President Joe Biden has fallen behind his own Transportation Secretary among likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire, who narrowly prefer Pete Buttigieg over Biden for the Democratic nomination in 2024.
Biden trailed Buttigieg by one point in a University of New Hampshire (UNH) poll released Tuesday. While Biden fared poorly in the state’s 2020 Democratic primary, his apparent failure to win over the Granite State with the advantage of incumbency is likely a symptom of how unpopular the president has grown, even within his own party.
“President Biden is increasingly seen as an electoral liability for Democrats, both in the 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential election,” said Andrew Smith, director of the UNH Survey Center.
The UNH Survey Center polled 1,043 New Hampshire residents between July 21-25, with 430 likely Democratic Primary voters surveyed. The poll has a margin of error of three points.
Biden came in a distant fifth in the 2020 Democratic primary for president in New Hampshire. Buttigieg was barely edged out of the top spot by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). After the election, though, New Hampshire Democrats rallied around Biden, and by July 2021, 74% of New Hampshire Democrats backed Biden as the party’s nominee in 2024, according to UNH polling.
Biden’s support among New Hampshire Democrats has dropped precipitously over the past year. Just 31% now say that the president should be the party’s nominee in 2024 as his administration has struggled to handle multiple crises ranging from domestic to international, and from immigration, to the economy, to disastrous outcomes in Afghanistan and Ukraine.
Of the potential Democratic candidates for president included in Tuesday’s survey results, just three had a worse net favorability among all New Hampshire voters than Biden (-37): former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (-50), Vice President Kamala Harris (-42), and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (-38). Stacey Abrams is the least unpopular with a net favorability rating of -6, with Buttigieg in second at -8.
Among the issues that New Hampshire voters are most concerned about with Biden, his age is one of the most pressing. A large majority of voters from all across the political spectrum said they were at least somewhat concerned with his age: 88% of Republicans, 75% of Democrats, and 65% of Independents. Biden will be 81 years old during the 2024 campaign season.
The results of the New Hampshire poll reflect national voters’ concerns with a potential Biden 2024 run. A poll released last week by Quinnipiac University placed Biden’s job performance approval rate at just 31%, a record low. The poll also showed that less than a quarter of respondents, 24%, wanted Biden to run for president again. A majority of Democrats, 54%, said Biden should leave the Oval Office at the end of this term.