The Democratic Party is mired in an internal debate about whether Joe Biden is the right candidate to keep the White House, due to his declining popularity but also his advanced age, which makes him the longest-lived US president in history.
Biden had already announced in March that he planned to run for a second term in the 2024 elections; but recently The Washington Post revealed that the veteran politician has already communicated to a small group of donors his intention to return to the polls.
Despite the president’s intention, within the Democratic Party there are doubts about whether or not he is the best candidate.
To settle the debate revived by some outlets like The Washington Post, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed at a press conference this week that Biden wants to run for reelection.
“That is his intention,” Psaki said when asked by the press.
His words were more echoed at this difficult time for Biden, as his approval ratings have been declining since August and now stands at 42.9%, according to an average of national polls.
The chaotic execution of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the rise in inflation and the fact that the narrow Democratic majorities in Congress have had so much difficulty approving Biden’s economic reforms are the main causes of that unpopularity, he told Efe. a Democratic source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
A Communication Problem
In the opinion of that source, one of the biggest “challenges” for Biden is communication and, above all, promoting his achievements among voters, including the $ 1.9 trillion rescue plan to mitigate the effects. economic conditions of the pandemic.
The president also managed to approve his ambitious 1.2 trillion infrastructure plan in Congress this month.
Despite these achievements, Biden, the son of a used car salesman, has failed to counteract the talent that the Republican Party has developed in recent years to transform complicated issues into simple ones and communicate them effectively to his base, argued the aforementioned source. .
Some lawmakers have also raised concerns about that issue, including New York’s Sean Patrick Maloney, who heads the committee to re-elect lower house Democrats.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, Maloney asked the White House to “free Joe Biden” and allow him to do events around the country to promote this infrastructure plan, which is very popular with voters, especially before it “the next crisis takes over the information cycle.”
Legislative Elections, Key Factor
The other factor that worries Maloney and other Democratic leaders is the possibility of losing in the 2022 mid-term elections the narrow majority they now hold in both the Lower House – 221 seats compared to 213 Republicans – and in the Senate, where the two parties have 50 representatives although the vice president, Kamala Harris, has the tiebreaker vote.
Those fears have grown since Democrats lost the governorship of Virginia earlier this month, a state Biden won by ten points a year ago, and agonized to re-elect Democratic New Jersey Governor Philip Murphy in a much tighter election. than expected.
According to another Democratic source told Efe, these results generated “alarm” in the party, above all, because of what they may mean for the 2022 elections, which because they are held two years after the presidential elections are considered a referendum on the management of the chief. of State.
In the case of these elections, history is on the side of the Republicans because traditionally the party that has the White House tends to lose seats in Congress.
Fight For Re-election At 81 Years Old
Another factor that plays against the re-election of Biden is age: he turned 79 last Saturday and would reach the 2024 elections at 81 years old.
Already in January 2020, Biden became the oldest person to assume the Presidency at the age of 78.
Despite everything, when asked by Efe, a third Democratic source wonders: “What is the alternative to Biden? What other option is left for the Democratic Party?”
Because nobody has taken the step to dethrone the one who, for now, is the leader of the party.
The logical choice to succeed Biden would be Harris, since many vice presidents have been presidential candidates in US history, but the first woman to reach the vice presidency has seen her public profile diminish and also suffers a plummet of its popularity.
Another option would be the Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, or even the current Democratic candidate for governor of Texas, Beto O’Rourke, who already competed with Biden in previous party primaries, two of the aforementioned sources told EFE.