Esteemed JPMorgan Chase strategist Michael Cembalest suggested this week that U.S. President Joe Biden might bow out of the 2024 presidential race before polling day. He indicated that plans might be underway for such an occurrence. Cembalest, the spearhead of the market and investment strategy division at JPMorgan Chase’s asset management wing, theorizes Biden, aged 81, could exit the race ‘between Super Tuesday and the November election, on grounds of health.’
The prominent Super Tuesday, scheduled for March 5, sees primaries being held in a diverse array of states, including the likes of California, Massachusetts, Texas, Vermont, and North Carolina. Historically, the candidate that bags the most Super Tuesday victories typically receives a significant boost, often emerging as the party’s nominee. Cembalest underpinned his proposition by referring to Biden’s sagging approval ratings, despite boasting about ‘roughly 10% job growth following his inauguration.’
However, it’s worth noting that the job growth is majorly attributed to American citizens re-entering the job market post prolonged COVID shutdowns, a fact Cembalest touched upon in his investor warning. He avoided speculation on who might step into Biden’s shoes but suggested that the Democratic National Committee would appoint a ‘substitute candidate.’
Traditional thinking suggests Vice President Kamala Harris as the likely successor. However, she has encountered substantial disapproval, which raises doubts. According to the renowned political analysis platform, FiveThirtyEight, her disapproval rate is a staggering 55%, higher than even Biden’s. So, who else is in the frame for the Democrats?
As reported by the New York Post, ‘Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) and self-improvement author Marianne Williamson have announced their intent to run.’ Meanwhile, in closely fought battleground states such as Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Georgia, Biden lags behind Trump by four to ten percentage points, as evident from recent survey data.
Wisconsin is the only state among six battleground territories where Biden holds a slender lead of two percent. These battleground states, which Biden won in 2020, see him trailing by an average of 48 to 44 percent across all. Signs of dissatisfaction among the populace are palpable, following a Times/Siena College poll held in December.
The majority of respondents in the poll deemed that Biden’s policies had a personal negative impact, as documented by the New York Times. The poll revealed a plethora of shortcomings tied to Biden, with concerns over his advancing age and mental acuity being top of the pile. A remarkable 62 percent of participants were of the opinion that Biden lacked the ‘mental sharpness’ to be a fruitful leader.
The same poll also shed light on the crumbling alliance of diverse age groups and races that had rallied behind Biden during the election. The demographic groups that had hitherto supported Biden in 2020 are now witnessing intense competition owing to a perceived notion among two-thirds of voters that the country is on the wrong path.
Support for Biden among Hispanic voters has dwindled to single digits, and he holds a considerably smaller edge in urban constituencies compared to Trump’s support in rural areas. Furthermore, the gender advantage that had been a linchpin for Democratic victories has shifted towards men favoring Trump twice as much as women do, despite women still backing Biden.
Black voters, traditionally staunch supporters of Democrats and Biden, are now giving Trump a 22 percent vote share in these battleground states, a proportion hitherto unseen for a Republican presidential contender in recent history. Biden’s deficit increases in states with a more diverse population, leading only in the predominantly white states, indicative of a gradual racial reshuffling in the two-party alignment.
The growing popularity of Trump seems to be an indirect result of the extraordinary negativity surrounding both Trump and Biden. Nevertheless, most of the voters who believe the nation is charting the wrong course direct their frustration at the current administration.
For instance, Spencer Weiss, a 53-year-old electrical substation specialist from Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, previously supported Biden in 2020, but is now favoring Trump. Weiss expressed his concerns about the current state of affairs under Biden’s administration although he continues to harbor reservations about Trump. Weiss stated, ‘Under Biden, it feels like everything is disintegrating. I would prefer someone who can lead the nation positively. While I have my doubts, I am convinced that at least Trump is intellectually capable.’