21 November 2023
It’s still early, but the president is losing to Trump for the first time in recent polls. Whether they will get worse is anyone’s guess.
With less than a year to go until the 2024 election, Democratic strategists and consultants are testing the limits of the bizarre continuum. They have a lot of material to work with. Biden is losing to Trump for the first time in a recent NBC poll, in which 70 percent of voters in the key demographic of voters ages 18 to 34 disapprove of his performance, primarily over his handling of the Israel-Gaza war. On the basis. Biden’s support among black and Hispanic voters—who are also important constituencies—has also been declining. In another serious development for the Biden camp, swing state polls are also trending Trumpward.
Of course, the standard polling caveats apply here: There’s no point in polling year after year, especially for a campaign that hasn’t come into full-messaging mode; Even the NBC poll showing Trump in the lead remained within a three-point margin of error. The rightward trend in voting among non-white voters is probably more a challenge to mobilizing and mobilizing than persuasion. And in the run-up to both Obama’s 2012 re-election and Biden’s 2020 bid, there were similar signs of a red-light crisis that proved unfounded in the final polling.
Yet like grieving families, stressed campaigns are also stressed in different ways. As Biden turns 81 tomorrow, concerns about how voters view his age – another frequent issue in the election – have taken on new momentum. It is true that Ronald Reagan was able to quell growing concerns about his age during the 1984 general election with a well-timed sarcasm in the last presidential debate of the year—but Reagan was 73 at the time, a ripe old age. Which seems absolutely right in today’s time, the old democratic political class.
More troubling for Biden is the apparent failure of a strong overall economy to translate into a mandate for a second term for the incumbent president – a trend that defies a good deal of conservative political science. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s Austrian agenda has kept interest rates high to keep inflation down to 2 percent, which means key economic indicators like home sales are putting pressure on many other sectors of the economy. The Biden administration’s mishandling of the Israel-Gaza war has put him at odds with the sentiments of the majority in his own party – particularly among young voters, whose polling by NBC has seen a significant rise in the Biden presidency between September and November. Disapproval increased by 15 points. Commentators have compared the impact of Gaza on Biden’s declining numbers to how activist sentiment against the Vietnam War ultimately led Lyndon Johnson to halt his re-election plans in 1968 – but Johnson was at least one There was widespread credit for the strong economy.
Yet, what keeps the democratic establishment consistently failing to heed the many early-warning signs right in front of them is the kind of thinking that fosters an aging democracy in the first place: how political consensus should take shape, It has a deeply anti-change vision, and an associated conviction that meritorious achievement should always dominate popular sentiment. A Washington Post The dispatch on the state of the Democratic Party debate over Biden’s re-election prospects describes a scene at a big donor conference in Aspen, Colo.: An attendee questions Biden’s former chief of staff Ron Klain about what Plan B should be. It could happen if it becomes impossible to rule out that Biden’s candidacy was unlikely to prevail next November. Klain’s response was a syllogism extolling the virtues of the irresistible great leader manchurian candidate: Joe Biden is the party’s nominee, and an exceptionally strong candidate at that. There is no backup plan, he said confidently.
Of course, Klain is a longtime Biden loyalist, and he probably wouldn’t have advised her to immediately start freaking out at the people funding Biden’s re-election bid. Yet, this professional-grade tunnel vision is of a piece with the elite party consensus that convinced all the skeptics that Hillary Clinton was ideally positioned to carry the fortunes of the 2016 presidential election – indeed. In 1965, “There was no one more qualified to serve as President of the United States,” as the brilliantly gifted President Barack Obama said during his campaign at the time. The highly-credentialed Clinton was considered a pragmatic and sensible alternative to insurgent primary rival Bernie Sanders, who, as was the party consensus, gave many impassioned speeches but a thin record of legislative accomplishment to show for his decades-long tours. Was. In the House and Senate. But the cynical cult of the Hillary campaign proved to be one of the biggest political disasters in recent memory, and the growing sound of stay-the-course chants in Bidenworld invites the strange inference that the Democratic Party has learned nothing from that debacle. .
In any event, this predictable round of buyer’s remorse among Democratic supporters is coming too late — Klein is right that Biden’s nomination is almost certain, with multiple primary filing deadlines approaching later this month. And certainly for most other Januarys. That means party elites will be focused on a very different set of polls — ones that show Biden’s declared primary rivals Marianne Williamson and Dean Phillips trailing by 60 points. So it is an absolutely official conclusion that the party’s standard-bearer in the crucial 2024 presidential race is an outgoing President who appears like a weak and out of touch figure of the previous generation of political leadership in many key constituencies, Who does branding. A secret allegiance to institutional respectability in Washington and a short-sighted-to-immoral allegiance to imperial war in the Middle East. In 2020, the specter of re-elected President Trump was enough to overshadow many of Biden’s liabilities in the final balloting; It is also true that a Covid-constrained campaign program does not expose those liabilities on the same scale as next year’s general election. Indeed, a Harvard-CAPS Harris Poll released this week found that the 2024 candidate with the highest favorability rating among voters is anti-vax conspiracy theorist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. With successive convictions heading into primary season, Trump’s promotion of fascism is on the rise. Despite support among many key traditional Democratic constituencies, it is not clear that the party’s allegiance to credibility-first, top-down electoral politics is a luxury the country can afford any longer.