by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Joe Biden’s poor polling is giving Democrats heart palpitations before next year’s election, with prominent party members encouraging Biden not to seek a second term.
Democrats’ tendency to hyperventilate could help them after last weekend’s New York Times-Siena College poll since they have 12 months to correct course. But simultaneously, Biden’s numbers were driven down, in part, by his age and the economy, and there is nothing he can do about the former.
If Democrats are provided with an opportunity to panic, they will, according to former party consultant Christopher Hahn. But the Aggressive Progressive podcast host underscored that Biden’s numbers in the New York Times-Siena College poll are “actually better” than former President Barack Obama’s were at the same point before his reelection in 2012.
“[Former President Donald] Trump loses to a generic [Democrat] by 8 [percentage] points,” the former aide to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told the Washington Examiner. “He has far to fall.”
Regardless, Democrats, from former Obama chief political strategist David Axelrod to Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), have questioned Biden’s candidacy after the poll.
“It’s very late to change horses; a lot will happen in the next year that no one can predict [and] Biden’s team says his resolve to run is firm,” Axelrod posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “But this will send tremors of doubt [through] the party not ‘bed-wetting,’ but legitimate concern.”
When asked whether the poll could serve as an early warning for Democrats, ensuring the party does not rest on its laurels as it did with 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Monmouth University Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray repeated that “as the stock market reading today does not predict what it will be a year from now,” surveys “are a snapshot of voter mood.”
“The current results are a sign of discontent with the current administration, but frankly, we already know that from Biden’s job approval rating,” he said.