The 2024 presidential race promises to be boring, and that’s a bad thing for America
The numbers are in for Joe Biden, and they’re not looking good.
A recent CNN poll shows that a measly 33% of Democratic and left-leaning voters would be okay with another four years of Biden at the White House, with the rest – a significant 67% – say that they would like the party to nominate someone else for the presidency next year.
Many of these voters expressed concern over the president’s age – he is currently 80 years old, and would be 82 should he win and take his second oath of office. He would be 86 years old should he ever finish his term. A little more than half of Democratic voters, the CNN poll shows, are seriously concerned that Biden’s “current level of physical and mental competence” would be (if it isn’t already) compromised by his aging.
Republicans across the board have not been shy about bringing up Biden’s age as often as they possibly can – never mind that the current favorite to win the Republican primary, former president Donald Trump, isn’t a spring chicken either. If he wins the primary and the election and takes a second oath of office, Trump would be 78, and if he finishes a second term, he would be 82 years old.
Democrats are ditching diversity for the status quo
Democrats are seemingly falling in line behind the president – Vice President Kamala Harris insists that “Joe Biden is going to be fine,” and touts her boss’ capacity to continue to make crucial decisions and hard choices; Democratic governors and other prominent personalities are largely silent on the administration, retreating into their respective bailiwicks and falling behind party lines; and the Democratic primary is nowhere near as colorful (nor as diverse, ironically) as the Republican one is.
Commentators have also brought up the fact that the Democratic party doesn’t really have an alternative for Biden. The closest one can think of would be Senator Bernie Sanders, but he’s already tried – and failed – two times to become the liberal presidential nominee, and not to mention, even older than the president.
Of Democratic voters who don’t want Biden to serve a second term, an overwhelming majority – 82% – say that they want “just someone besides Joe Biden” but can’t really point to who they want, specifically.
Vice President Harris is one other possibility, but she doesn’t have great numbers either and is shaping up to be one of the most disliked vice presidents in the United States’ history.
The solution the Democrats have seemingly come up with is to draw attention away from the president and focus instead on the shortcomings of his opponents – the foremost being the former commander-in-chief, Donald Trump. Not a very original method, nor does it address questions and concerns not only politicians but regular, ordinary voters are already asking to begin with.
And frankly, the strategy feels tone-deaf.
Republicans have an opportunity, but are they going to take it?
The GOP has ostensibly an opportunity to beat Biden – the question really if they’re going to take it. Trump may have good numbers among Republican voters, but the general sentiment is that he’s just as bad as Biden.
In a panel discussion in ABC News’ “This Week”, Former Republican New York Representative John Katko asked, “How is it that the Republican party doesn’t look at this (CNN) poll and realize that there’s a real opportunity if it’s not Trump?”
The former NY representative also pointed out that while Biden’s polling numbers are abysmal, “Trump is not beating him. Trump’s even with him,” adding, “If you look at it, you have a group of people that they put Biden against, and the only one that’s got a significant lead would be Nikki Haley.”
And the GOP isn’t limited to Haley – who notably was the only Republican presidential hopeful that polling has shown to be able to beat Biden – there’s billionaire biotech businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and former vice president Mike Pence, among others, all of whom have good credentials, aren’t burdened with the age issue, and also espouse the conservative values the GOP says it puts a premium on.
The bottom line is that no candidate is perfect, but does the election next year have to be another tired rerun of Biden vs. Trump?
Tim Ramos has written for various publications, corporations, and organizations – covering everything from finance, politics, travel, entertainment, and sports – in Asia and the U.S. for more than 10 years.