According to a poll of likely Democratic Primary voters in New Hampshire, President Joe Biden is not the leading candidate for 2024. The state holds the first primary in the nation, and several possible candidates have been swinging through from both parties. Trump-hating Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited the state in the fall of 2021. More recently, Illinois’s extra-large governor, J.D. Pritzker, made an appearance. However, when the University of New Hampshire polled likely 2024 Democratic Primary voters, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg came out on top.
Buttigieg’s most significant accomplishments so far are being gay and taking two months of paternity leave during a supply chain crisis. Notably, Vice-President Kamala Harris is seventh, and the top six are really white and include 80-year-old Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
To improve his visibility, Buttigieg has been traveling the country, handing out your money to fund various “infrastructure” projects, according to his official Twitter timeline. This week he announced the Momentum program, paid for with your tax dollars in the infrastructure bill. It is super exciting because now Secretary Pete will get to travel the world sharing our mass transportation best practices.
If you have seen the myriad of videos showing the urban filth in the New York subway system and know anything about public transportation in the rest of the world, the idea that we have anything to teach others is hysterical. But maybe Buttigieg plans to pass it off as foreign policy credibility like he tried to pass off serving as a small town mayor sufficient to assume the presidency.
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In this poll, he is essentially the tallest midget. It is honestly a reflection of the destruction that ravaged the Democrat bench during the Obama administration. Democrats lost over 1,000 seats nationwide, booting many of their young up-and-comers out of office. It is hard to win higher office when you lose. This concept is lost on 2020 candidate Beto O’Rourke, who is currently running for governor of Texas and appears nowhere on the list.
Among voters of all political affiliations, Buttigieg has the highest overall approval rating in a historically unpopular administration. In New Hampshire, 35% view him favorably, and 43% hold an unfavorable view. That is a net of -8. And no one on the list is in positive territory. Georgia’s imaginary governor Stacey Abrams is the least unfavorable at -5, but 26% don’t know enough about her. Only 5% report not knowing much about Buttigieg.
Biden’s favorability in the state has fallen to -37. Only 22% of voters say they view him favorably. His vice-president is at 21%, with a net favorability of -42. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.) edges out Harris with a net favorability of -38. Forget the whispers of a Hillary Clinton campaign. At -51 net favorability with 100% name ID and only 17% approving, it isn’t easy to see how she overcomes her priors.
When UNH polls only Democratic Primary voters, Buttigieg pulls 54% favorability. Biden scores 19%, and Harris sits at 9%. These are terrible scores among members of the incumbent administration. Other Democrats with high favorability include some odd choices. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) sits second to Buttigieg at 52% after never pulling more than 3% of the vote in the 2020 Primary. Sanders, Abrams, and Elizabeth Warren all cluster towards the top, even though Abrams and Booker ranked 10th and 11th on voters’ first choice for 2024. Somehow Booker pulled 14% for their second choice.
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These voters don’t even select Biden as their second choice. On that score, he is less popular. So is Harris. It is hard to see Democrats going forward with either of them since their entire strategy in 2020 was to collect “against that guy” votes. Voters are motivated to defeat an unlikeable candidate at least as much as they get excited to pull the lever for one they genuinely support.
And almost three-quarters of New Hampshire Democrats do not want Biden to run again. According to Andrew Smith, Director of the UNH Survey Center, “President Biden is increasingly seen as an electoral liability for Democrats both in the 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential elections.” As campaigns in swing states and districts heat up, it may be the Republican candidates who hope Biden shows up to stump for their challenger.