Ed Kilgore, a veteran Democratic strategist and progressive policy wonk, has a must read piece in NY Magazine. He coldly analyzes the pros and cons of Biden running for re-election and seems to pin his 80th birthday (Nov 20) as the day of decision for Democrats. This day comes 12 days after the midterms and if the Democrats lose as many seats as they are projected to and lose the Senate, it could be the day other Democrats start openly preparing for primary challenges or a pressure campaign to get Biden to step down.
Kilgore crunches the numbers and they are not good:
There’s not much ambiguity when you look at the poll’s internals, either. Liberals want a different nominee by a 78-21 margin, but so do moderates by a 72-28 margin. Seventy-eight percent of white Democrats want a new standard-bearer, but so do 73 percent of Democratic people of color. Sure, older folks like Uncle Joe more than younger folks, but even 69 percent of Democrats over the age of 45 want a different 2024 nominee. There’s just no silver lining in the numbers.
I added those italics for emphasis, just so the message is clear. This is a reality based blog and I think it is critical we make our decisions based on empirical evidence and not blind belief. This should be the thing that separates modern liberals from whatever has become of American conservatives. Biden is lower than any other president was at this point in his term, including Carter and Trump. A recession in 2023 is very likely and we know how the 91’ recession cratered HW Bush’s post-Gulf War approval ratings and made him a one term president. If Biden continues to poll below 35% for another year, the reality is he cannot get re-elected.
This should concern all of us especially as the prospect of a second Trump term or a first DeSantis term is becoming more and more likely. We cannot assume the Jan 6 cavalry will save us. We cannot bank on Joe Manchin saving us (although his about face or 3-D chess move was a huge shot in the arm to the administration).
So we have to have two parallel thoughts. We should do everything in our power to raise these approval ratings and support the President. This means calling recalcitrant Democratic lawmakers to support his agenda and working tirelessly on behalf of midterm candidates for the House and Senate. It also means getting ready now think about which alternative candidate can quickly win the nomination, unite the party, and pivot to another bruising primary against Donald Trump or one of his many neofascist clones in the Republican Party. Wishful thinking won’t beat back the Republicans any better.
I continue to like the idea of nominating Joe Manchin. I know he’s frustrating and I frequently disagree with him.
At the same time, he is far preferable to any of the likely GOP nominees and is likely to get more soft Trumpist voters than any of the other known Democratic prospects.
I continue to like Cory Booker, and I continue to be concerned about how far his appeal spreads beyond the progressive base of the electorate.
I view Kamala Harris as a non-starter.
I predict that my friend, President Joe Biden, will shock all the Nervous Nelly Naysayers to give the PUTRID PUKES a woopin’ they’ll never forget as long as they keep kneeling before the ORANGE ANUS ! 🙂
My lobster dinner bet on the ’24 presidential election is on! I will treat ANY takers to a lobster dinner IF Joe Biden is not the Democratic nominee AND President Biden doesn’t win the general!
Any takers? 🙂
If Joe Biden is the nominee and the seditionists take power in 2024, my wife and I are likely to be fleeing elsewhere.
Don’t pack your bags yet, Tom. Help is on the way! Joltin’ Joe is gonna beat these fascist traitors like a drum!
Trust me, my friend!
You’re really beating the drum on this one, aren’t you? I don’t think it’s fair OR realistic to say we know how 2024 will shake out. Predictions about 2024 aren’t worth squat at this point and to your diary’s title I emphatically respond YES IT IS!
I am not the one beating the drum, a majority of Americans and a majority of Democratic voters are. 75% of registered Democrats want somebody else and 65% of registered voters overall do not want him to run again. I think it would be foolish to pretend this reality does not exist. These are exactly the kind of numbers that invited Teddy Kennedy into a fatal primary challenge with President Carter.
So it is incumbent on the president to avoid such a challenge if at all possible and one way to do that is to clarify the presidents own intentions sooner rather than later. He ran as a transitional figure and a bridge to a new generation of leadership, perhaps it is time to pass the torch and do so in a way that keeps the party united rather than invite a feeding frenzy or circular firing squad.
