In the latest Harvard Harris Poll of July 2023, the American public’s perception of Joe Biden’s mental acuity and the upcoming 2024 Republican primary have emerged as significant points of interest.
Biden’s mental awareness has been a topic of discussion since his campaign for the presidency. The July 2023 Harvard Harris Poll revealed that only 32% of respondents believe that Biden is mentally fit to serve as President, while 68% expressed doubts about his mental acuity.
In a Democratic contest, Biden is the preferred candidate; however, if Biden chooses not to run, Harris emerges as the leading contender. If Biden intends to run, RFK Jr. sits behind him at 16%. If he doesn’t, however, Kamala sits pretty at 44%, doubling RFK’s 22%.
The poll’s findings suggest that this issue could potentially influence the 2024 Presidential Election. While Biden’s overall approval rating stands around 40%, the question of his mental fitness could be a determining factor for undecided voters. The Democratic Party will need to address these concerns proactively if they hope to secure a second term for Joe Biden.
🇺🇲 2024 Presidential Election Poll
(R) Trump: 45% (+5)
(D) Biden: 40%
(R) Trump: 47% (+9)
(D) Harris: 38%
(R) DeSantis: 41% (+1)
(D) Biden: 40%
(R) DeSantis: 41% (+2)
(D) Harris: 39%
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) July 21, 2023
On the other side of the aisle, the 2024 Republican primary is shaping up to be a highly competitive race… NOT. Trump continues to emerge as the distinct frontrunner, although he has experienced a slight dip in support.
DeSantis, while still holding the second spot, is gradually losing momentum to Ramaswamy. 54% of GOP believe Trump will be the nominee. If he is not, however, DeSantis leads the way at 29%, followed by Ramaswamy 19%, and Pence at 13%.
In hypothetical matchups, Trump outpaces Biden by a margin of five points and surpasses Harris by a nine-point lead. In direct matchups, DeSantis holds an even standing against both Biden and Harris. Six out of ten people believe that Biden should not pursue a second term, while nearly six in ten share the same sentiment for Trump.
Voters from various political backgrounds indicated their willingness to consider a moderate independent candidate in the event of a Biden-Trump rematch. Seventy percent of voters expressed the view that the country requires “another choice” beyond Biden and Trump.
Additionally, perception of the country’s direction continues to deteriorate, with less than 30% believing it is on the ‘right track.’ The view of the U.S. economy also remains negative, as the perceived strength of the economy remains below 50%, showing minimal change since April. Furthermore, just under half of voters report that their personal financial situation is worsening.
The Republican primary will likely be a battle of ideologies as candidates vie to represent the party. Key issues such as the economy, healthcare, and immigration will undoubtedly play a significant role in the primary. However, the candidate who can effectively address the public’s concerns about Joe Biden’s mental acuity may gain a strategic advantage.
As the 2024 election approaches, both parties face significant challenges. For the Democrats, the task is to reassure the public about Biden’s mental fitness while maintaining their focus on policy issues. For the Republicans, the challenge is to select a candidate who can unite the party and present a compelling alternative to the incumbent.
The Harvard Harris Poll’s findings offer a snapshot of the current political landscape, however, with over a year until the 2024 election, there is still plenty of time for public opinion to shift.