Recent polling has painted an abysmal picture concerning President Joe Biden’s chances of winning reelection in 2024. As a result, prominent Dems are beginning to split on whether the party needs to consider a replacement candidate or just continue efforts to sell the incumbent to voters whose confidence in the president’s ability to serve another term continues to wane.
A recent New York Times/Siena College poll has President Trump winning in five key swing states: Nevada (52-41), Georgia (49-43), Arizona (49-44), Michigan (48-43), and Pennsylvania (48-44). Keep in mind, those are all states that the President won in 2020. Of those polls, only the Pennsylvania results are within the margin of error, as was Biden's margin in the only 2020 battleground state he retains a lead in, Wisconsin (47-44).
Several factors are hampering Biden, including the unpopularity of U.S. military spending in Ukraine and Israel, compounded by fears that current foreign policy could see the U.S. once again embroiled in multiple major military conflicts over a long period.
A recent CBS poll asked how respondents felt they would fare financially under a second Trump or Biden term. While only 18 percent said they felt they would be better off under a second Biden term, 48 percent felt they would be worse off (34 percent answered "the same"). Meanwhile, 45 percent of respondents felt they would be better off financially under a second Trump term, while only 32 percent felt they would be worse off and 23 percent felt they would be the same.
At the heart of Biden's lackluster polling, however, is one issue: age. A whopping 71 percent of voters polled felt he was simply "too old to be president," while 62 percent went a step further, in stating that he "does not have the mental sharpness to be president. Conversely, 39 percent felt Trump was too old, while 44 percent felt that he did not have the mental sharpness.
While Biden loyalists and most establishment Democrats seem content to ignore this reality, some rather prominent members of the party have begun sounding the alarm, arguing that, one year before the election, this is the party's last chance to change horses. Most recently, David Axelrod (former campaign manager for President Obama), made the case that a Biden nomination all but ensured a Trump victory.
"The greatest concern is that his biggest liability is the one thing he can't change," Axelrod wrote on X.com. "Among all the unpredictables there is one thing that is sure: the age arrow only points in one direction."
Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan, who is running for the Senate, repeated his position during a recent debate, saying, "No, I’ve been very clear. I’d like to see a generational change."
"Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, the president, everybody,” he continued. “We need a new generation of leadership.”
Ryan previously made headlines when he told WFMJ-TV in Youngstown, "The environment politically across the country is poisonous, and people I think want some change. It’s important for us, in both parties, these leaders who have been around for a while, I think it’s time for some generational change."
Recently, Congressman Dean Phillips (D-MN) announced that he would enter the Democratic primary, noting that while he thinks Biden has done a very good job he believes that his chances of defeating Trump are doomed. Phillips, who was largely unknown when he announced, received positive accolades for his performance in an interview on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday (embedded below).
Robert F. Kennedy Jr, who dropped out of the Democratic primary to run as an independent, made news when a recent Quinnipiac poll had him at 22 percent, which is even higher than Ross Perot's performance in 1992, the last time an independent candidate managed a competitive run for the office. However, the poll showed Kennedy pulling more support from Trump than Biden.