At 81 years old, President Joe Biden is facing mounting pressures and concerns from his base about his advanced age. In recent polls, Biden is shown to be losing to former President Donald Trump in swing-states and his approval rating has hit a record low of 40%.
According to two recent articles in POLITICO and The Washington Post, the Biden campaign is struggling to address these concerns and formulate a strategy for dealing with the president’s age. At a recent fundraising retreat, donors asked campaign officials how they should handle concerns about Biden’s age, to which one deputy campaign manager responded by shifting the focus to Biden’s accomplishments.
Even those within Biden’s inner circle, including family members, are worried about the optics of his age. They acknowledge that while Biden is mentally fit for the job, he at times appears frail and has a stiffened gait due to foot fractures suffered in late 2020. There have been discussions about having Biden walk shorter distances and trading in formal shoes for more comfortable ones to reduce the risk of falls.
Biden turns 81 today, and he has little to celebrate!
Trump has been beating Biden in a flurry of recent polls. A new NBC News poll shows Biden hitting new lows.
Why are voters turning on Biden?
— Eddie (@ICU1010) November 20, 2023
The pressure on the campaign to address these concerns comes not only from donors but from Democrats within and outside the campaign. Some argue that Biden has not effectively communicated a reelection plan or a clear argument against Trump. There are also worries about the campaign’s thin operation in battleground states and their lack of presence in early primary states.
Despite this, there are voices within Biden’s team and the White House who dismiss these concerns as unfounded. They argue that the current polling does not accurately reflect the outcome of an election and that the focus should be on mobilizing voters rather than catering to the concerns of Washington insiders who have been wrong in the past.
Some Democrats believe that Biden’s age could be a significant factor in his reelection bid, and they are concerned that he may not have the energy or stamina to run a vigorous campaign. They also worry that his campaign is not doing enough to address these concerns or prepare for the threat of another Trump term.
President Joe Biden is celebrating his 81st birthday on Monday, as questions about age continue to dominate the 2024 election. https://t.co/D7qOKyFTNi
— ABC News (@ABC) November 20, 2023
In one of the recent polls, conducted by EPIC-MRA in Michigan, Biden is shown to be losing to Trump by a margin of 5 points. The same poll also found that his approval rating in the state has dropped significantly. Meanwhile, a national poll by NBC shows that Biden’s approval rating has hit a record low of 40%, and for the first time ever, he is losing to Trump in their polling.
Despite these numbers, some in Biden’s camp remain optimistic and believe that their strategy of focusing on voters rather than Washington insiders is the right one. They are determined to mobilize their coalition and win in the upcoming election, even if the odds seem to be stacked against them.
In the words of one Biden advisor, “It’s either build a campaign that is reactive to the same Washington sources that were wrong in ’20 and ’22, or put in the historic time and money to mobilize our coalition to win a year from now. Personally, I think a strategy centered on voters – not Washington – is the right one.”