California Democrats are split on the question of whether they want President Joe Biden to seek a second term in office.
A recently conducted Berkley Institute of Governmental Studies poll of registered California voters found that while 46% of Democrats are in favor of another Biden White House bid, 46% oppose the idea of the president running in 2024. While 20% were strongly against Biden running again, 26% were somewhat opposed, 31% were somewhat in favor, and 15% strongly supported the idea.
Asked to select their top pick in the event that Biden chooses not to run again, the poll found that California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) were each selected as the top choice by 13% of people eligible to cast a ballot during the Golden State’s Democratic presidential primary, a pool which includes those registered either as Democrats or with no party preference. Vice President Kamala Harris, who previously served as a U.S. senator from California, was the third most popular, with 10% selecting her as their first choice.
Newsom, who survived a recall election last year, is currently running in the state’s 2022 gubernatorial contest. He has previously claimed to “have sub-zero interest” in a 2024 White House bid, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“While many California Democrats are not convinced that Biden should run again, the absence of a clear Democratic alternative may afford the President more space in avoiding a serious primary challenge should he decide to seek reelection,” IGS co-director Eric Schickler noted.
Biden — who said last year that he plans to seek another term, provided that he is healthy — is already the oldest president in U.S. history and would be 86 years old by the end of a second term.
Former President Donald Trump is widely expected to mount another presidential run, so if Biden does run again, the 2024 race could end up being a rematch of the 2020 presidential contest.
The poll found that among registered Republicans in the state, 38% chose Trump as their top pick for the 2024 GOP primary, while 27% chose Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.