I have no idea how to do this, but I think it is important to raise these questions now so we can have a smooth succession plan in place. In my fantasy world Harris resigns in favor of a Buttigieg or Booker and then Biden resigns so they can run as an incumbent and avoid a messy primary. Maybe he can win renomination and swap out the Vice President as FDR and Gerald Ford did for somebody more electable than Harris. Maybe a messy primary is a good thing since it will draw eyeballs and donors to the Democrats and give us a fresh start.
I want to be crystal clear that I am abundantly grateful that President Biden defeated Donald Trump and has served honorably and ethically. Grateful he has steadied the ship of state in our alliances and foreign policies. Historians now look more kindly on the one term presidencies of Ford, HW Bush, and even Carter than they do on some two term presidencies. Undoubtedly President Biden was the man for the moment in 2020, there are growing doubts that he is for 2024 and he should address them rather than ignore them.
We all watched a Reality TV show figure, failed businessman, admitted racist run for office and win one term as president with a nail biting loss for his second term. Meanwhile, Democrats play it safe, stick with tradition, and look at Trump as a once in a lifetime disaster, a political ‘100 year flood”. As I learned with a house I once owned in New York, a “100 year flood” can occur two years in a row.
I like Biden. I think he’s done a good job. However, my feelings do not matter in this case.
I’d be happy if we ran a Ocasio-Cortez/Buttigieg ticket and think it would have a better chance against Trump or DeSantis.
If Trump survives the January 6th hearings, he’s my pick to win in 2024 (not my vote, mind you) if Democrats run Joe Biden.
If Donald Trump survives the 2022 DoJ investigation, he will take power in 2025 regardless of the vote. If today’s GOP survives the 2022 DoJ investigation without successful prosecutions for fraud and sedition, then the person that the GOP nominates in 2024 will take power in 2025 regardless of the vote.
America is already in a civil war, and the Democratic Party refuses to even admit that reality.
I think there is a 50/50 chance Trump is even renominated. Politics is very fluid. One of my last Facebook posts before deleting the account was predicting a Biden/Trump rematch around this time last year before the Afghanistan withdrawal cratered Biden’s approval ratings. Events often change the narrative and I do think the Jan. 6th Committee, contrary to my own predictions and expectations, has helped crater Trump’s numbers among Republicans.
I think a lot of conservatives are just sick of him and realize that he is a weak nominee when pretty much anyone else they select can beat Joe Biden, probably without any rigging needed to do so. That’s my bigger concern for our side going forward.
The proposed bipartisan. fix to the Electoral Count will prevent another Jan 6 and will prevent SCOTUS from empowering state legislators to overrule the will of the voters, although until it passes we are still at risk and his rogue court could overturn a bipartisan statue if it suited its whims. So Democrats should absolutely hammer the authoritarian impulses of the GOP and should stop helping authoritarian Republicans for short term electoral calculuses.
We are nowhere close to the 1860s and remember Trump or his party won’t have the levers of power to try a palace coup in 2024.
I think a ticket with AOC on it would be a disaster politically. If you thought Hillary was a lightening rod…
Yeah I agree here. The solution will not be to move even further to the left. We will see if Biden’s move back to the center this month will be rewarded at the midterm polls. If Dems continue to occupy the center of the electorate on choice, marriage equality, and economic issues I think they can eek out a win in the Senate and stem their loses in the House.
I also happen to think our frontline House incumbents this cycle are much more seasoned campaigners than the people lost in the wave election of 2010. Most of those folks were legacy Blue Dog southerners like Ike Skelton and Jim Spratt who hadn’t faced a competitive race in decades.
Those 75% and 65% have no business prognosticating 2024 either and I assume the vast majority are not political scientists and could easily change their minds. You may recall that Carter ultimately beat Kennedy, but was damaged for the general, so I would absolutely not invoke that comparison. For me it’s Biden all the way unless/until HE says otherwise or actually does something drastically bad, the latter of which I definitely do not anticipate.
