they would not consider it.
By party, 53% of Republicans and 64% of Democrats said they'd consider the moderate candidate.
However, voters said, by a small lead, that they would pick Trump over either Biden or Harris if the election were being held now:
- Trump over Biden, 43% to 40%.
- Trump over Harris, 45% to 39%.
But Harris came out ahead in a potential race against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is also being mentioned as a potential contender against Trump for the GOP nomination, at 39% to 37%.
The survey was conducted on June 28-29 and polled 1,308 registered voters. The online sample was drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. It was a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and the Harris Poll and did not report a confidence interval.
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