Democrats Express Concern Over Young Voters Potentially Defecting to Cornel West in 2024

As the 2024 presidential race looms on the horizon, Democrats are reportedly growing anxious about the potential defection of young voters to Cornel West, the candidate representing the People’s Party. A recent poll conducted by the New York Times/Siena on August 1st revealed that a majority of younger voters do not support President Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee for the upcoming election and are actively seeking alternative options.

Democratic officials and consultants fear that the electorate’s dissatisfaction with Biden’s candidacy, particularly due to concerns over his age, could lead to a shift toward Cornel West’s message. The Party is worried that this shift might weaken their chances of retaining the White House, potentially paving the way for former President Donald Trump’s return.

With Cornel West gaining attention and support among young voters, Democrats are closely monitoring the dynamics of the race and strategizing to engage and retain their youthful base ahead of the 2024 elections.

“The third parties can take away enough votes to make Donald Trump win,” Celinda Lake, a Biden pollster in 2020, told Politico. “Not only do you have No Labels, but you have Cornel West, which I think is very formidable also in the Black community and among young people. And I think that there were a lot of people, young people, disaffected people, who were willing to vote against Trump — anybody but Trump — to beat Trump. But that argument has worn a little thin with some of these disaffected voters in 2024.”

In addition to young voters, Democrats also voiced concern over the black electorate voting for Biden in 2024, which was another key voting bloc that elevated him to the White House in 2020, according to Politico. If West siphons off these voters in big cities like Atlanta, Philadelphia or Milwaukee, it could have a serious impact for Biden’s support in the general election.

“I fundamentally believe that you don’t mess around with the kinds of highest stakes we’re [dealing] with,” Democratic Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman told Politico regarding West’s candidacy. “Can you just imagine what a second term of Trump would be? It’s all going to be about revenge.”

US President Joe Biden speaks about his economic plan “Bidenomics” at Auburn Manufacturing Inc. in Auburn, Maine, on July 28, 2023. (Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images)

Democrats also fear that another third-party candidate floated by centrist organization No Labels has the potential to take away moderate votes from Biden, according to Politico. The Democrats pointed to Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s effect on the 2016 election where she won key votes in battleground states, allowing Trump to take the White House from Hillary Clinton.

“This election could be a game of inches, so I have to believe the president’s people are not taking anything for granted,” Jeff Weaver, campaign manager for Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential bid, told Politico. “They know every vote has to be earned every time. But there’s a lot of concerning data out there and they will need a full court press by people with demonstrated success messaging those parts of Biden’s electoral coalition who have expressed a real lack of enthusiasm.”

The RealClearPolitics (RCP) average for a 2024 general election between Trump and Biden, based on polls conducted between July 7 and July 30, indicates the race is razor thin, with Biden leading by only 0.9 points.

“When somebody chooses to vote for you, you’re not pulling votes away,” West told Politico in June of the notion that his candidacy could hurt the president’s chances. “You see, Biden doesn’t own any votes. He’s got to earn it.”

Neither West, No Labels nor Biden immediately responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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