They are not prognosticators, they are voters who are overwhelmingly asking for alternative choices. This is not a survey asking them to predict if he will be the nominee, but asking if they support him as the nominee. I cannot remember an incumbent in my lifetime having ratings this low and this early in his term. Obama and Clinton never approached this lack of support after their midterm drubbings and Biden is actually doing worse before his midterm. The other irony is the generic Congressional ballot and senate races are coming back the Dems way, but those candidates are still running ahead of Biden.
I suspect the Dems in these surveys are reacting to the same polls we’re seeing, but are not going to abandon Biden in droves when the chips are down. Disappointed Dems fantasized about primarying Obama too, but that never happened. Everyone is down in the dumps over the economy right now, but a lot can happen on that front in two years too.
We are at the end of July in a crucial mid-term campaign, and the Democratic Party meanders like a rudderless ship. Our “progressive” wing cuts the knees out from under our “moderate” wing, and our “moderate” wing responds by kicking our “progressives” in the private parts.
Our ability to make any change AT ALL has been hamstrung for two years because of our inability to reform the absurd filibuster rules of the Senate — even though we allegedly hold a majority in the Senate.
The GOP cooperates with Vladimir Putin in kick-starting inflation and possibly a recession, and our party falls over itself with meaningless lies about “fighting inflation”.
An infamous Silicon Valley venture capitalist was once asked about the secret to his extraordinary success at negotiating deals. His response was “it helps a lot to be right”. FDR accomplished a great deal in his first term by being RIGHT. He told the truth about what was happening and he told the truth about how to fix it.
Our party is hiding the truth about what is happening and repeating meaningless slogans rather than telling the truth about how to fix what ails us.
Joe Biden has failed to coalesce the Democratic Party around a believable message. He has failed to coalesce the Democratic Party around an honest and workable plan to rebuild America after we have been devastated by GOP lies. If Joe Biden cannot coalesce the Democratic Party, why does anyone think he can do any better to heal a deeply-divided America?
If the strategy for 2024 is to bring America together, then Joe Biden is already failing. If the strategy for 2024 is for the good guys to beat the bad guys and destroy the Evil Empire, then Joe Biden is not nearly charismatic enough to lead that movement. I see no scenario where Joe Biden wins the day in 2024 — and so far as I can tell it won’t make a difference even if he does. Four more years of paralysis is not “victory”.
If Joe Biden was the right person to head the ticket in 2024, today’s headlines would be about how Joe Biden is leading the party in 2022.
Joe Biden is not the right person to head the ticket in 2024.
He could be the right person but he is choosing not to be. He is responding to these crises by taking a nap, even before he had Covid. I question whether he has the stamina to campaign this cycle, let alone in 2024. He certainly doesn’t seem to have the will or urgency he needs to have to right the ship.
This is unbelievable! This entire thread should be retitled “With Friends Like These…”
What is Joe Biden doing today to lead the Democratic Party in this crucial mid-term campaign? What did he do yesterday? What has Joe Biden done this week? What has he done this month?
The front page of today’s Washington Post has two stories directly related to the campaign (https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2022/07/28/democrats-manchin-spending-deal-climate/ and https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2022/07/28/senate-manchin-climate-deal/). Each story is about Joe Manchin and “Senate Democrats”.
Here are the first two paragraphs of the first story:
The only mention of Joe Biden is passive (“President Biden’s agenda“).
Here are the specific bullets cited for this high-profile deal:
Which of these will cause voters to turn out in droves and vote for Democrats in the key battleground states we need to win?
The takeaway from these articles is that Joe Manchin and Charles Schumer did this. Joe Biden is at best an afterthought.
This deal is headline news because the two years of effort by Joe Biden and his allies has come up short.
The front page of today’s New York Times is about the frailty of the Pope and a piece headlined “ECONOMY SHRINKS AGAIN, AMPLIFYING FEARS OF RECESSION”.
Two small stories at the bottom right, below the fold echo the Washington Post reporting.
Including yesterday, there are fifteen Thursdays left before the November election. Joe Biden (and Kamala Harris) were absent from the front page of the New York Times, Washington Post, and Boston Globe yesterday.
It is unbelievable to me that in an election as crucial as this, our Democratic President is elsewhere — day after day, week after week, month after month.
