(Daily Caller News Foundation) — Democrats are seeking out moderate Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota to challenge President Joe Biden in a 2024 primary, Politico reported Friday.
As concerns over Biden’s age and approval ratings and the effects of third-party candidates continue to mount, Democrats are looking for another contender to emerge, according to Politico. Phillips is meeting with Democratic donors in New York City next week to discuss a potential bid, which would only come if there’s a serious decline in the president’s health or standing among the electorate.
“Nobody wants to be the one to do something that would undermine the chances of a Democratic victory in 2024,” Phillips previously told Politico. “Yet in quiet rooms the conversation is just the opposite — we could be at a higher risk if this path is cleared.”
Along with Phillips’ support for a Democratic primary, donors are also eyeing Phillips for a potential White House bid because of his criticism of centrist organization No Labels for floating a third-party “unity ticket” in 2024, according to Politico. Democrats are worried such a candidate would siphon off more votes from Biden than the Republican nominee, leading to a potential second term for former President Donald Trump.
“If No Labels runs a Joe Manchin against Donald Trump and Joe Biden, I think it will be a historic disaster,” Phillips previously told The New York Times. “And I speak for just about every moderate Democrat and frankly most of my moderate Republican friends.”
Biden’s approval rating currently sits at 38%, with 52% disapproving of the president, according to a Big Village CARAVAN poll conducted July 24 to July 26.
The third-term congressman was first elected to the House in 2018, beating his Republican opponent 55.6% to 44.2%, and most recently secured reelection in 2022 by nearly 20 points, according to Ballotpedia. Before entering politics, Phillips was a businessman.
The RealClearPolitics (RCP) average for a 2024 national Democratic primary, based on polls conducted between July 5 and July 20, indicates that Biden has 63.2% support, followed by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson with 13.7% and 5.3% support, respectively.
Neither Phillips nor Biden immediately responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.