President Joe Biden ran the campaign he needed to run in 2020. He beat incumbent Donald Trump, in large part because Biden built his campaign around the premise of doing just that: beating Donald Trump.
While Donald Trump is going to be the most high-profile candidate running for the GOP nomination, and while Trump remains a frontrunner to win the GOP nomination, he does not have a guaranteed path to victory.
Of course, if Trump loses, it will complicate Biden’s plan to beat Trump again.
Can Joe Biden win in 2024?
Biden can win the next presidential election. Biden’s easiest path to victory is probably through Donald Trump. Remember, Biden has already beaten Trump (by 7 million votes). Biden likely relishes a rematch against Trump – whose stock has fallen since 2020, in part because how poorly he handled the loss.
“I believe that, both for Biden and for Trump, going up against a new nominee would be more challenging than facing each other,” said Julian Castro, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.
But even if Biden faces Trump again, and can just dust off the 2020 campaign strategy, Biden will have to convince people he’s up to the task of a second term; right now, most voters do not want Biden to run for reelection. Even Democratic voters don’t want Biden to run again. Polling from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that only 37 percent of Democrats want Biden to run for reelection.
The 37 percent represents a significant drop in the last few months; last November, a slim majority, 52 percent of Democratic voters wanted Biden to run for reelection. But that number may have been temporarily inflated by the Dem’s unexpectedly strong midterm performance.
The euphoria has faded, reality has reasserted itself, and Dems are taking stock of their candidate – who happens to be 80 years old.
Running against Trump helps mitigate Biden’s age problem
One of the voters’ main concerns with Biden is his advanced age. He’s already the oldest person to ever serve as president. A second term would keep Biden in office past his 86th birthday – assuming he can live a full decade beyond the U.S. male life expectancy.
Whoever Biden runs against will hammer against Biden’s age, suggesting that he is not fit for office. And if Biden’s run happens to be pitted against somebody younger, sharper, more articulate than Trump – someone like DeSantis or Nikki Haley or Tim Scott or Ted Cruz or really any other prospective GOP nominee – the contrast between Biden and his opponent’s age will be especially stark; In a Biden v. DeSantis election, for example, Biden will look especially old. But against Trump, who is also in the back half of his seventies, Biden’s age problem could be mitigated.
A Joe Biden v. Trump election would just be an election between two old dudes, one of which (Biden), is just a few years older—no big deal.
So, Biden may be hoping for a 2020 rematch – much of his reelection strategy may depend on it.
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 listens to Dokken.