Americans could get the only presidential race the country doesn’t want in 2024


There’s a small silver lining for Joe Biden in a devastating new poll that signals growing concerns over the president’s age and performance and shows that even most Democrats want another candidate in 2024. He could still beat Donald Trump.

That small consolation for the White House can’t hide growing signs that Biden’s presidency is in deep trouble even before the midterm elections in November, which threaten a devastating rebuke to his House Democratic Party. The New York Times/Siena College national survey released Monday coincides with a slew of unflattering stories about Biden’s age and political skills and growing speculation about his re-election prospects. The question of whether any Democrats would dare challenge him in a primary is an increasingly hot topic despite the dismissals of the main potential alternative candidates.

And yet Biden, struggling with just a 33% approval rating in the survey, is still in the game against Trump. The survey showed no clear leader, with Biden winning 44% to Trump’s 41% among registered voters, within the poll’s margin of sampling error. Poll is just a snapshot in time, but it’s hardly encouraging news for the ex-president and suggests he has huge responsibilities in the mainstream electorate, despite his supporters’ expectations conservative media that he would fight for revenge on an aging Biden in 2024.

But the proximity also points to a deeper theme emerging as the United States heads into 2024 and has implications beyond who sits in the Oval Office in 2025. A country mired in multiple crises , politically distant at home and facing risks international hotspots can hold a contest in 2024 between two candidates whose answers have not worked out for the past eight years and whom millions would like to see withdraw from the stage to make way for younger, fresher faces.

Such a scenario would be an indictment of a party system that is already melted into dysfunction by hyper-partisanship and Trump’s attack on the 2020 election. That would likely leave the winner in 2024 without an achievable mandate to a when Washington fails to meet the country’s longer-term needs. And that would further test voters’ confidence in the political system.

A country where the passing of a political torch has been a strident feature of presidential races for generations could be about to endure one last fight between 1940s babies trying to defy time.

But ironically, a president whose bulk of his own party wants to retire and an ex-president who left office in disgrace could be extremely difficult to unseat. The prospect of a November 2024 contest between a man believed to be just 82 and a 78-year-old former chief insurgent is very real.

Biden is a proud man. He waited a lifetime to win the presidency and resented being overlooked in favor of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for previous Democratic nominations. His team is adamant that he’s running for re-election and he has the best talking point – he’s already beaten Trump and deserves a chance to repeat that.

Trump, meanwhile, is eager to launch a revenge campaign, associates told CNN, even before the November midterms. He may want to step in to freeze potential GOP rivals, capitalize on Biden’s low approval ratings and present any potential criminal references from the House Select Committee investigating his coup attempt as a naked political ploy. .

Any attempt from within the Democratic and Republican parties to push back against either candidate could backfire and could force the challengers to put their own political futures on the line to do so, decreasing the likelihood of genuinely contested primary races. The odds of either Biden or Trump dropping out of a race for the sake of their parties that far seem slim, though events and health issues could still reshape the future of the two rivals.

Biden’s presidency has been in freefall for nearly a year, since the messy and bloody US withdrawal from Afghanistan last summer and his overriding July 4 vow that the coronavirus pandemic was all but over. Both undermined his self-assigned job description as America’s Fixer.

It’s not just independent and crusader Republicans who have lost faith in Biden. His support in his own party is also falling, according to the Times poll, which shows more than 60% of Democrats prefer an alternative candidate in 2024. Those who want a change cite Biden’s age and job performance as the top two reasons. It’s a flashing warning sign for the president.

If Democrats do poorly in the midterms, where they are generally expected to lose the House but could hang on in the Senate, calls for a new face to lead the 2024 ticket are sure to grow. CNN’s Edward-Isaac Dovere has spent the past few days chronicling Democrats’ concern over their president, but he’s found a unified front among key party figures who warn an anti-Biden move could leave a Republican win in 2024. No one needs reminding how Senator Edward Kennedy’s 1980 challenge fatally weakened President Jimmy Carter — a one-term predecessor Biden is increasingly compared to — and heralded 12 years of Republicans in the oval office. But a cataclysmic midterm election will increase the pressure on Biden exponentially.

As the White House dismisses questions about the upcoming election as media speculation, talk of Biden’s age and outlook is growing among Democratic voters and a wider range of Americans outside of the presidential bubble. Given that Biden was the oldest president ever the second he was sworn in, the question of his age was always going to come up. His political setbacks may have only moved the conversation forward. Incidents like the one recently where Biden fell off his bike, which could happen to any president, get a lot more coverage given his age. And there’s no denying that the president isn’t the sharp, retrospective, quintessential politician of even his vice-presidency years. He has aged noticeably in the office. It is his misfortune that despite regular training sessions and a doctor’s report that he is fit to serve, he has to endure relentless public scrutiny. But it comes with work.

The White House must be prepared for constant questions about Biden’s future plans, Democratic strategist James Carville told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Monday. “It’s not going to go away. I suspect they don’t like this story very much, but they’re going to have to deal with it,” said Carville, who orchestrated Bill Clinton’s 1992 victory.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre insisted on Monday that Biden was focused on the present, not the future. “The polls will go up and they will go down,” she said. “It’s not the thing we’re only focusing on.”

Biden’s troubles among Democratic voters may reflect the divided nature of his party — and even his own success in 2020. His Democratic primary victory was forged as he cast himself as a statesman’s voice for a quiet majority of moderates in an increasingly young party. and progressive basis.

But this electorally successful coalition turned out to be a government liability in many cases. Despite early achievements like passing a major Covid-19 relief bill, reducing child poverty and signing bipartisan infrastructure legislation, hopes for an era of progressive reform of Lyndon Johnson sank to the frustration of House progressives furious that moderate senators like Joe Manchin of West Virginia had slashed Biden’s agenda. An unlikely late push to enact big wins, like social and climate spending, before the midterm elections can excite Democratic voters and improve Biden’s prospects. But there have been signs in recent weeks that are raising new alarm bells — including the White House’s initial off-the-cuff response to the Supreme Court’s strikedown of the Constitutional right to abortion, which followed a conservative majority draft notice published by Politico a few weeks earlier.

The White House stumble on abortion has also sparked questions about the dexterity of Biden’s operation with a re-election campaign looming after the midterms. Running for president as president brings a whole new set of challenges unfamiliar to a first campaign. The commander-in-chief is torn between his duties in the United States and abroad and an often exhausting campaign across the country. It’s hard for any president to keep up with, let alone one who turns 81 in an election year. That’s why some strategists still think Biden will eventually review his 2024 outlook and decide not to run again. It would be painfully ironic if he followed Johnson, not with the scope of his domestic reform agenda, but with a decision not to seek re-election after a full first term amid cratering political prospects.

Yet Biden has a card to play with the Democrats that could change everything. An early campaign launch by Trump would allow the president to begin drawing a sharper contrast to a potential alternative that is viewed with horror by nearly all Democrats — and many other Americans.

The New York Times survey, for example, found that if the choice in 2024 was between Biden and Trump, 92% of Democrats would stick with the president.

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