While he is not the most unpopular president in U.S. history, Joe Biden does need to find a clear path to increase support among the American people as he tries to figure out when to announce he is running for reelection in 2024. What is the best path forward for Biden?
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President Joe Biden’s popularity remains low, despite expectations that he will soon announce his intentions to run for reelection in 2024. And they might go even lower as the economy seems stuck in neutral and classified documents issues are still lingering.
Currently, Biden’s approval rating is static, in the 42 to 52 percent range; Biden’s approval rating has never recovered from the high he experienced during his first six months in office – when his ratings hovered in the low to mid 50s.
Biden in Trouble? What Does History Say
The numbers began dipping in August 2021, however, when Biden led U.S. forces in a poorly executed (but in my opinion overdue) withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The president’s approval rating tanked last summer, dipping into the low 30s – lower even than former presidents Trump or Carter (neither of whom won reelection). “The plunge in the president’s approval was also fueled by soaring inflation…and to a lesser degree the surge of migrants trying to cross into the U.S. along the southern border with Mexico,” FOX News reported.
Joe Biden: Let Us Compare
President Barack Obama’s approval rating was in the 43 to 51 percent range at the end of his first term; President George. W. Bush had ratings in the 35 to 59 percent range; and President Clinton had numbers in the 44 to 49 percent range.
“The only recent president whose approval ratings were lower than Biden’s current umbers was his most recent predecessor – Donald Trump,” FOX reported. “Then-President Trump stood at 41%-55% at the end of January 2019.” Trump was of course defeated in his attempt to win reelection.
The Polarization Issue
Yes. The increase in polarization, which has occurred in the US electorate during recent years, has most certainly made it more difficult for a president to secure “above water” approval ratings.
“There was a time when an incumbent president received a decent share of the opposing party’s support,” Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, said. “Now it’s single digits at best. Presidents are getting very little nowadays from across the partisan divide.”
What Should He Do Now?
Biden will have a difficult time gaining higher approval ratings. The polarization issue isn’t going away, so Biden will be scraping his way to garner support from moderates and Republicans.
And then there’s Biden’s age – a significant factor in suppressing Biden’s popularity; a factor that Joe Biden cannot do anything about.
Biden is already the oldest president to ever serve. If he wins reelection, his second term would carry him through his 86th birthday. That’s too old to serve as president. The American public knows that and many are saying so outright: Biden is too old for another term. Naturally, the portion of the population that believes Biden is simply too old to be president are less likely to approve of him as president and that’s only going to get worse.
The classified documents scandal, which Biden has recently found himself amidst, is unlikely to help approval ratings either. Joe Biden spent months tsk-tsking Trump for having classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate. Democrats have been encouraging the Department of Justice to charge Trump criminally for having the documents.
And now, it turns out, Joe Biden has his own pile of classified documents at his home and former office.
It’s a bad look at a bad time for a guy trying to rally the support needed to win a second term.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken.