- Poll finds nearly half of voters believe Biden will be replaced on Democratic ticket
- Michelle Obama is the first choice to replace Biden, Vice President Harris is second
- Speculation about Biden remaining on the list accelerated after the special counsel’s report.
Michelle Obama edged out Gavin Newsom, Kamala Harris and Hillary Clinton in a poll of who Democrats think could replace Joe Biden, 81, on the ticket if he drops out.
The former first lady’s name has emerged as a possible dramatic late entry in the 2024 race, with questions growing about Biden’s age and suitability for a second term.
The 60-year-old has said several times that she is not interested in running for office and has admitted that she is “terrified” by the outcome of this year’s election.
But he has yet to address recent theories that his name could be on the Democratic ticket if Biden dropped out of the race.
Rasmussen Reports poll finds that 47 percent of likely American voters believe Democrats are likely to replace Biden as the party’s presidential nominee, including 22 percent who see it as very likely, even though nearly all Democratic Party leaders endorse him for a second term.
There has been speculation about who could replace Biden should he drop out of the race before November.
It came to a head after special counsel Robert Hur’s report on Biden’s handling of classified documents was released earlier this month, describing the president as an old man with a bad memory.
Former first lady Michelle Obama has previously denied any interest in running for elected office.
Biden is running for a second term and has questioned his age and mental acuity.
While nearly half of voters believe Biden will be replaced on the ballot, more Republicans (66 percent) believe it is at least somewhat likely that Democrats will replace Biden with another candidate. Only 33 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of unaffiliated voters said the same.
However, there is little consensus among Democratic voters on who would be a better choice to replace him should Biden decide to step aside.
Twenty percent of Democrats surveyed named former first lady Michelle Obama as the top choice to replace Biden.
This was followed by 15 percent preferring Vice President Kamala Harris.
The former Secretary of State came in third with 12 percent. 11 percent preferred California Governor Gavin Newsom, and nine percent liked Gretchen Whitmer at the top of the list.
However, 27 percent said none of the Democrats named in the survey would be better than Biden and six percent of Democrats said they are unsure.
Earlier this year, Michelle Obama said in a podcast interview that she is “terrified” about the possible outcome of the 2024 election.
But while Obama has been a formidable campaigner for her fellow Democrats and active in get-out-the-vote efforts, she has previously denied any interest in running for office herself.
Meanwhile, Harris has said she is “ready to serve” if the need arises, but has criticized criticism of Biden and called the special counsel’s report politically motivated.
Newsom, who has sparked speculation about his own presidential aspirations, has also been a fierce defender of Biden, dismissing concerns about his mental acuity and touting Biden’s accomplishments on the campaign trail.
Clinton has said Biden’s age, 81, is a legitimate concern, but she has also been actively helping with the fundraising effort for his re-election bid.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has also been an active surrogate for Biden’s campaign and fundraising efforts.
In an interview over the weekend with CNN, Whitmer called on her state’s voters to cast a “yes vote for President Biden” amid a push from progressives in Michigan for Democrats to vote “uncommitted” in Tuesday’s primaries.
Biden launched his re-election bid last year. He has dismissed concerns about his ability to serve a second term and criticized the Hur report, saying his memory is fine.
Despite speculation about whether Biden will remain in the race, it has been 140 years since a political party denied the nomination for a second term to a sitting president who had wanted it, and that was under very different circumstances.