Democrats cast doubt on Joe Biden 2024 bid as calls for new leadership grow

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President Biden says he wants to run again - but will he? - Patrick Semansky /AP
President Biden says he wants to run again - but will he? - Patrick Semansky /AP

Democrats have privately cast doubt on Joe Biden's pledge that he will run again in 2024, suggesting that the President "needs time" to accept the inevitable and bow out.

The White House, and Mr Biden himself, have repeatedly maintained that he intends to seek re-election which, if successful, would mean him being President until he is 86.

But one Democrat figure, who has worked with Mr Biden, told The Daily Telegraph: "I don't think he should run again. There's serious growing concern [among Democrats]. A lot of people will point to the dismal polls, but many want to give the President some time to come to the right conclusion on his own.

"I think we're going to see those voices grow louder for new leadership heading into 2024. His role, which he has executed admirably, was as a transition from the tragic Trump presidency to the next chapter."

Mr Biden, 79, won the presidency amid massively scaled back campaigning during the pandemic, and some Democrats fear he would not fare as well in a much more arduous election next time.

Amid concerns over the President's age one personal friend, who has known him for decades, recently told The Daily Telegraph: "His clutch has slipped a little. He has the energy people have at that age."

In an annual health assessment last week the White House physician revealed that, while healthy and fit for duty, Mr Biden has "significant spinal arthritis," and his "ambulatory gait is perceptibly stiffer and less fluid than it was a year ago."

He is also suffering from an "increasing frequency and severity of throat clearing."

Mr Biden's poll ratings have plummeted due to a series of policy failures including the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, inflation, and internal Democrat bickering over his domestic tax and spending plans.

His approval rating has fallen by more than a dozen percentage points and is now in the low 40s, comparable to his predecessor's.

In response to the growing doubts in his own party Mr Biden's allies have been instructed to tell Democrat officials and activists that he does intend to run again.

The President himself has personally sought to reassure Democrat donors.

On Monday, asked if Mr Biden would run, his press secretary Jen Psaki said: "He is. That's his intention."

If he does run again the prospect of Mr Biden being challenged for the party nomination by another Democrat seems remote.

It is thought more probable that Mr Biden would seek re-election if Donald Trump runs.

The President believes he is the Democrat most capable of beating Mr Trump.

In a further signal that Mr Trump will do so it emerged his team has begun strategising for 2024.

Trump - Reuters
Trump - Reuters

They are concentrating on taking back five key states lost by less than three percentage points in 2020.

Those are the three rust belt states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, plus Georgia and Arizona.

Mr Trump is actively backing candidates for local offices in those states, which could ultimately help him in a presidential election.

New polling conducted by Mr Trump’s former pollster Tony Fabrizio showed him currently leading Mr Biden in all five states.

Mr Trump had leads of 12 points in Michigan, 10 in Wisconsin, eight in Arizona, six in Pennsylvania, and three in Georgia.

Mr Fabrizio said: "This new data clearly shows that, today, the voters in these five key states would be happy to return Trump to the White House and send Biden packing."

He added: "Poll after poll clearly demonstrates that former President Donald Trump is still the 800-pound gorilla in the Republican party."

The polling showed Mr Trump leading Mr Biden on a host of issues including who was best to handle the economy.

Meanwhile, Democrat polling showed voters are now confused about what the party stands for.

In the wake of Democrats losing the governorship of Virginia in an election this month, the party conducted focus groups in the state.

They found that Democrat voters "could not say what they [Democrat politicians] are doing in Washington, besides fighting."

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