Biden Leads Williamson by 73 Points Among Democratic Primary Voters

Just 4% back Marianne Williamson and 9% opt for “someone else,” suggesting little appetite for a Biden primary challenge

Image of Biden and Williamson
Joe Biden talks with Marianne Williamson on the campaign trail in August 2019 in Clear Lake, Iowa. (ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

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In the face of his first declared Democratic primary challenger in self-help author Marianne Williamson, President Joe Biden has slightly stronger base backing for renomination at this point in the campaign than former President Donald Trump had four years ago, according to a new Morning Consult survey.

3 in 4 Democratic Primary Voters Back Biden’s 2024 Nomination

Shares of respondents who, if the Democratic presidential primary or caucus were held in their state today, would vote for…

Survey conducted March 3-5, 2023, among 829 potential Democratic primary voters, with a margin of error of +/-3 percentage points.

Biden’s standing against Marianne Williamson

  • In the survey conducted after Williamson announced her candidacy, 77% of potential Democratic primary voters said they would support Biden if the party’s 2024 presidential nominating contest were held in their state today, compared with 4% who would back Williamson, who also ran for president in 2020.
  • Men in the party’s potential electorate are 12 percentage points more likely than women to support Biden’s renomination, while white voters are nearly as likely as Black voters to back his expected bid, 77% to 79%. 
  • Just under half of potential Democratic primary voters have heard of Williamson, but only a third have formed views: 20% view Williamson favorably and 13% view her unfavorably.

How Biden stacks up against Trump four years ago

Then-President Donald Trump was already a candidate for re-election at this point in the 2020 cycle, taking a different approach than Biden, who says he intends to run next year but has yet to make a formal announcement.

Biden’s waiting has sparked inevitable speculation about the 80-year-old’s true intent, but such chatter has been absent from the official voices of the Democratic Party, which is taking steps toward a coronation by opposing primary debates and recruiting potential challengers, such as Govs. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Gavin Newsom of California, to serve as Biden surrogates.

All of this gives Biden a similar platform that Trump enjoyed in the 2020 Republican nominating contest. And among the Democratic electorate, Biden’s 77% backing even slightly outpaces the 73% support Trump had among Republican voters in March 2019 amid chatter at the time about a potential primary challenge by then-Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.

When it comes to Biden’s job performance, 82% of potential Democratic primary voters approve. It’s identical to the share of Republicans who approved of Trump’s job performance in the March 2019 survey, though GOP voters were more likely to strongly approve of Trump then than Democrats are to strongly approve of Biden now (50% versus 42%).

The latest Morning Consult survey was conducted March 3-5, 2023, among 829 voters who said they plan to vote in the 2024 Democratic presidential primary or caucus in their state, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Morning Consult