More Democratic lawmakers, party officials, and voters are expressing their frustration with President Joe Biden and concern over the Republican Party’s momentum heading into the 2022 midterms, according to a new report from The New York Times.
As Biden’s approval rating continues to drop into the mid-30s, according to recent polls, some Democrats are doubtful the president can turn the party around after an expected “trouncing” in November. Others don’t want him to run for reelection in 2024.
“Midway through the 2022 primary season, many Democratic lawmakers and party officials are venting their frustrations with President Biden’s struggle to advance the bulk of his agenda, doubting his ability to rescue the party from a predicted midterm trouncing and increasingly viewing him as an anchor that should be cut loose in 2024,” the Times wrote in a Saturday piece, titled “Should Biden Run in 2024? Democratic Whispers of ‘No’ Start to Rise.”
The Times interviewed nearly 50 Democrats, including local leaders, members of Congress, and voters who supported Biden in 2020, but are disappointed with the president’s performance.
Texas Democrat Jasmine Crockett, a candidate running for a House seat in deep blue Dallas was disappointed that the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats had not advanced more of their leftist agenda. She also expressed concern for Democrats lagging behind Republicans in terms of voter enthusiasm.
“Democrats are like, ‘What the hell is going on?’” she said. “Our country is completely falling apart. And so I think we’re lacking in the excitement.”
More bad news for the Democratic Party shows that its constituents are split on pursuing a radical agenda or compromising with Republicans to get things done. Yet, the commonality in both groups is that many don’t want Biden as the face of the party moving forward.
“Many Democratic leaders and voters want Mr. Biden to fight harder against Republicans, while others want him to seek more compromise” the Times reported. “Many of them are eyeing 2024 hoping for some sort of idealized nominee — somebody who isn’t Mr. Biden or Ms. Harris.”
That somebody would look like the Democratic version of Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, according to Alex Wyshyvanuk, a data analyst from Annapolis, Maryland. “I need an equivalent of Ron DeSantis, a Democrat, but not a 70- or 80-year-old — a younger person,” he said. “Someone who knows what worked for you in 1980 is not going to work for you in 2022 or 2024.”
As mentioned by Wyshyvanuk, Biden’s age is yet another concern for Democrats. The president, currently 79, will turn 82 by the end of his first term, and voters interviewed by the Times are worried that will affect his “political viability.”
David Axelrod, former chief strategist for President Barack Obama, addressed this concern with the Times and defended Biden, saying he is still competent on the job.
“Biden doesn’t get the credit he deserves for steering the country through the worst of the pandemic, passing historic legislation, pulling the NATO alliance together against Russian aggression and restoring decency and decorum to the White House,” Axelrod said. “And part of the reason he doesn’t is performative. He looks his age and isn’t as agile in front of a camera as he once was, and this has fed a narrative about competence that isn’t rooted in reality.”
Biden has reportedly said he intends to run again in 2024. “[Biden] wants to run and he’s clearly letting everyone know,” a source told The Hill in April.
“I believe he thinks he’s the only one who can beat Trump. I don’t think he thinks there’s anyone in the Democratic party who can beat Trump and that’s the biggest factor,” the source added.
A 2024 reelection campaign would seemingly be a minor concern for Biden at the moment. With a Democratic Party growing in frustration over his administration, a looming “Red Wave” in the midterms, and voters worried about historically high gas-prices and rising inflation, the president has a lot on his plate before he tries to convince voters to give him four more years.