Left-wing congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Sunday refused to endorse Joe Biden for another run at the White House, adding to growing anxiety in Democratic circles over the president’s ability to run in and win the 2024 election.

The powerful progressive New Yorker said she could not commit to supporting Biden during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, saying she was more focused on trying to preserve Democrats’ congressional majority in November’s midterms.

“[Biden] should announce his intent not to seek re-election right after the midterms,” Steve Simeonidis, a Miami-based member of the Democratic national committee (DNC) told the Times.

“To say our country was on the right track would flagrantly depart from reality.”

Many of the Democrats interviewed by the newspaper, including elected officials, indicated the situation was not helped by a lack of clarity over a natural successor.

At a Detroit rally during his 2020 campaign, Biden said he viewed himself “as a bridge” to a younger generation of Democratic leaders, an indication that his objective was to run to get Donald Trump out of office, then prepare to hand over the baton.

But vice-president Kamala Harris, once seen as Biden’s heir apparent, has struggled to make a mark, despite attempting to seize the lead on Democrats’ opposition to the supreme court’s expected imminent ruling ending almost half a century of abortion rights.

Biden has indicated he intends to run again, telling his old boss Obama in April that he was preparing for 2024 with Harris on the ticket. Sources said he sees himself as the only candidate capable of keeping Trump out of the White House if the former president launches another campaign.

Jasmine Crockett, a Democratic Texas state representative, told the New York Times that many of her party’s problems at a national level, and by extension Biden’s problems too, come down to one thing: failing to stimulate voters by using their power.

“Democrats are like, ‘What the hell is going on?’” Crockett said.

“Our country is completely falling apart. And so I think we’re lacking in the excitement.”

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