Democrats Concerned How Biden Would Fare Against Younger Candidate
(TheRedWire.com) – In politics, a few months is like a lifetime. Numerous things influence voters, and changing circumstances can present real challenges for candidates running for public office, especially the presidency. Over the last 18 months, President Joe Biden’s approval ratings slipped to the lowest among several unpopular presidents. He has consistently hovered around 40%. Still, the 2022 midterm elections have some in Congress re-thinking their opposition to a Biden 2024 presidential run.
On Tuesday, November 15, former President Donald Trump announced he would seek the White House for the third time. Democratic senior officials believe if he runs for re-election and Trump is the GOP nominee, he could have a good chance of winning despite his approval ratings. Still, they’re concerned about how the much older Democratic candidate would fare against a younger Republican.
Democrats Express Concern Biden May Not Fare Well Against a Younger Candidate
Senior Democrats privately expressed concern that if a younger Republican presidential candidate snagged the nomination away from Trump, it could make it difficult for Biden, who turns 82 years old in 2024, CNN reported on Monday, November 21. Since Democrats overperformed in the 2022 midterm elections, the president is taking some time to seek advice ahead of a potential re-election announcement bid. The news outlet stated he saw the party’s performance as an endorsement from voters that he should run for a second term.
CNN stated that it spoke with 24 Democratic elected officials, Biden aides, and political operatives. The officials told the news outlet they’ve grown more confident the president would have the best chance of beating Trump in 2024 over the last few weeks. They claimed voters saw him as a likable person and advocate against supposed GOP extremism.
While the top Democrats expressed optimism for Biden against Trump, they weren’t as confident when asked how he would fare against a younger candidate, like Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis or another younger GOP member who doesn’t have Trump’s “baggage.” One told CNN the odds were “not great,” and another two others said, “uneasy.”
Elected Democrats to Congress Express Private Reservations
Four unnamed Democratic members of Congress told CNN that half of the caucus would prefer another candidate over Biden, despite the 2022 midterm election results. One political strategist equated it to Republicans who would never say what they thought about Trump on record while he was in the White House.
Among those most enthusiastic about him were Democrats who won on November 8. Rep.-elect Robert Garcia (D-CA) told CNN there wasn’t anything in the president’s record over the last two years that suggested he shouldn’t run. The first Generation Z Democrat elected to Congress, 25-year-old Maxwell Frost, told the news outlet he supported the potential run because the president was not afraid to try bold policies.
In October, an Economist/YouGov poll noted that 28% of Democratic voters opposed Biden for re-election, and 46% favored another presidential run. Still, the current White House occupant said it was his “intention” to seek the Oval Office again in 2024, but he wanted to wait, discuss the prospect with family, and take time after the midterms before making an announcement.
Still, some operatives are uncomfortable with the idea of a young and energetic GOP candidate crisscrossing the country daily and reinforcing voter skepticism about the president. Yet, one Biden adviser said his wisdom and experience give him an edge.
Still, a lot can happen in two years, and the clock is now ticking.
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