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Tipsheet

The Metaphor Being Used for Joe Biden's 2024 Campaign Is Not a Good One

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

It is early, but the foundation for Joe Biden’s 2024 re-election effort is hot garbage. He’s probably among the weakest incumbents running for a second term in the modern era, especially among crucial Democratic voter blocs. For the president's allies to be dismissive of the latest string of polls, showing an electoral wipeout if the election were held today, is akin to that meme of the dog in a burning building, sipping his coffee, and saying, “This is fine.” 

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Of course, Biden’s campaign crew can’t say that they’re drowning, but if these numbers hold, and there are good odds that it will since Biden doesn’t have the political skills of Barack Obama or Bill Clinton, then he might not just lose the election—he could fracture the Democratic Party. In September, there was evidence that nonwhite voters were peeling off from the Democratic Party

It was initially dismissed as a fluke, but that’s no longer true. Biden is bleeding seriously with black voters. Their main gripe with the Delaware liberal: Ukraine aid. It’s a “five-alarm fire,” according to NBC News, where scores of Democratic operatives are venting at the pervasive inability of the president to capitalize on anything that could regain ground ahead of the 2024 election. 

As of now, Donald Trump, overall, is dominating the swing states. He’s not winning them by insurmountable margins for Biden, but he’s still handily beating him. There’s time to turn things around. The Israel-Hamas war is putting states like Michigan in play since the Muslim voter population is not pleased with the White House’s support of Israel. 

One anonymous Iowa Democratic Party official warned that the images of dead children in Gaza could destroy Biden’s presidency. I’m not so sure about that, but speaking of NBC News, have they fixed their appalling headline about the pro-Israel protestor who was assaulted by a pro-Palestinian activist yet? It’s a homicide, whereas the headline suggests that he fell. Anyways, this article does a decent job explaining the high anxiety Democrats have with Biden 2024, but that there’s not much they can do to alter course now, given that filing deadlines have passed in key states (via NBC News): 

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Pick a metaphor: President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign is a “five-alarm fire.” It’s a cardiac case in need of a “defibrillator.” Or a lemming on course to “slowly march into the sea and drown.” 

All come from Democratic strategists whose low-boil frustrations with Biden’s candidacy erupted over the weekend amid a spate of bleak polling numbers. No less a party mastermind than David Axelrod, architect of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, suggested in a social media post that Biden consider dropping out of the race and letting someone more electable take his place as the Democratic presidential nominee. 

The 2024 presidential election looks increasingly like it will be a rematch of four years ago, and Democrats are more and more worried that the outcome may not swing their way this time. Yet at this point, they're stuck with Biden — whether they like it or not. 

Biden has given no indication he is interested in dropping out. Nor does his campaign team seem to be sweating the New York Times/Siena College poll that showed him losing to Republican Donald Trump in five of the six swing states that he captured in his 2020 victory. 

Troubling signs for Democrats jump out from the poll. The party’s bedrock constituency, Black voters, appears to be eroding. In 2020, Black voters favored Biden over Trump by a margin of 78 percentage points. In the new survey, Biden’s margin had dropped to 49 points. 

Democratic pollster Terrance Woodbury said when he hears from young and Black voters in focus groups, they feel frustrated by foreign aid instead of domestic spending, and it's important for Biden to explain why these foreign investments are necessary. 

"'We don’t have money for student loans, but we’ve got money to send to Ukraine.' 'We don’t have money to invest in schools, but we have money to send to the Middle East,'" Woodbury said. "It is less about a position either way and more about, 'Stop investing there until you have taken care of home first.'" 

[…] 

“The killing of little children in Palestine may quickly develop and spread like fire leading to a nationwide effort to force Joe out of office," this person said. "I fear this is going to happen to Joe unless he stops the slaughter of children in Palestine. He needs to hear from his longtime old friends and supporters like me before it is too late.” 

[…] 

Restive though they are, Democrats can’t do much at this stage to give American voters another option. Once Biden decided to run, the party apparatus went all-in for his candidacy. Democratic heavyweights like California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer stayed out of the race. The structural barriers to defeat Biden at this stage are daunting. 

Filing deadlines for the New Hampshire and Nevada primaries have already passed, and South Carolina’s deadline is Friday. Candidates have only until Dec. 8 to file for the ballot in Michigan, which will move into the early-state window in 2024 for the first time. And numerous other states, including delegate-rich ones like Texas and California, have deadlines in mid-December, leaving precious little time for prospective challengers to jump in. 

[…] 

One progressive leader said that if Biden loses to Trump, "he goes down in history as being incredibly selfish and possibly dooming democracy as a result. It’s a giant gamble an most people will be deferential to him in terms of making the choice. But more people are now acknowledging that he has a real choice to make.” 

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Remember when Obama said don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f**k things up? I think he was underselling it. Based on these numbers, Biden took the old Obama coalition and put it through the woodchipper.

Next year is going to be a year of paradoxes. Both Trump and Biden are unpopular, and voters dread the rematch, yet will be the nominees from their respective parties. Frustrations with Biden among Democrats are well-known, and he’s generally not well-liked, but droves will turn out for him due to the animosity liberals have toward Donald Trump. Most people don’t like Trump either but find his agenda more palatable than Joe Biden’s recipe for economic torpor. 

Next year isn’t about vision or principles. It’s a war of attrition, a fight to the last man. That’s all. Whichever side hates each other the most and turns up to vote wins. It’s politics at its purest, where our hatred for one another becomes an organizational tool. 

It’s going to suck, but most governments do.

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