Activists launch ‘Don’t Run Joe’ campaign against Biden

Having backed Joe Biden in 2020, they now say renominating the president in 2024 would be “a tragic mistake”

A left-wing fundraising group has launched a campaign demanding that the Democratic Party runs someone else instead of President Joe Biden in 2024. Citing Biden’s low approval rating and the risk of a Republican victory over the incumbent, the group wants a more progressive candidate to usher in “systemic changes.”

RootsAction fundraised for Biden in 2020, after backing progressive stalwart Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party’s primaries, and previously in Sanders’ 2016 campaign. 

“While I appreciate the many good things that Biden has proposed –  specifically, student debt relief and the American Rescue Plan – I am not confident that Joe Biden is the leader we need to take us into the next term,” New Hampshire state Representative Sherry Frost said in a statement on RootsAction’s website on Wednesday.

Frost cited “the fatal dysfunction in our economy” and Biden’s closeness to “the military-industrial complex and oligarchy” as factors behind her support for the ‘Don’t Run Joe’ campaign.

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“We shouldn’t gamble on Joe Biden’s low approval rating,” read a digital ad from RootsAction. Another said that a fresh candidate is needed to “give Democrats a fighting chance” against the GOP in 2024.

Polls back up the group’s message. Biden’s approval rating fell to 36% in July, and a Reuters/Ipsos poll put that figure at 39% on Monday, a day before the midterm elections. That same survey found that two thirds of midterm voters don’t want Biden to seek a second term in office.

Despite Biden’s dismal polling, his party outperformed expectations in the midterms and defied predictions of a “red wave.” Republicans are projected to retake the House of Representatives, but control of the Senate is still up for grabs as Nevada and Arizona count ballots and Georgia heads to a runoff election in December.

Biden, who will turn 82 in 2024, said on Wednesday that his “intention” was to run again, and that he would make an announcement on the matter in the new year. While he added that “everybody wants me to run,” a number of prominent Democrats – including West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – have hedged their bets and are withholding their endorsements.

Whoever takes the Democratic nomination in 2024 may end up running against former president Donald Trump, who promised this week to make a “very big announcement” on November 15.

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