Could Inflation Destroy Biden’s Re-election Chances? – Joe Biden’s age and GOP allegations about his alleged corruption may not be what denies him a second term, New York Times Republican columnist David Brooks writes.
However, inflation might.
Inflation has become a campaign issue for the first time since 1980. History showed during the 1970s that inflation helped create one-term presidencies. Gerald Ford lost to Carter in 1976 partly due to inflation, and inflation helped destroy Carter’s presidency in 1980.
“Because of inflation, Americans now trust Trump to handle the economy more than Biden. As ABC News reported, voters are looking back and retroactively elevating their opinion of Trump’s presidency. When he left office only 38 percent of Americans approved of his performance as president. Today, 48 percent do, his high-water mark,” Brooks writes.
“Inflation also contributes to a corrosive national mood that you might call American Jaundice. Nearly three out of every four Americans believe the country is on the wrong track. Bitterness, cynicism and distrust pervade the body politic. People perceive reality through negative lenses, seeing everything as much worse than it is. At 3.8 percent, America’s unemployment rate is objectively low, but 57 percent of voters say that the unemployment rate is ‘not so good’ or ‘poor.’”
Trump Resonating With Current Climate
In Brooks’ view, Trump resonates better with the current political and economic climate than Biden does.
Polling shows that Trump continues to lead Biden despite having four indictments and facing having his business empire taken from him due to fraud allegations. The Real Clear Politics Average puts Trump up one point over Biden by 45.2% versus 44.2%.
Biden benefitted in 2020 from COVID and a general sense of disgust over Trump’s rhetoric and antics. Next year, Biden will be the first incumbent to have to defend his record against his predecessor since Benjamin Harrison faced off against Grover Cleveland in 1892.
Despite questions over Biden’s age and why he can’t dominate Trump, who could be a convicted felon a year from now, Democrats remain deadset on renominating the president next year. Democrats also do not want to upset their party’s establishment, which overwhelmingly favors Biden despite his weakness.
“Such a candidate might also face withering criticism from rank-and-file Democrats. As a former Obama administration official, Dan Pfeiffer, has pointed out, Biden has higher favorability ratings among Democrats than Trump does among Republicans. Democrats may be anxious about the old guy running, but that doesn’t mean they’d automatically warm to someone trying to take him down,” Brooks writes.
Democrats and Joe Biden Should Not Forget the Working Class
He warns Democrats not to forget their working-class roots. Democrats have gradually shed their appeal as the working class party since the emergence of the Reagan Democrats in 1980. The Democratic Party has become the party of the white suburban elite and the educated technocrats. This could harm Biden’s chances.
“Here are the hard, unpleasant facts: The Republicans have a likely nominee who is facing 91 charges. The Republicans in Congress are so controlled by a group of performative narcissists, the whole House has been reduced to chaos. And yet they are still leading the Democrats in these sorts of polling measures,” Brooks writes. “This is about something deeper than Joe Biden’s age. More and more people are telling pollsters that the Republicans, not the Democrats, care about people like me.”
Trump could mount a comeback based on perceptions the Democratic Party is out of touch with ordinary Americans.
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.