A recent Harvard-Harris poll indicates that if President Joe Biden, who is 81 years old, decides not to run in the 2024 election due to age or other reasons like fitness for office, failed 2016 Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stands among the top choices for the Democrats’ primary.
The poll, comprising over 2,000 respondents, revealed doubts among voters regarding President Biden’s mental fitness for serving as the commander-in-chief. A majority of likely voters expressed concerns about Biden running for a second term, with notable partisan differences: 33 percent of Democrats, 81 percent of Republicans, and 66 percent of Independents suggesting he shouldn’t pursue re-election.
Moreover, the survey unveiled a shared sentiment across the political spectrum, with most agreeing on the necessity for “another choice” in the upcoming election, beyond a potential face-off between President Biden and former President Donald Trump.
Regarding the Democrats’ potential picks in case Biden withdraws from the race, Vice President Kamala Harris emerged as the top choice with 24 percent, followed by Hillary Clinton at 13 percent. Senator Bernie Sanders ranked third at 10 percent, while California Governor Gavin Newsom and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg both garnered 7 percent.
The survey, however, did not explore voter expectations for a hypothetical contest between President Trump and Hillary Clinton, but it indicated that the former president was expected to win comfortably against Vice President Harris (52 percent versus 41 percent).
In terms of net favorability ratings, former President Trump trailed only Robert F. Kennedy Jr., holding a 44 percent rating, securing seventh place, while Hillary Clinton ranked lower at 44 percent.
However, Hillary Clinton stirred controversy with recent remarks calling for the “formal deprogramming” of Trump supporters during an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. She criticized the current acrimony between Republicans and Democrats, particularly singling out MAGA extremists who she claimed follow Donald Trump’s “marching orders.” Clinton’s past comments, labeling Trump supporters as “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic,” were reiterated, advocating for a “formal deprogramming of the cult members.”
In response to Clinton’s comments, the Make America Great Again Inc. super PAC criticized her remarks, affirming President Trump’s belief that Clinton’s comments validated his stance against those who oppose him.
Meanwhile, President Biden’s age became a focal point of concern, with various polls highlighting apprehensions about his fitness for a second term due to his age and overall health. A Washington Post-ABC News poll revealed that 74 percent of Americans considered him too old to seek another term, while an NBC News poll found that nearly 74 percent of respondents questioned his mental and physical fitness for a re-election bid.