A widely respected political strategist with a notable track record of aiding former President Barack Obama in achieving two successful terms is now essentially entreating President Joe Biden to potentially reconsider participating in the 2024 elections. This comes as a result of David Axelrod’s reactions to the recently published New York Times/Siena College poll, which outlined some worrying trends for the current president.
The poll in question reported a decline in Biden’s voter support against previous President Donald Trump in five of six crucial swing states, indicating a potential shift in the political landscape a year before the actual presidential race. Furthermore, in the remaining sixth state, Biden’s lead over Trump is by a slim margin of just two points.
Axelrod spoke candidly about the state of affairs, expressing that the decision to run for another term rests solely in the hands of President Biden. ‘He is sure to be the Democratic Party nominee if he chooses to remain in the race. Now, what he needs to consider is the wisdom of such a decision; is it in the best interests of himself and, more importantly, the nation?’ He declared.
In terms of percentages, Biden trails Trump by a span that varies between four and ten points in the states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. In Wisconsin, however, Biden maintains a slim lead of two points. Across all of these battleground states that Biden succeeded in securing in the 2020 elections, he now trails with an average of 44 to 48 percent.
One of the key concerns that Axelrod highlighted was an issue that Biden cannot address or resolve—the impact of his age on his ability to lead. ‘The most significant worry voters have is about something that Biden cannot modify. The certainty in all of this uncertainty is that only one direction is possible with age,’ Axelrod communicated through another platform.
According to the Times/Siena poll, there seems to be a widespread sense of dissatisfaction among the voters, with many pointing to what they view as negative impacts of Biden’s policies on their personal situations. Expressed concerns regarding the president extend far beyond his age and perceived mental acuity.
There is a striking level of concern about President Biden’s cognitive abilities among respondents: sixty-two percent felt that Mr. Biden may lack the ‘mental sharpness’ that an effective leader should demonstrate. It also indicated that the diverse and broad coalition of voters from different backgrounds that backed Biden in 2020 seems to be dissolving or losing cohesiveness.
Going deeper into the demographic details, the situation seems to be more complicated. The poll implies that the strong voter groups that backed Biden in 2020 are now splintering due to the strong belief among two-thirds of voters that the country is heading in a sub-optimal direction.
Biden’s lead among Hispanic voters has slipped into single digits, and the favorability in urban areas is half of what Trump possesses in rural regions. Biden has a slight edge over Trump among voters under thirty, but men seem to favor Trump twice as much as they do Biden—a stark reversal of the gender-based voting pattern often seen favoring the Democrats.
Interestingly, despite women still showing greater support for Biden, the overall figures hint at a significant change. African-American voters, a traditionally staunch Democratic backing crowd, are now attributing Trump with 22 percent of their vote—a figure quite unprecedented in the recent history of presidential politics for a Republican candidate.
When you factor in all these states, Trump leads by six points in Nevada, five in Georgia, five in Arizona, five in Michigan, and four in Pennsylvania. In Wisconsin, on the other hand, Biden maintains a slim advantage of two points. The poll also interestingly suggests a subtle racial reshuffling amongst the voters of both parties.
The poll suggests that Biden is losing more ground than he gains in swing states with higher diversity, interestingly his lead only remains in the whitest of the six states. This could be interpreted as an indication of a gentle racial shift beginning to occur amongst the two major political parties.
The poll does not depict an overwhelmingly positive view toward either of the potential candidates—it shows that both Biden and Trump are grappling with serious unpopularity issues. However, those with a sentiment that the country is not being steered in the right direction seem to be more critical of the current administration.
Pennsylvanian voter Spencer Weiss, a 53-year-old electrical substation specialist who favored Biden in 2020, has now shifted his allegiance to Trump, although not without reservations. ‘Under Biden, things are unravelling,’ Weiss feels, ‘Preferably, I would like to see someone emerge as a source of positive inspiration for the nation, However, I do concede that Trump, despite his flaws, exhibits intelligence.’
In summary, the landscape seems to be shifting, providing a challenge to the current leadership as well as the very dynamics of the political base of both major parties. As voters evaluate their future decisions, it’s clear that the narratives involving leadership effectiveness, policies’ impact, age, mental sharpness, and the national direction are factors playing pivotal roles in their minds.