Who saw this coming? To be honest, probably everyone.
Former Obama adviser David Axelrod has suggested that it might be a prudent decision for President Biden to consider stepping aside from the 2024 presidential race. This recommendation comes in the wake of a recent poll indicating that he could lose to former President Trump by as much as 10 points in five crucial battleground states that he had won in 2020.
According to Fox, The New York Times-Siena College poll revealed that Trump was leading Biden by 10 points in Nevada, six points in Georgia, five points in both Arizona and Michigan, and four points in Pennsylvania. In Wisconsin, Biden maintained a two-point lead over Trump, despite winning all six of these states in the previous election.
The poll’s results led Axelrod to question whether it was in the best interest of the country for President Biden to be the Democratic Party’s nominee, given the risk of a potential Trump victory in 2024. Axelrod emphasized that the ultimate decision rested with Joe Biden himself, and if he chose to continue his candidacy, he would become the Democratic Party’s nominee. The critical consideration, according to Axelrod, was whether this was wise for Biden personally and for the nation as a whole.
Axelrod acknowledged that it was late in the game for the Democratic Party to introduce another candidate, but he saw the poll as a foreboding sign for the party’s prospects. He pointed out that Biden’s age was his most significant liability with voters and that, while Biden had many accomplishments, the country could not afford to risk losing to Trump in the next election.
President Biden’s age aside, Axelrod underscored the dangers posed by Trump, describing him as a dangerous and unhinged demagogue with a blatant disregard for democratic rules, norms, laws, and institutions. Axelrod emphasized that the potential consequences of miscalculating this decision were too significant to overlook.
The poll unveiled several warning signs for the Democratic Party, including increased support for Trump among Black voters and a majority of voters across all income levels feeling personally impacted by Biden’s policies. Furthermore, Trump was trusted over Biden by a considerable margin when it came to handling the economy.
The Times/Siena poll reflected widespread discontent, with a majority of voters believing that Biden’s policies had harmed them personally and a growing sense that the diverse coalition that elected him in 2020 was fraying. Demographic groups that had strongly supported Biden in the past were now much more closely contested, with two-thirds of the electorate expressing a belief that the country was heading in the wrong direction.
Democratic strategist James Carville also expressed concerns about Biden’s prospects in the 2024 race, suggesting that voters did not favor him as the nominee. Axios had previously reported that prominent Democratic figures were quietly increasing their national profiles to position themselves for a potential presidential run in 2024 or 2028 if Biden unexpectedly withdrew from the race. These figures included California Governor Gavin Newsom, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.