Yes, Joe Biden still has a chance - The president is behind in the polls, but he’s still the Democrats’ best bet to win in November.
Joe Biden: Done?
With Election Day about nine months away, things aren’t looking particularly great for President Biden. He’s losing to former President Donald Trump in most major national polls, with his approval rating at historical lows.
Voters are continually skeptical about Biden’s age and mental acuity, especially after the release of the Special Counsel’s report which, while not charging the president with any crimes, speculated that he would likely present himself, in a legal proceeding, as "an elderly man with a poor memory.”
Biden attempted to stop the bleeding afterward with a press conference, during which he committed several more gaffes, including referring to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi as the “president of Mexico.”
There’s no question, it was a bad couple of days for the president. But it’s far from the end of his presidency - and not an indication that the Democrats should be trying to push Biden off the ballot.
Can Biden Bounce Back?
There are quite a few reasons for this. First, Biden is on track to win the Democratic nomination, he has no viable opposing candidates, and the support of the entire party establishment. Unless he chooses to step aside, and as long as he doesn’t die or become incapacitated, Biden can almost certainly not be removed.
Contrary to all sorts of conspiracy theories, if the party had another candidate they liked who they wanted to replace Biden, there’s no available mechanism to do that.
The fantastical scenarios that the party will “switch Biden out at the last minute” are not happening, and the latest boomlet about Michelle Obama swooping in is the brainchild of a semi-retired New York tabloid gossip columnist who is herself 13 years older than President Biden.
And have you forgotten the 2020 version of this, when Biden was supposedly going to get switched out in favor of Andrew Cuomo?
What Happens Next
Why does Biden still have a chance?
Mostly because his opponent will almost certainly be Donald Trump, a figure whose candidacy is anathema to a large, large swath of the electorate. In addition to his multiple pending criminal trials, and his recent talk of radically authoritarian measures should he return to the White House, Trump isn’t that much younger than Biden, and has shown a propensity of his own for verbal gaffes, babbling, and confusing of the names of world leaders.
Election Day is still a long way away, and the general election campaign has barely gotten underway. Let’s not forget, that the 2020 election ended up being very much about an issue, the pandemic, that didn’t even surface until March.
Most Americans aren’t thinking about the campaign yet, and there have been virtually no national commercials, much less the conventions or debates. It’s highly unlikely that the election in November will be determined by anything that was in the news in February.
Biden has another thing going for him: Nearly all of the nation’s economic data, in the last six months, has been positive, with little indication of turning anytime soon. The stock market is surging. Employment data is very positive. Inflation is nearly back to normal levels. Had there been a recession at any point in Biden’s first term, it likely would have killed off any chances of re-election, but that recession never materialized.
There aren’t many people in the country who are all that excited about another Biden-Trump race, and regardless of who wins, the nation is virtually assured of a new generation of younger candidates from both parties in 2028.
But under the present circumstances, Biden remains the Democrats' best bet.
About the Author
Stephen Silver is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @StephenSilver, and subscribe to his Substack newsletter.
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