There is One Issue that Could Transform the 2024 Race – President Joe Biden is up for reelection and his only real hope is to go up against a GOP nominee that’s as damaged as he is. If Biden must go up against anyone other than former President Donald J. Trump in 2024, he will likely lose.
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At least that’s according to some new polls that were released this last week—and these polls are giving the Democratic Party’s powerbrokers real heartburn. Because the closer that we move toward the election, the harder it will be for the Democrats to find someone else to replace Biden.
The numbers look bad for Joe Biden – that’s for sure. The president is losing support among African-Americans, moderates, and even likely Democratic voters. These are three constituencies that proved decisive to his campaign in 2020. He’s not underwater with these groups. He’s just not winning the way he should be—especially if one is to believe the rhetoric coming out of his White House and the media about how successful he’s been as president.
The only thing going for Biden presently is that Donald Trump is the apparent frontrunner in the GOP primary battle. Most voters evenly dislike Trump and Biden. Although, those squishy moderates will likely be pulled in the direction of Biden since most moderates tend to vote center-Left. And Donald Trump does horribly among those voters.
Still, there’s a chance that Trump or any Republican will be able to squeak by to victory because of the fact that enough Americans believe that the country is on the wrong track under Biden (this would be much more likely if someone other than Trump were the GOP nominee).
The Female Factor and the Abortion Issue
One group that consistently trends toward the Democratic Party are women.
Specifically, college-educated, young women. Their galvanizing force in politics is the issue of abortion. Ever since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade and kicked abortion back to the individual states, the Democrats have enjoyed a surge in support from this group. This cohort of women also view Trump as scary and off-putting.
The abortion issue has been a political hot potato since the 1970s, when Roe v. Wade made abortion a part of our lives. It would be safe, legal, and rare. Those involved in the debate at the time knew that was not how abortion would be treated in reality. But, it sounded good, and it was acceptable to unsure audiences.
Today, the idea that there’d be any restrictions on abortion whatsoever is met with derision and opposition by this group of women. And when they get together as a voting bloc, their votes prove decisive.
It is this group that Biden needs to have a shot at reelection, given all the negatives that surround him. There is little doubt that the Supreme Court’s long overdue limitations on federal support for abortion last summer directly impacted the outcome of the 2022 Midterm Elections. Whereas before that decision had been made, the Republicans were coasting to victory, the decision to overturn Roe militated this particular subset of women voters into action. When early voting began in most states—around August—these voters flocked to the polls and cast their ballots for Democrats. Most Republican pollsters missed this move until it was too late.
The Republicans are again pushing for greater limitations on abortion. Another recent court ruling limited access to certain medications that were used for abortions. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has made it her personal crusade in Congress to rage against this “backdoor ban” on abortion, as she calls it. Just as with the Democratic Party’s opposition to the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe last year, the Democrats’ opposition to this ruling is overwrought.
Unfortunately, this group of female voters believes the Democrats’ propaganda.
Abortion and Democrat Victory
Limitless abortion is toxic for a society. The Republicans have not banned abortion; they are simply arguing for imposing reasonable limits on the practice. Sadly, the culture has shifted away from that position, and the Democrats stand to benefit from this. Between Trump’s perceived toxicity and the Republican Party’s endless push to roll back abortion, the college-educated female vote will again come out in favor of Biden, no matter how unpopular he may be.
Republicans should rejoice in that Biden is clearly struggling to gain support. Although, the GOP should be aware that we are many months away from any voting taking place. There’s much that can happen between now and then. And if the GOP places the wrong candidate at the top of the ticket, irrespective of what happens with Biden’s support, it is unlikely that an unhinged and unpopular Republican candidate could overcome a senile and uninspiring candidate, like Joe Biden.
At the same time, however, Biden’s numbers are so abysmal that the election could swing either way. With his 43 percent approval rating, Biden could either win reelection or lose in 2024. It’s very tenuous at this point. Should abortion continue being a dominant factor in politics, as it became in 2022, Biden can anticipate winning reelection as enough women will come out to the polls to push Biden over that finish line.
What the GOP Should Do
Republicans, therefore, should not abandon their righteous opposition to abortion. Instead, they should simply state that they do not want a total ban on abortion as the Democrats accuse them of wanting. The Republicans should insist that they do support restrictions on late-term abortions (something that most women also support) and they believe it should be a right of each state to decide whether they’ll permit the practice to occur in their states.
A statement like that might blunt some of the impact of the female vote coming out overwhelmingly for Biden over the issue of abortion. It just might be what’s needed to prevent that women vote from totally coalescing behind Biden, as they did in 2020 and 2022.
If the GOP pushes too hard and far into the abortion battle, it will lose those women voters, and lose the election. Should the GOP lose the election, then the country will be lost, and the GOP will likely die as a viable national political party.
Republicans need to play this game smarter. They should recognize how vulnerable Biden is and start making bold plays for minorities and moderates while allaying female voters’ fears that Republicans will place them back in chastity belts or something. Or the GOP can keep doing what it’s doing and blow this once-in-a-lifetime chance to hit Biden hard and push him out of the way.
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.