President Joe Biden speaks about abortion access during an event in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Friday, July 8, 2022, in Washington.

A growing number of Democrats aren’t fully sold on a Biden 2024 bid

During a debate in New York’s 12th Congressional District, Democratic Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler — who are facing off against one another in the August 23 primary following redistricting — were asked whether President Joe Biden should run again in 2024.

Maloney said, “I don’t believe he’s running for reelection,” while Nadler responded that it’s “too early to say” and that it “doesn’t serve the purpose of the Democratic Party” to deal with the question until after midterm elections . (In a follow-up Wednesday morning, Maloney told CNN of Biden: “If he decides to run, I’m supporting him.”)

These comments are significant for several reasons.

1) Even as his job approval rating has dipped below 40%, Biden and his team have repeatedly made clear he plans to run for re-election. “The President intends to run in 2024,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said last week.

2) These weren’t back-bench members of Congress questioning their party’s leader. Maloney and Nadler both have served in the House for three decades and currently chair powerful committees.

3) They are far from the only elected Democratic officials who have publicly signaled they aren’t ready to get fully on board with a Biden 2024 bid just yet in recent days.

In fact, two Minnesota Democrats went even further on the question. In a local radio interview last week, Rep. Dean Phillips, who represents the Democratic-leaning 3rd District, said that he doesn’t think Biden should run for another term. “I think the country would be well served by a new generation of compelling, well-prepared, dynamic Democrats to step up,” Phillips said.
Rep. Angie Craig, who faces a tough re-election bid in the state’s 2nd District, agreed with her colleague. “I would say we need new leaders in Washington up and down the nerd in the Democratic Party,” Craig told MinnPost when asked if she would support Biden if he ran again.
And in the Senate, West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin has danced around the question. When asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday whether he thought Biden deserves another term, Manchin said: “I’m not getting involved in any election right now. 2022, 2024, I’m not speculating on it.”

The tune of some of these Democrats could change if/when a Biden 2024 campaign formally becomes a reality, which wouldn’t happen until after the midterms.

But that these Democrats feel they can speak publicly in this manner underscores the perilous position the President finds himself in. According to the latest CNN polling, just 38% of Americans approve of the job Biden is doing, while 75% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters said they want the party to nominate someone else in 2024.
It also puts even more pressure on Biden to turn things around — and fast. There are some signs of progress on Capitol Hill, with Congress sending bills aimed at boosting semiconductor production and expanding health care benefits for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits to Biden’s desk.
And a major part of Biden’s policy agenda, a climate and health care bill, was unexpectedly brought back to life by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Manchin. Getting that legislation over the finish line could help the President begin to put some of the party’s concerns to rest.

The Point: Until Biden is able to rack up a string of political victories, he will continue to face questions from his own party about his 2024 standing.

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