I’m reminded of the two failed campaigns of Martha Coakley, who cruised to defeat in successive state-wide elections implacable and unperturbed in her false confidence that she was invincible.
If Joe Biden is able to be the leader our party so desperately needs, what it does take to motivate him to action? Is this a problem with his staff and handlers?
When you defend what is going on today, you are no friend of Joe Biden, the Democratic Party, or America.
We need an energized, active, out-front LEADER.
He is WORKING. Yes, he’s a much better head of government than head of state or head of party, much more a workhorse than showhorse, etc. I do wish Dems in general were better at selling our accomplishments, but that by itself is not reason to switch Presidents within the party.
Do you dispute these numbers? What’s your plan to fix it so he can get re-elected?
I’m not worried about fixing it so he can be re-elected and likely won’t be until deep into next year. I’m not saying the numbers are wrong, just meaningless. One election cycle at a time PLEASE.
There is a long and growing list of states where the result of a GOP win this November will be that the 2024 vote literally will not matter.
If both the House and Senate change hands in 2022, then impeachments and hearings will fill 2023 and 2024. They will make the Benghazi hearings debacle look like a reasoned and thoughtful inquiry.
How long do you think the GOP will hesitate before impeaching Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on any number of completely invented grounds? Do you think a GOP House and Senate will be slow to go after Merrick Garland and DoJ for any and every GOP prosecution claiming jurisdiction in their “oversight” role?
The leaders and participants of the Jan 6 committee will be stripped of all committee assignments.
Steve Bannon’s threats of “going medieval” — in their context — were about what today’s GOP will do if it regains power.
You do not so far act as though you appreciate just how hard these seditionists are already pushing their on-going insurrection.
Impeachments will be for show. I assume you understand that the votes to actually remove either of them will never be there, right? My current prediction is that Dems pick up a couple of seats in the Senate. Technically, Republican states could pass laws flat out assigning electors on a basis other than the popular vote, but I can’t imagine the people standing for that. Why do you continue to assume that even if you are right about what the Republicans will try that nobody will successfully stop them?
I think we need to be vigilant against these worst case scenarios and take them seriously. If indeed, Biden is the only candidate who can beat Trump that is a point in his favor. As it stands, he is also someone who would likely lose to any other Republican and it is worth noting his polling lead against Trump is low enough to be a statistical tie. So we should have these conversations. This is not a dump Biden conversation, it is a a we need to get real about his chances conversation. I think that one is an important one for a party to have.
I still think we should wait until at least after the midterms to have this conversation. Again polling right now is absolutely meaningless for 2024.
A couple of articles which seem to ameliorate the pessimism.
No doubt there are big legislative wins and I do think that Congressional Democrats are turning a corner and learning the Ben Franklin adage that it is better to hang together than hang separately. The unity is very encourage. None of it seems to be emanating from this president or this White House, if anything, Schumer and Manchin got this done on their own.
Up thread you also mentioned we are not celebrating our accomplishments enough or turning the heat on the Republicans. There is precisely one Democrat who should go out there and make this case and his name is Joe Biden. Even when Obama had some shaky spots, he always hit the campaign trail on behalf of other Democrats and seemed to relish connecting with voters outside the DC bubble. I am still waiting for Biden to connect outside his Rehobath beach bubble.
I would say that is not Biden’s strong suit, though OTOH he has explained himself pretty well at the couple of town halls he has had. The party organs need to run ads on TV. I see plenty of good messages on Facebook, but those either preach to the choir or attract trolls. The NRSC has run a misleading TV ad against Maggie Hassan, but the DSCC has not run any supporting her from what I can tell. Then again, Hassan seems to be running away from the party anyway, touting how bipartisan she is and emphasizing points when she has differed from the party. I think we would do a lot better if Democrats were proud to be Democrats. If Republicans are so cultish that they will make excuses for an insurrection surely we can bring ourselves to defend our votes Biden’s agenda!
Completely agree. Her ads have been terrible. While she is getting hammered on inflation, her ads are about small ball stuff like veterans and senior drug benefits. What she ought to be doing is going after suburban women and the secular majority in NH that rejects this brazen assault on choice. It’s a good thing for her Sununu didn’t run.