Happy Birthday Mr President.
Gaffe-prone President Biden turns 81 on Monday and finds himself with virtually nothing to celebrate as key Democrats remain concerned about his advanced age and a new poll shows he is losing support among younger voters.
Some of his top allies have tried to convince major donors and other Democrats that, like it or not, Biden is the party’s best bet to take on a Republican challenger next year, according to a surprising Washington Post exposé published on Sunday.
But a new NBC News poll suggested that even if Biden remains atop the Democratic ticket, likely Republican nominee Donald Trump would beat him — the first time the 77-year-old former president has bested his successor in a national general election. network survey.
“The bad news is that everyone is wetting the bed within the Biden world,” one fundraiser told the Washington Post.
“It’s really an unhappy confluence of friends from Biden’s global donor cocktail saying ‘Can’t you get him not to run?’, which is stupid and absurd if you know Joe Biden.”
Biden, already the oldest president in US history, would be 86 years old at the end of a hypothetical second term.
At a private power conference in late September, hosted by Ari Emanuel, brother of Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel, Democratic angst was on display: One attendee worried aloud that Biden was in serious danger of losing the elections and asked about the situation of the Democrats. backup plan, the newspaper said.
Ron Klain has been one of President Biden’s staunchest defenders in the public domain. AFP via Getty Images
Biden’s former chief of staff and staunch ally, Ron Klain, responded quickly, stressing that there was no plan B and that the incumbent was a formidable candidate, according to the report.
Attendees were reportedly divided over Klain’s comments, some upset at the lack of a backup plan and others grateful for his defense of Biden.
Nearly six weeks later, Biden campaign officials traveled to Chicago for a private event where some attendees expressed frustration that former President Barack Obama had not done more to elevate his former vice president.
“The takeaway from the weekend wasn’t, ‘Hey, team, we’ve got to get the band back together to help Biden,’” one aide told WaPo.
Donald Trump has been beating Joe Biden in a series of recent polls.Getty Images
“If this is a supposed existential threat and democracy is so threatened, why aren’t you more open about it?”
Not all Democratic discontent over Biden has been relegated to behind-the-scenes complaints.
Democratic luminary David Axelrod, who helped fuel Obama’s breakthrough presidential victory in 2008, has irritated the Biden world with his public misgivings, although he later clarified that he was not calling for Biden to drop out of the race.
“I think he has a 50-50 chance here, but no better than that, maybe a little worse,” Axelrod told Maureen Dowd of the New York Times in a Saturday column.
Dean Phillips is challenging President Biden for the party’s approval.REUTERS
“He believes that he can fool nature here and it is really risky. They have a real problem counting on Trump to win it for them. I remember Hillary did that too.”
Axelrod’s comments came against the backdrop of a series of polls showing Trump ahead of Biden in five of six battleground states.
The NBC poll, also released Sunday, showed Trump taking a slight lead over Biden (46% to 44%) and surprisingly eclipsing him among younger voters.
He @POTUS he is rightly proud of his achievements. Trump is a dangerous and unhinged demagogue whose blatant disregard for rules, norms, laws and institutions or democracy should be disqualifying. But the stakes of miscalculation here are too dramatic to ignore.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) November 5, 2023
Among younger voters ages 18 to 34, Trump emerged between a 46% and 42% lead over Biden, a group the president won by about 26 points in the 2020 election.
NBC wasn’t alone in comparing Biden to Trump in a 2024 matchup, with the former president trailing the incumbent by 1.6 percentage points in RealClearPolitics’ latest polling aggregate.
Biden’s team has downplayed the polls, arguing that they do not reflect the real picture, as there is still a long way to go before next November’s election.
Trump has 91 criminal charges pending against him and is scheduled to go to trial in March in the federal case in Washington DC that accuses him of trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Earlier this month, Biden’s allies delivered a big victory following Democratic victories in Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia and elsewhere in non-2023 elections.
They argued that those elections showed that the party’s critics had been unnecessarily hyperventilating and over-informed about the current polls for an election that was barely a year away.
“Time and time again, Biden exceeds expectations. It happened in 2020, it happened in 2022, it happened Tuesday night,” communications director Michael Tyler told reporters after the off-year wins.
Joe Biden will turn 81 on Monday.AP
“You see days, weeks, months of breathless predictions about how terrible things will be for Joe Biden, followed by an election day of historic victories,” he continued.
Still, the 2022 and 2023 victories have failed to fully calm Democratic anxiety about Biden’s chances in the general election.
The Post reached out to the Biden campaign for comment.
Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) launched a primary challenge against Biden last month, emphasizing the incumbent’s viability.
But Biden has a strong lead over both him and his other major primary opponent, author Marianne Williamson.
While there are no major Democrats challenging Biden for the nod, some have cultivated presidential buzz, including California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has embarked on red-state tours and ad campaigns to champion progressive causes in conservative bastions.
He is scheduled to face Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a debate later this month, and his team recently ran an ad criticizing the 2024 Republican presidential hopeful on abortion.
Newsom endorsed Biden and insisted he will not run for president in 2024.