President Joe Biden has expanded his lead over rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Our latest survey, conducted Dec. 22-24, found that 81% of potential Democratic primary voters support Biden’s nomination, marking a record high in Morning Consult's surveys conducted throughout 2023.
Author Marianne Williamson is backed by 2% of the party’s expected electorate (marking a low point in her support) while just 1% of Democratic primary voters support Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), who launched his bid at the end of October with 4% backing.
Biden’s improved standing over roughly the past two months is driven largely by the oldest voters — a group known for its propensity to participate in elections, and especially in the primary process.
Biden’s Primary Standing Has Improved Across Demographics, but Especially Among Older Voters
Biden has seen his support in the nominating contests improve 20 percentage points among potential Democratic primary voters ages 65 and up since early November (from 71% to 91%), dwarfing the improvement he’s seen among other age groups.
Over the same period, Biden has also improved his standing among ideological moderates and men in the party’s coalition, while he continues to face some consternation among chunks of young people and women (though his support among those groups has increased a bit as well). At this point, roughly a quarter of the party’s youngest prospective voters and women said they’ll support someone else or are uncertain about who they’ll back.
The bottom line
Despite loud chatter from the likes of Phillips, and private whispers from other Democrats who are concerned about the incumbent’s age and stamina, Biden enters the primary election season on solid footing — better than at any moment in the seven previous surveys we conducted at earlier stages in the process.
It suggests there is little public appetite for any of the contenders vying to dethrone him ahead of the expected contest against former President Donald Trump, who continues to boast a formidable advantage over his Republican primary rivals.
At the same time, Biden will need to shore up his standing among core Democratic constituencies in the larger electorate — such as young people and voters of color — who are helping to drive his weakness against Trump, according to our tracking of that matchup.