With one year remaining until the 2024 election, President Biden’s polling numbers are atrocious. They suggest that the incumbent is vulnerable to losing an election that should be quite winnable given who the Republicans are expected to march out for a third consecutive nomination: Donald Trump.
According to a recent New York Times/Siena College poll, Joe Biden is trailing Trump in five of the six battleground states that are expected to decide the election. Similarly concerning, Biden is losing ground to Trump with young voters and nonwhite voters — two voting blocs that Democrats have long taken for granted as having locked down.
Winning back voters may be difficult for Biden, given that so many voters indicated a belief that Biden is too old to be president, and lacks the mental capacity for the job. Their concerns with Biden seem to stem more from his persona than his performance.
Still, Democrats are undoubtedly going to forge ahead with their octogenarian candidate. And according to some (i.e., The New York Times), there may be hope for Biden yet.
Turning the Polls Around for Joe Biden
A new article from Nate Cohn argues that Biden may still have a path to victory. “Mr. Biden has retained the entirety of his support among older white voters, helping him stay relatively competitive in the older and predominantly white Northern battleground states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, even as Mr. Trump built a more comfortable lead in the more diverse Sun Belt states,” Cohn wrote.
And of course, the election is still one year away. 2023 polls are unlikely to offer a perfect insight into 2024 voting habits – “but if they did, it could represent an epochal shift in American politics, one with the potential to reverberate for decades as young and nonwhite voters make up a growing share of the electorate.”
That’s right. Democrats are at risk of losing young and nonwhite voters. I’ve written here previously to warn that Democrats were alienating nonwhite voters — that is not much of a surprise given the Democrat’s abandonment of the working class and its emphasis on identity politics that many nonwhite voters find unappealing. Although, the trend of young voters moving away from the Democrat party is a newer development.
“Many familiar patterns in American politics would be blurred,” Cohn writes of the trend among young and nonwhite voters. “Racial and generational polarization would fade. It would be the culmination of a decade-long realignment of the electorate along the lines of Mr. Trump’s conservative populism, all while dashing Democratic hopes of assembling a progressive majority around a new generation of young and nonwhite voters.”
Still, Cohn argues that the Democrats have time to salvage the situation, that the electorate can be finessed back into alignment with “familiar demographic patterns.” To win, Cohn argues, Biden will simply need to reassemble his 2020 winning coalition – which consists mostly of voters who remain open to the prospect of voting for a Democrat over Donald Trump.
Indeed, polling has found that while Biden trails Trump, in a hypothetical race featuring an unnamed generic Democrat against Trump, the generic Democrat wins. So, yes, voters are still open to the idea of voting for a Democrat. But the Democrats will need to consider whether running Biden again is tenable.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer 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.