Hillary Clinton Among Top Picks to Run in 2024 If Joe Biden Doesn’t: Poll

Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is near the top of the list Democrat voters think should run if President Joe Biden drops out of the 2024 race.
Hillary Clinton Among Top Picks to Run in 2024 If Joe Biden Doesn’t: Poll
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a panel at the Vital Voices Global Festival in Washington on May 5, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)
Tom Ozimek
11/23/2023
Updated:
11/24/2023
0:00

A recent poll shows that failed 2016 Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is among the Democrats’ top picks for the party’s primary if 81-year-old President Joe Biden decides not to run in 2024 due to age or other factors, such as fitness for office.

Most of the 2,000-plus respondents to the Harvard-Harris poll said that they have doubts about President Biden’s mental fitness to serve as commander-in-chief, while more voters said he is worsening as president rather than improving.

Around three in five of all likely voters said President Biden shouldn’t run for a second term, though there were sharp partisan differences, with 33 percent of Democrats compared to 81 percent of Republicans and 66 percent of Independents expressing that view.

At the same time, strong majorities across the political spectrum agreed that the country needs “another choice” other than a matchup between President Biden and former President Donald Trump.

(Left) President Joe Biden gives a thumbs up as he leaves St. Edmond Roman Catholic Church in Rehoboth Beach, Del., on Nov. 4, 2023. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images); (Right) Former President Donald Trump looks on during a campaign rally at Trendsetter Engineering Inc. in Houston, Texas, on Nov. 2, 2023. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
(Left) President Joe Biden gives a thumbs up as he leaves St. Edmond Roman Catholic Church in Rehoboth Beach, Del., on Nov. 4, 2023. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images); (Right) Former President Donald Trump looks on during a campaign rally at Trendsetter Engineering Inc. in Houston, Texas, on Nov. 2, 2023. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Clinton Near Top of List

Amid swirling doubts about President Biden’s fitness to continue to occupy the White House, pollsters asked Democrat voters who their pick would be if President Biden decides to opt out of the 2024 race.

The top pick was Vice President Kamala Harris (24 percent), with Ms. Clinton in second spot with 13 percent.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was third (10 percent), followed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, both with 7 percent each.

While the poll didn’t gauge voter expectations for the results of a matchup between President Trump and Ms. Clinton, the former president was expected to beat Vice President Harris handily in a head-to-head contest (52 percent versus 41 percent).

In terms of net favorability ratings, President Trump trailed only Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (52 percent versus 51 percent), with the former president well ahead of Ms. Clinton (44 percent), who was in 7th place.

Hillary Clinton speaks onstage during the 22nd Annual Global Leadership Awards hosted by Vital Voices at The Kennedy Center in Washington on Oct. 25, 2023. (Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Vital Voices Global Partnership)
Hillary Clinton speaks onstage during the 22nd Annual Global Leadership Awards hosted by Vital Voices at The Kennedy Center in Washington on Oct. 25, 2023. (Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Vital Voices Global Partnership)

‘Formal Deprogramming’ of Trump Supporters

While President Trump is no stranger to poking fun at Ms. Clinton (e.g. calling her a “marshmallow” or mocking her for barking like a dog at a 2016 campaign event), the former secretary of state has drawn controversy over her recent remarks calling for the reeducation of Trump supporters.

The failed 2016 Democratic presidential candidate told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an interview in October that there have always been “bitter battles over all kinds of things” between Republicans and Democrats—but now things have become more acrimonious.

Back then, there wasn’t “this little tail of extremism wagging the dog of the Republican party as it is today,” she said, adding that, “sadly, so many of those extremists—those MAGA extremists—take their marching orders from Donald Trump who has no credibility left by any measure.”

Ms. Clinton then expressed frustration that President Trump’s supporters continue to stand behind him despite the fact that he faces numerous charges, including dozens of felonies.

“He’s now defending himself in civil actions and criminal actions, and when do they break with him?” Ms. Clinton asked. “Because at some point—you know—maybe there needs to be a formal deprogramming of the cult members. Something needs to happen.”

Ms. Clinton’s call for deprogramming echoed her 2016 sentiment when she expressed disdain for Trump supporters who are mostly in the working and middle classes.

“You can put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call a basket of deplorables,” she said at a 2016 campaign event. “They’re racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it. And, unfortunately, there are people like that, and he has lifted them up.”

While President Trump did not comment on Ms. Clinton’s remarks about deprogramming his supporters, the Make America Great Again Inc. super PAC issued a critical statement.

“President Trump has said countless times that they are only coming after him because he stands in their way from coming after you—and Hillary Clinton just confirmed that to be true,” the campaign statement said.

“Tens of millions of Americans will reject the Democrat Party’s re-education camp agenda in November 2024 when we make Donald Trump the 47th president of the United States,” it added.

Biden’s Age in Focus

President Biden celebrated his 81st birthday on Nov. 20, which he spent pardoning two turkeys called Liberty and Bell, as part of the White House’s annual Thanksgiving tradition.

“And by the way, it’s my birthday today,” President Biden announced during the turkey pardoning ceremony on the South Lawn. “I just want you to know it’s difficult turning 60,” he joked.

President Biden is the oldest president in American history. If reelected, he will begin his second term at the age of 82.

While he’s expressed optimism about his reelection chances, numerous polls have shown that President Biden’s age is a concern for most Americans.

According to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, 74 percent of Americans said the president was too old to run for another term.
Another poll by NBC News released in September found that nearly 74 percent of respondents were concerned about the president’s mental and physical health and that he was not fit for a second term.
Emel Akan and Matt McGregor contributed to this report.
Tom Ozimek is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times. He has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education.
twitter