The vast majority of Democratic primary voters say they would like to see President Joe Biden debate other Democratic candidates running for president in the 2024 election campaign.
A USA Today/Suffolk University poll suggests 80% of Democrats want to see Biden take on challenger Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in a series of debates.
Even 72% of Biden supporters seemed to favor the idea.
The possibility of such a debate actually taking place is slim, with Biden showing no interest in participating because he calculates that he has little to gain from such a meeting.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) also said it would not sponsor any debates.
The overwhelming majority of Democratic primary voters say they would like to see debates between President Joe Biden and his fellow Democratic candidates
About 80% of Democrats have expressed a desire to see Biden engage in debates with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., pictured, who is challenging Biden’s nomination
Among Democrats polled in recent poll, 58% back Biden for nomination, while 15% back Kennedy
Such positions are typical when a president is running for a second term, with incumbents on both sides of the aisle tending to avoid televised debates.
‘As you know, no R holder [Republican] or D [Democrat] have been doing debates,’ Kevin Munoz, a spokesman for the Biden campaign, told USA today.
In 1980, then-President Jimmy Carter did not debate Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy.
It is Kennedy’s nephew, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., 69, who is now issuing a challenge to Biden that has limited chances of success.
Kennedy is a former environmental lawyer who has in the past promoted conspiracy theories about the safety of FDA-approved vaccines.
“The decision not to debate ignores the 82% of women, 84% of unionized households, 86% of independents and 90% of young voters who not only plan to vote in their state’s Democratic primary or caucus next year , but also would like to see a series of Democratic primary debates,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk Center for Political Research which conducted the poll.
The feverish anticipation of a face-off is evident on social media. One user said “that would be comedy gold,” given Biden’s unconventional opponents. Others denounced a “rigged” and “undemocratic” selection process.
Although Biden’s nomination did not face significant threats, the poll underscores the importance of solidifying and energizing the Democratic base.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (left) waves to the crowd at the launch of his 2024 campaign alongside his wife, actress Cheryl Hines (right), of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Nearly three-quarters of voters want to see Biden take the stage with his longtime Democratic challengers
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (right) is pictured as a child with his uncle, President John F. Kennedy (left)
Campaign memorabilia for Robert F. Kennedy Jr are sold at his campaign launch
Among Democrats polled, 58% back Biden for the nomination, while 15% back Kennedy and 6% back Marianne Williamson. Another 21 percent of those who responded remain undecided.
Neither candidate is likely to win the Democratic nomination, with party apparatchiks rallying around Biden and trying to prevent a genuine primary challenge.
Biden would be 86 at the end of his second term if he wins next year’s presidential contest.
In the 2020 election, in the absence of a Democratic incumbent, Biden participated in 11 DNC-sanctioned debates throughout the primary season.
A televised Democratic primary debate in 2020. No incumbent has taken part in a primary debate in decades, even facing a well-known challenger
Biden fell at an event in Colorado earlier this month, sparking fresh concerns about his health
Kennedy, meanwhile, the son of Robert F. Kennedy Sr. and well-known anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist expressed disappointment that such debates don’t seem to be on the horizon.
The former environmental lawyer is also advised by the ex-Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who ran for the White House himself in 2004 and 2008.
Kennedy, who is pro-choice, has tried to woo centrist voters with border security promises.
He presents himself as the only viable centre-left alternative to the aging, gaffe-prone commander-in-chief.
Questions about Biden’s fitness for office were raised again after he fell during a graduation at the Air Force Academy in Colorado on June 1.
Biden loyalists have long dismissed talk of the president’s health as baseless libel concocted by conservatives.