By Joe Gomez
President Joe Biden is facing a crisis with Democrat-leaning voters as he runs for reelection, with the majority saying they would prefer an alternative candidate citing concerns about his age.
President Biden is 80 years old, making him the oldest president in American history, and if reelected he would be 86 by the time he left office. Multiple surveys have shown that fact alone is enough for most Democratic voters to question whether he’s fit to run for the presidency a second time.
“I think Biden is too old. We need someone younger in office. I’m glad he beat Trump, but he even said he was a ‘transition candidate’ at the beginning,” Democratic voter Janet Rodriguez of Seattle, Washington, told The Epoch Times. “I took that to mean he was not going to run again. I wish we had someone different like California Gov. Gavin Newsom.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom has said he would not run for president if President Biden chose to run again.
Democrat Robert Wildermuth of San Diego, California also believes he was tricked by Biden during the 2008 presidential campaign.
“In 2020 we were also voting for Vice President Kamala Harris since there’s a pretty high chance she’ll have to succeed him. I don’t think that’s a bad thing but it’s the reality [due to Biden’s age],” Mr. Wildermuth told The Epoch Times. “But then she disappeared as soon as they won, like any VP, but the White House also probably didn’t want people thinking about that too much.”
During an interview with CBS News, Ms. Harris addressed concerns about President Biden’s age saying she was prepared to be commander-in-chief.
“Yes I am if necessary, but Joe Biden is gonna be fine,” she said.
But skeptical political observers like Jon Caldara, president of the Independence Institute (a free market think tank in Denver, Colorado) don’t necessarily believe that’s going to be the case.
“We all should be concerned about Biden’s age. This is a man who is the leader of the free world who carries the nuclear football, and he is obviously dealing—not just with physical issues—but with deteriorating mental acuity and possible dementia,” Mr. Caldara told The Epoch Times. “We all should be scared about this and let’s say what everyone is thinking, the person in the number two spot is just as scary. No one wants to see Ms. Harris as president she is as unpopular as Hillary Clinton.”
Mr. Caldara believes that former President Donald Trump could win the general election against President Biden if the president wins the Democratic Primary.
“The Democrats have a ridiculous problem on their hands and it’s really delicious to see. The whole strategy that the Democrats have of making sure that Trump is the nominee … could really backfire on them,” he said.
In a general election, an average of national polls from Real Clear Politics show President Biden narrowly leads President Trump by 0.4 percentage points. And a recent shock poll from CNN shows President Trump beating President Biden by 1 percent if the presidential election were held today, the same poll shows former governor of South Carolina Gov. Niki Haley besting him by 6 percentage points.
Despite the dismal poll numbers for President Biden, he still maintains strong support among stalwarts within the Democrat Party.
“Joe Biden will be the Democratic nominee and he will defeat Donald Trump by a wider margin than in 2020,” Matt Angle, Democratic strategist and founder of the Texas Lonestar Project, told The Epoch Times. “Democrats by nature fret and worry and argue the perfect against the good. The polls reflect that and not much more.”
The general election is still more than a year away and Biden supporter Tiffany Lord of Phoenix, Arizona, says anything can happen.
“Between now and Nov. 5, 2024, a lot can change as we saw when Hillary ran against Trump,” Ms. Lord told The Epoch Times. “I don’t put a lot of faith in these polls this far out. Is he old? Yes, but he is the only one who can bring the Democratic party together and beat Donald Trump.”
As President Biden has made history by becoming the oldest sitting president in U.S. history, Trump also has a place in the record books as the only former president to face criminal charges, with 91 charges against him in four jurisdictions.
“Trump has more baggage than Biden does,” Ms. Lord said. “I don’t care about Hunter Biden’s problems I care about Biden beating Trump.”
President Biden and President Trump both suffer from high unfavorability ratings (pdf) which could potentially give a third-party candidate a significant boost in the general election if the two were to win their party’s nomination, according to Angela McArdle Chair of the Libertarian National Committee.
“Even Democrats are finally admitting the emperor wears no clothes, President Biden’s dwindling support with Democratic voters is encouraging,” Ms. McArdle told The Epoch Times. “It seems like third parties might be gaining more traction with younger voters and they might start giving us serious consideration as baby boomers age out of the political spotlight.”
Ms. McArdle believes “die-hard Democrats” wouldn’t be interested in a third party vote but that “lots of left-of-center voters, who care about free speech, could easily drift away from their party.”
One possible third-party candidate who has been making headlines nationally and keeping his party guessing is Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) who has not said whether he will seek reelection or make an independent run for the White House.
Manchin headlined a No Labels campaign-style town hall in New Hampshire in July but seemingly avoided questions on whether he would run for president as an independent.
“I think people are putting the cart ahead of the horse. We’re here to make sure that the American people have an option. And the option is can you move the political parties off their respective sides? They’ve gone too far right and too far left,” Manchin said. “That can’t be done unless they’re threatened.”
Manchin also recently made a pointed remark against both the Democrat and Republican Parties after the CNN poll showed 67 percent of Democrats want an alternative candidate to President Biden.
“I think the people have basically spoken, they’re not happy with the two choices—and only choices,” Manchin said.