Many Florida Democrats share concerns about President Biden’s age (79) and are looking for a younger candidate who can best keep Donald Trump out of the White House if the former president makes another run.
“I think Joe may not have another four years in him,” said Esther Gil, a 64-year-old retired American Airlines agent from West Miami.
The Caplin News recently interviewed South Florida Democrats about Biden at various locations in Miami-Dade and Broward County.
Gil, who’s a Cuban American and a Democrat, supports what Biden’s done so far but doesn’t want a repeat of the 2020 election when she felt forced to choose Biden over Trump.
“I had no other choice,” said Gil, who backed current Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in the Democratic primaries in 2020 and would like to see him as the party’s presidential nominee in 2024.
For his part, Biden says he has yet to decide whether he will stand for re-election.
“It’s much too early to make that kind of decision,” the president said in a recent “60 Minutes” interview. Biden is the oldest president in U.S. history; he turns 80 in November and would be 86 at the end of a second term.
A September poll by Marquette University Law School found Democrats were roughly evenly split about whether Biden should seek a second term. While earlier surveys over the summer by CNN and The New York Times showed that a majority of Democrats wanted another candidate to be the party’s 2024 nominee.
John Lucca, 19, a Latino Democrat residing in Deerfield Beach, said he doesn’t want Biden to run for a second term because he’s too old.
“I’d prefer to see a younger candidate come in because younger candidates share the same ideas that us people in the younger generation do,” said Lucca, a Broward College student who mentioned Andrew Yang as a possible Democratic presidential candidate he could support.
“It’s just the way that he’s been handling this presidency,” Lucca added. “There’s a lot of things that he said he would do but hasn’t done.”
Another Democrat voter who wants Biden to hang it up after four years is 22-year-old Nailah Augustin, an Opa-locka resident.
“I feel like the people in charge should represent the overall population more,” said the Florida International University political science student. “Our average person probably isn’t an older white male, especially since our generation makes up the majority of the voting bloc.”
She added, “I would definitely love to see someone younger and still in good health.”
Marla Gramdis, 67, is a retired couple’s counselor from Aventura who’s been voting since age 18 — including for Biden in 2020. But she hopes the president won’t try for a second term.
“He’s getting a little too old for the job,” said Gramdis, a Democrat who nonetheless credits Biden with doing a “good job” during the pandemic and a faltering economy.
Some Democrats, however, are standing behind the president if he decides to make a bid for four more years.
“Mainly because he pushed for forgiving student loans, and since I’m a student, that’s like really something I want to see,” said FIU biology student Jane Belizaire,18, who voted for the first time in Florida’s August midterm primaries.
“I wouldn’t mind if he ran again,” said Meroshah Khan, a Nova Southeastern University law student residing in Pembroke Pines.
The 21-year-old Pakistani native, a Democrat, voted for Biden in 2020 and planned to back him — or whoever is the Democratic nominee — for one main reason.
Trump, Khan said, isn’t “fit enough to be president.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect age for Meroshah Khan. She’s 21.