Recent polling that highlighted President Joe Biden’s weakened chances of winning reelection in 2024 set the Democrat Party ablaze with infighting about how to revamp the president’s frail image, campaign strategy, and growing anxiousness among Democrats that former President Donald Trump could oust the 80-year-old from office.
The Democrats’ disarray, which appears to border on panic, is a positive sign for Republicans’ chances of retaining the House and retaking the Senate and the White House. Republicans are cautiously optimistic they can carry the current momentum into election day — still a full year away — an eternity in politics. The political environment is likely to change.
The Democrats’ reaction to Sunday’s startling New York Times/Siena College polling was one of alarm. The poll showed Trump leads Biden is five of the six battleground states. It also revealed Biden has a growing problem with retaining the support of black and Hispanic voters, key demographic profiles Democrats rely on to maintain power.
“Don’t panic. It’s too early to say Biden will definitely lose. He could absolutely die in his sleep instead.” https://t.co/mfu287uVAf
Politico, NBC News, and the Washington Post highlighted the alarm on Monday and Tuesday with articles warning Democrats about Biden’s tenuous political position and what to do about it. Politico’s Jonathan Lemire, Adam Cancryn, Holly Otterbein, and Elena Schneider reported the Democrats’ confusion about whether to talk up Biden’s alleged political successes or focus on negatively portraying Trump, Joe Biden’s likely opponent.
“Discussions are taking place among Biden brass about how much to prioritize positive campaigning over negative. And allies are calling directly for a more aggressive approach,” Politico reported:
But the idea of making the election more about Biden’s predecessor than Biden himself remains hotly debated. One national Democratic strategist close to the campaign said it’s imperative that the campaign do everything in its power to make voters aware of what Biden’s done in office.
Still, concerns are mounting among major donors and Democrats close to the White House, chiefly around Biden’s monthslong struggle to sell his economic record. One donor said the campaign erred in calculating that once voters understood the president’s accomplishments, his approval ratings would go up.
NBC News’ Peter Nicholas, Megan Lebowitz, Katherine Doyle, and Alex Seitz-Wald asked readers to pick a damning metaphor to illustrate Biden’s diminished hopes of reelection: “President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign is a ‘five-alarm fire.’ It’s a cardiac case in need of a ‘defibrillator.’ Or a lemming on course to ‘slowly march into the sea and drown’”:
All come from Democratic strategists whose low-boil frustrations with Biden’s candidacy erupted over the weekend amid a spate of bleak polling numbers. No less a party mastermind than David Axelrod, architect of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, suggested in a social media post that Biden consider dropping out of the race and letting someone more electable take his place as the Democratic presidential nominee.
The 2024 presidential election looks increasingly like it will be a rematch of four years ago, and Democrats are more and more worried that the outcome may not swing their way this time. Yet at this point, they’re stuck with Biden — whether they like it or not.
The Washington Post’s Tyler Pager and Dan Balz echoed the angst, fearing Biden could be the Democrat nominee, while his allies are “growing increasingly anxious” because Biden’s reelection team is “ignoring warning signs and not taking action to correct course amid increasing indications that Biden is likely to face a tough race” against Trump.
Inside the campaign, the Post reported, close Biden aides “largely dismissed the polls over the weekend and did not signal any serious concern about their strategy.” However, many Democrat strategists worry that “Biden’s core political team, which includes a coterie of long-serving aides, is not fully transparent or open to outside advice.”
The Biden White House thinks “the economy is performing exceptionally well.”
Democrat fear appears justified. The Times poll is not the only negative poll for the president. Seventy-three percent say Biden’s America is going badly, an increase of eight points in just ten months, a Sunday polling by CBS News/YouGov found. Less than a quarter of Americans believe they would be financially better off if Biden wins reelection.
A Thursday Rasmussen poll found Biden’s approval rating ended October at 45 percent, dropping two points from September. The polling reinforces previous surveys that indicated Joe Biden’s approval rating plunged after the Hamas terror attacks against Israel on October 7.