WASHINGTON, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Encouraged by better-than-expected midterm results, Democratic strategists on Wednesday predicted U.S. President Joe Biden would run again despite exit polls showing two-thirds of voters, including 43% of Democrats, prefer he not seek re-election.
While final results in several races were not in yet, Democrats may have held onto control of the Senate and have narrowed expected losses in the House, bucking historical trends for the party of a new president.
“President Biden will and should run for re-election, and he’ll win. He has led a tremendously successful administration, and the American people recognize that. Republicans and pundits alike continue to underestimate him at their own peril,” Jennifer Holdsworth, a Democratic strategist, told Reuters.
Another Democratic strategist, Karen Finney, said the midterms result should mean that Biden “gets all the time he wants to decide” on what to do about 2024.
Biden may have to do some convincing to get voters to warm to the idea.
Two thirds of midterm voters – including 43% of Democrats – would prefer that Biden not seek re-election in 2024, according to exit polling conducted by Edison Research. Ninety percent of Republican voters do not think he should run, the poll found.
The White House had crafted a message casting Republicans as extremists planning to take away women’s rights and defund popular social programs, even as some pundits suggested focusing more on the economy.
Some strategists were also crediting Vice President Kamala Harris for her campaign work and pushing the message of reproductive rights despite harsh criticism of the strategy.
(Reporting by Steve Holland and Jarrett Renshaw; Editing by Heather Timmons and Howard Goller)