New Hampshire Democrats prefer Buttigieg over Biden in '24

AP Photo/Matt York

You have to hand it to New Hampshire Democrats: they have figured out that Joe Biden is a terrible president who should retire before the presidential election.


It’s weird, though, that they prefer the manifestly incompetent Mayor Pete to replace him on the presidential ticket.

That’s according to the newly released University of New Hampshire poll, which asked voters in the state who they would like to see on the 2024 presidential ticket.

Published today, the poll reveals that two-thirds of likely Democrat voters would prefer a candidate other than President Biden in the 2024 election.

In a way, it’s not surprising that Biden isn’t the top pick among New Hampshire Democrats. He certainly wasn’t in 2020, when he came in behind Amy Klobuchar, well behind both Bernie Sanders and Mayor Pete. He didn’t get a single delegate, while Sanders and Buttigieg each got 9.

Yet in 2020 Biden was at something of a disadvantage compared to today: he wasn’t an incumbent president, while he is today. One would normally expect hardcore Democrats to rally around the leader of the party, but clearly, that isn’t how New Hampshire rolls.

Kamala Harris does far worse than the president, garnering only 2% support for a bid for president. That’s less than 1/9th of Buttigieg’s support. Surprisingly she has not impressed hardcore Democrat voters who apparently believe that Venn Diagrams, yellow school buses, and geography lessons about Ukraine’s proximity to Russia should not be the most important topics for the president-in-waiting to focus her time on.


What stands out is how Buttigieg’s clear incompetence in his current position as Transportation Secretary has not dented his approval in the least. More than 2 years of utter failure has changed nobody’s mind about his ability to do the job of president. Of course, many of these people thought his experience as a small-town mayor qualified him for the job, so perhaps competence is not their highest concern.

In a way I understand. For all his manifold flaws, Buttigieg has an important quality: the appearance of normalcy. He doesn’t have the empty eloquence of Barack Obama, the weird attraction/repulsion charisma of Trump, nor the ideological zeal that Joe Biden found in his waning years.

He’s just a guy, you know? Aside from his being gay, he’s just a normal guy. He’s somebody who is utterly inoffensive. A good neighbor, well-groomed, and slightly dull.

After the exhausting Clinton through Biden years, a lot of people would love to have only the most anodyne opinions about their president. “He’s all right, I guess,” would be the modal opinion. Who would get passionate about Mayor Pete?

He’d be a terrible president, of course. But not an exhausting one. Who, besides Chasten, would love him? Or hate him? Who hates the VP at their bank? Or cares?


In any case, what the poll really tells us is that there is an appetite for somebody besides Joe on the ticket and that the Democrats have nobody in waiting. Gavin Newsom actually had the floor drop out of his support from last year–from 10% support in 2022 to 1% in 2023. That’s a bad sign for him, although he certainly could raise the cash to make a strong pitch.

I expect that the money men at the DNC have been combing through polls and getting strong negative vibes about the president. Perhaps this is why so much bad news for Biden is coming out.

Nobody on that side of the aisle confides in me, but the sudden appearance of classified documents may be a sign that people high up the food chain would like to see Biden make a graceful exit.

Those people are likely to be Newsom supporters, not Mayor Pete’s. But what do I know?

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