Hillary Clinton warned President Joe Biden in a private meeting to take the threat of a third-party challenger seriously as he faces unprecedentedly high disapproval ratings and trails former President Donald Trump in some surveys.
This is reported by NBC News On Monday, Clinton gave the president the warning while she was at the White House with first lady Jill Biden for the Praemium Imperiale Laureate ceremony earlier this month.
Clinton saw her own White House dreams shattered when she lost the 2016 election to Donald Trump – with some Clinton allies labeling Green Party nominee Jill Stein a spoiler.
Now Biden faces potential spoilers from both his political left and right — with Cornel West, a former supporter of progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders, coming after votes from Biden’s left flank and the No Labels group hoping to get a moderate outcome at the general election.
“It’s quite concerning,” a source familiar with White House discussions on the matter told NBC.
Hillary Clinton warned President Joe Biden in a private conversation while she was at the White House for the Praemium Imperiale Laureate ceremony earlier this month that he should take external challengers seriously
President Joe Biden is photographed leaving church on Saturday. He faces potential spoilers from both his political left and right – with Cornel West coming after votes from Biden’s left flank and the group No Labels hoping to get a moderate vote.
Opinion polls confirm these concerns.
In an ABC News/Washington Post poll Released Sunday, Biden trails Trump by nine points, 42 percent to Trump’s 51 percent, in a two-way race.
NBC’s News national poll has better news for Biden – sort of.
He has an equal 46 percent support as Trump, even though only two of them are on the ballot.
But this study shows the damage a third-party candidate can do.
When third-party options are included, Biden loses to Trump 36 percent to 39 percent.
In that scenario, a Libertarian candidate would take 5 percent of the electorate, a No Labels candidate would siphon 5 percent and a Green Party candidate would receive 4 percent support, the poll found.
Pollsters did not use West’s name when asking respondents about a Green Party choice.
In an interview with The Atlantic in July, West denied that he was about to become a spoiler.
“I would say most people who voted for me would not have voted for Biden,” he said. “They probably would have stayed home.”
Cornel West (right) campaigns for Senator Bernie Sanders (left) at a rally in New Hampshire in February 2020, as Sanders faced off against current President Joe Biden in the Democratic primaries. Now West is running against Biden as the third candidate
Another concern for Bidenworld is that polls show the Democratic electorate is thirsty for choices for 2024.
The ABC News poll showed that 62 percent of Democratic-leaning voters want a candidate other than Biden to run for office.
The NBC News poll found that 59 percent of Democratic primary voters want someone to challenge Biden in a Democratic primary next year.
Only 36 percent said they wanted to leave the 80-year-old Biden unchallenged.
By comparison, prior to the 2020 election, only 37 percent of Republican primary voters wanted to see Trump challenged, while 59 percent of Republican party primary voters were satisfied with him as the party’s choice.
Biden has attracted two challengers, but neither has previous government experience.
Marianne Williamson, the self-help guru, is running as a Democrat, as is Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whose prominent vaccine skepticism has made him more popular with the political right than with mainstream Democratic voters.
Polls show the president leading Kennedy by about 50 points and Williamson by 60 points.
That’s why the president’s Democratic allies are more concerned about a third-party threat in the general election.
“In a close election, every vote counts,” a Biden ally told NBC News when asked about the threat of a third-party challenge.
‘Is it located in the back of the brain for many people? Absolute. Should we be careful when we move? Yes, we do,” the source said.
Biden himself is “concerned about it,” another source told the network.