The future looks more and more bleak for President Biden.
Nearly two-thirds of Democratic voters (64%) want the party to pick a different candidate for the 2024 presidential race, while more than three-quarters of Americans (77%) say the country is moving in the wrong direction, according to a New York Times/Siena College poll released on Monday.
Only 13% say that the US is on the right track, the fewest since the depths of the Great Recession more than a decade ago.
As the White House struggles to respond to sky-high inflation, Biden’s job approval rating has fallen to 33%, including just 70% among Democrats.
Biden, the country’s oldest-ever president at 79, has repeatedly said he intends to run for re-election, but Democratic voters are growing less and less enthusiastic about the prospect.
When asked why they would prefer another candidate besides Biden in 2024, 33% cite his age, 32% point to his job performance, 12% say they just prefer someone new, 10% say Biden isn’t progressive enough, and 4% doubt his ability to win reelection.
The poll was released one day after the Times reported that some White House staffers are questioning whether the president can handle the rigors of what is expected to be a grueling campaign — citing the increasing number of gaffes in his speeches and a noticeable change in the way Biden walks.
Nicole Farrier, a 38-year-old preschool teacher in Michigan, told the Times she voted for Biden in 2020 in the hope that he would be able to bridge the political divisions in the country, but has become thoroughly disillusioned now.
“I’m just going to come out and say it: I want younger blood,” Farrier said. “I am so tired of all old people running our country. I don’t want someone knocking on death’s door.”
As with many Americans, increases in the cost of food, gasoline and other items over the past year-plus have put a dent in Farrier’s pocketbook.
“I went from living a comfortable lifestyle to I can’t afford anything anymore,” she said.
The poll found that 76% of Americans said the economy was an “extremely important” issue to them, with 78% saying the same of inflation and the cost of living.
Among Americans of working age – 18 to 64 years old – only 6% rated the economy as good or excellent, while 93% deemed it poor or fair.
Kelly King, 38, a former factory worker in Greensburg, Ind., who is currently suffering from a back injury, told the newspaper that she isn’t sure Biden is to blame for the higher prices but she feels like he should be more forceful about trying to ease the pain.
“I feel like he hasn’t really spoken much about it,” King said. “He hasn’t done what I think he’s capable of doing as president to help the American people. As a Democrat, I figured he would really be on our side and put us back on the right track. And I just feel like he’s not.”
At this point, King added, she hopes Republicans prevail in the 2022 midterms to chart a new course for the US.
John Waldron, 69, of Schenectady, NY, is another Biden voter who plans to vote for a GOP candidate in 2024.
“I thought he was going to do something for this country, but now he’s doing nothing,” said Waldron, a registered Republican and retired machinist.
Like many others, he’s concerned with the president’s age and his tendency toward verbal missteps, at one point comparing the leader of the free world to zombies.
“You ever see him on TV?” he told the Times. “That’s what he looks like.”
While Democrats appear to be down on Biden’s chances in 2024, they change their tone when faced with the possibility of a 2020 rematch with former President Donald Trump.
In that scenario, 92% of Democrats would back Biden.
The poll surveyed 849 registered voters between July 5 -7 and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.1 percentage points.