Belgium (Brussels Morning Newspaper), A big night for Democrats Tuesday in state races only highlighted the struggles Joe Biden faces in 2024 following polls suggesting he’s far less popular than his party.
The new surveys are again casting doubt on the rationale of a second term for Biden, who turns 81 later this month and is losing support from critical younger and minority voters even as Democrats running in the 2023 elections hit on issues that resonate.
Trump Takes the Lead
The top line of a new CNN/SSRS survey of registered voters published Tuesday shows ex-President Donald Trump leading Biden 49% to 45%, which is bad enough for the president. But a deep dive into the data reveals alarming challenges for Biden and bolsters the impression that despite the mayhem and mismanagement of Trump’s first term, the GOP front-runner has a strong chance at a second.
Public Discontent Grows
The new poll reveals deep public discontent with Biden’s job performance at a time when his economic optimism is failing to connect with a disgruntled nation weary of high prices. The survey exposes cracks in Biden’s multiethnic Democratic coalition and a lack of confidence in his leadership in a war-torn world. Most damagingly, the data show that just a quarter of Americans believe he has the stamina and sharpness to serve as president.
Trump’s Swing State Dominance
This survey follows New York Times/Siena College polling over the weekend that shows significant leads for Trump in most of the swing states likely to decide the 2024 election. That triggered another round of agonizing among Democrats over whether Biden should have passed on a run for a second term – even if no realistic challenger for the nomination has emerged in a new generation of the party.
Democrats’ State-Level Success
Biden’s poor polling contrasts with a strong election night for Democrats on Tuesday when voters in Ohio enshrined abortion rights in the state constitution and Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear won a second term in Kentucky, a deep red state, CNN projected. Democrats picked up the Virginia state House to take full control of the commonwealth’s legislature – a blow to GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
The Age Issue
Biden’s age and capacity to do the job of president is dominating voter concerns at the same time as he is failing to forge bonds with younger voters who are critical to Democratic turnout models. Biden, with his subdued, halting rhetoric hardly exudes gusto. Age, personal tragedy, and the burdens of office mean he’s unrecognizable from the beaming, back-slapping senator of 15 years ago.
Four years ago, Biden presented himself as a calm, serious, sincere leader who could bring back a sense of normality after a murderous pandemic ruined the economy and Trump threatened to tear the nation apart. But that restoration has been elusive as a resilient economy still hasn’t given many Americans the relief they hoped for.
While the standard defense of Biden’s reelection hopes among top Democrats is that voters will again perceive a glaring comparison between Biden’s battle to reclaim the soul of America and his extremist anti-democratic predecessor’s vow to claim a second term, the CNN poll highlights several challenges Biden faces.
In conclusion, as we head into the 2024 election season, these polls paint a complex picture for both Joe Biden and Donald Trump. While Biden struggles with his approval ratings and challenges, Trump seeks to capitalize on the discontent of the American people. The race is far from one-sided, and the path to victory for either candidate is anything but straightforward.