Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. The 2024 race has begun.
At Axios, Mike Allen notes that many metrics (e.g., unemployment, GDP growth) should be good for Biden, but that things look bad politically.
But private polls show the same hurdle as public ones — brutally and stubbornly low popularity broadly, and on topics animating voters:
1. He's tied or trailing former President Trump nationally and in swing states — even though Trump was indicted four times on 91 felony counts and is spending many days in court (and storming out).
2. Biden gets crushed on his handling of immigration, crime and inflation — none of which will likely turn around in time to put a new spring in his step.It's not death by one issue, but by half a dozen hitting at once. "The load-bearing wall breaks," one Biden official conceded.
3. Many of Biden's own voters don't want him to run — a daunting design flaw for a re-election campaign.His popularity with his own supporters hit a new low in a poll this past week. Democrats are divided over Israel.
What to watch: Election Day is 53 weeks away, and Biden needs to excite young voters, Black voters and Hispanic voters.His core constituency is unlikely to vote for Trump. But Democrats are concerned about a combination of voters staying home or backing a third-party candidate.
Dems won in 2020 because of massive turnout. Now, many of Biden's base voters are over him. To try to rev them up, Democrats plan to lean into Trump, abortion and rising cultural issues, including book bans.