Harris, Newsom top list of Democratic preferences if Biden doesn’t run: poll

Vice President Harris and California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) are Democrats’ top two choices to run for president if President Biden chooses not to seek a second term in 2024, according to a new poll.

A NewsNation-Decision Desk HQ poll released on Thursday found that 31 percent of Democrats surveyed would most prefer Harris as the 2024 Democratic presidential nominee if Biden doesn’t run, followed by 17 percent who chose Newsom.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who caucuses with Democrats and was Biden’s closest competitor for the nomination in 2020, received 13 percent support, followed by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who had a surprisingly strong showing in the 2020 race, at 10 percent.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) each received less than 10 percent. 

The poll found 30 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of respondents overall did not want Biden to run for another term.

While Biden and White House officials have repeatedly said he plans to run in 2024, the NewsNation-Decision Desk HQ poll is not the first to show a sizable portion of Americans, including Democrats, are not enthusiastic about the president running again.

A New York Times-Siena College poll released earlier this month found 64 percent of Democrats would prefer someone other than Biden in 2024.

Thursday’s poll was another sign of voter dissatisfaction with Biden, with 57 percent of respondents saying they disapproved of his performance and 43 percent saying they approved.

The issue of inflation also continues to be top of mind for Americans, with about 94 percent people polled saying they are somewhat or very concerned about inflation.

That polling complicates an already challenging environment for Democrats who face several headwinds in November, including low Biden approval ratings, high inflation and the historical trend that the president’s party usually suffers some losses in the midterms. 

The NewsNation-Decision Desk HQ poll was conducted July 22 to July 24 and surveyed about 1,000 registered voters, though the exact number of respondents varied by question. The margin of error also varied by question but is around plus or minus 3 percentage points overall.