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Biden’s Battle – Convincing President Joe Biden not to run for president seems like an uphill battle, given the circumstances of his political journey. Many skeptics within the Democratic Party question his viability as a presidential candidate, citing concerns about his age and polling figures.
However, Biden is not easily swayed, having faced a similar situation before. In this article, we’ll explore how those who advised against his candidacy in the past were proven wrong, and how his experiences have shaped his determination to lead the nation.
The Skepticism Surrounding Joe Biden
As the 2024 election looms, some Democrats are feeling uneasy about President Joe Biden’s candidacy. The source of this unease often boils down to two factors: his age (currently 80 years old) and his polling numbers. Some party members fear that these factors could jeopardize the Democrats’ chances, especially against a formidable opponent like Donald Trump.
The prevailing sentiment is that the stakes are too high to take any chances, and many are searching for a more electable candidate who can secure a victory.
Biden’s Déjà Vu Moment – Joe Biden
What some may fail to consider is that Joe Biden has been here before. In the lead-up to the 2016 election, he was seen as the leading successor to President Barack Obama, even outperforming former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in popularity.
A 2015 NBC/WSJ poll showed Biden with a 40% favorable rating and a +12 percentage point net favorability, significantly higher than the -8 point net favorability trailing Clinton.
Despite the initial popularity, then-President Obama and others pressured Biden to withdraw from the race, which he eventually did following the tragic loss of his son Beau.
The early polling indicated that Biden would fare better against a nominated Trump than Clinton, with Biden leading by 19 points compared to Clinton’s 10-point lead in a September 2015 NBC/WSJ poll. However, Biden bowed to establishment pressure and chose not to run.
A Regrettable Decision by Joe Biden
Biden’s decision not to run in 2016 was one he came to regret. He actively campaigned for Clinton and focused on championing the middle class—a strategy that went against the prevailing belief within the party.
Some Democrats believed that sacrificing white, working-class voters in favor of boosting turnout among college-educated white individuals and minority voters was the key to victory.
In the end, that strategy backfired, and Donald Trump became the president. Biden publicly acknowledged his regret, stating that not addressing the concerns of working-class voters was a significant flaw in Clinton’s campaign.
He emphasized that these voters were not racists or sexists, but individuals seeking a candidate who understood the importance of a thriving middle class.
Biden’s regret over his 2016 decision fueled his determination in the 2020 race. Among likely voters who had supported third-party candidates in 2016, polls showed that more than two-thirds broke for Biden over Trump in 2020.
He successfully reclaimed white, working-class voters, secured the “Blue Wall,” increased support among moderate and conservative Democrats, maintained the African-American vote, and gained substantial ground among Independents compared to Clinton.
Biden’s 2020 victory was built on his accurate assessment of what went wrong in 2016. This success has undoubtedly left him with a sense of vindication.
The Challenge of Fighting the Last War
There’s a saying that generals tend to fight the last war, using strategies that worked previously. Biden finds himself in a similar situation. He approached the 2020 election much as he would have fought in 2016, and his victory reinforced his belief in that approach.
However, the landscape has shifted, and the positions are now somewhat reversed. The very establishment that pressured him not to run in 2016 is now urging him to remain at the forefront of the 2024 ticket.
Conclusion: Biden’s Resilience
Joe Biden’s political journey has been marked by moments of doubt and redemption. He has heard the advice to step aside before, and he has seen the consequences of doing so. His experiences have shaped his determination to lead and have instilled in him a sense of vindication.
As the 2024 election approaches, Biden faces new challenges and a changed political landscape. Whether his approach will prove successful once again remains uncertain. However, one thing is clear: Joe Biden is not easily swayed by doubt, and he is determined to lead in a way that aligns with his vision for the country.