Californians overwhelmingly do not want President Joe Biden to seek another term and see Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom as a prime contender to succeed him, according to a new poll.
Biden has long been on tenuous political ground as Democrats report frustration with their president and cast about for an alternative. That situation that has created an opening for ambitious Democrats like Newsom, who has denied interest in seeking the presidency in 2024 while working diligently to enlarge his national profile.
A new Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll of California voters underscored the peril for Biden and potential for Newsom. A resounding 61 percent of voters surveyed online Aug. 9-15 said Biden should not run in 2024, including about half of Democratic voters and most independents. The president’s statewide approval rating sat at a lukewarm 48 percent, with three-quarters of Californians saying the country was on the wrong track.
Newsom and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) — who finished first in the 2020 California primary — were tied as Democratic and independent voters’ top choice to replace Biden, followed by Vice President Kamala Harris. But the largest share of voters were undecided in an indication of the nebulous state of the 2024 race. Biden has said he intends to run again. For Newsom to have a path, Biden would need to step aside — and Newsom would potentially have to challenge Harris, with whom he shares a Bay Area base.<
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