As campaign trails heat up, students share their approval ratings for potential presidential candidates

Trojans weigh in on the political landscape for 2024.

President Joe Biden exits Air Force One from the middle of the three doors with his iPhone in hand.

A majority of Democrats feel one term is enough for President Joe Biden, a new AP poll finds.

Fewer Democrats — mostly those in the ages of 18 to 44 — feel Biden should seek re-election. Just about 37% of Democrats said the President should run in 2024, down from 52% in October.

USC students echo this doubt that Biden, 80, could serve a second term.

Junior John Trodden feels Biden “might be too old to do the job,” but isn’t sure who could replace him.

Trodden’s thoughts are not isolated. The over-60% of poll respondents who said Biden should not run again point to his numerous gaffes, old age, worrying cough and possibly declining mental fitness as liabilities to the job. Recently, Biden was seen tripping while boarding Air Force One, an incident quickly immortalized on Twitter.

Much of Biden’s original campaign platform was based on reversing Trump-era policies that did not align with the values of the Democratic base. Now, without a clear opponent for the Democratic nomination and a growing pool of conservative prospects for the election, Biden’s standalone politics will be put to the test.

Trojan Democrats President Sasha Hussain predicts that 2024 will look more like a “party vs. party” election, similar to the 2016 and 2020 races, rather than a “candidate vs. candidate” campaign.

While a Biden-Harris re-election bid is still unconfirmed, experts suggest an official announcement should come in April. Until then, the nation sets its eyes on the race for the Republican nomination.

According to political action expert Kamy Akhavan, Executive Director of the USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future, “Biden is watching [Trump and other possible Republican nominees] closely, and it may affect his decision to run or not.”

There are currently four Republicans on the ticket, including Nikki Haley, Corey Stapleton, Vivek Ramaswamy and former president Donald Trump. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is likely to announce soon, as he begins a tour this week that includes stops in Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire.

“[Biden] thinks he is the kryptonite to Trump,” Akhavan said. “But a Trump-less Republican party means his kryptonite may not be needed or even effective against candidates like Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Tim Scott and others.”

If Biden decides not to run, he is “duty bound to elevate Kamala Harris as the heir apparent,” Akhavan said.

“The problem is that she ran a poor campaign in 2020 and has high unfavorability numbers. That means candidates like Gavin Newsom, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and several Democratic nominees will see an opening.”

Sophomore USG Senator Maria Barun feels that Buttigieg, 41, stands a strong chance for the nomination in the absence of Biden and Harris.

“He has a really interesting platform in that it is really central and takes sides from both ends of the political spectrum,” Barun said. “I think his age also does him a big favor, as well as his background and experience.”

Candidate age is an issue that transcends party lines. Sophomore Nicolas Kallins would like to see a young Republican candidate to be elected in 2024.

“I think that we should have a new Republican for president that is not Trump. Some new blood in the office,” said Kallins. “Someone younger, someone that is pretty well spoken and can appeal to both sides of the political party.”

USC has long-involved itself in the study and advancement of national politics through political organizations and activist groups. The university similarly urges students to involve themselves in politics and national campaigns.

The USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy “seeks to influence public policy and public debate” as well as find solutions to social and political issues. The Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics aims to bridge the divide between the academic study of politics and real-world experiences for students. Finally, the Dornsife Center for the Political Future conducts political polls and also works to further political debate.

Young people are historically underrepresented and uninvolved in federal policy, but these groups hope to bring issues facing college students to the forefront.

25-year-old Afro-Cuban Congressman Maxwell Frost’s (D) recent election signals a shift in generational power on a national level. The Democratic party hopes Frost’s election, as well as Biden’s plans for student debt forgiveness, can help activate an otherwise untapped voting pool.

As the campaign season inches closer, more candidates will likely announce their run for the 2024 presidential election. And Annenberg Media will be keeping a close eye.