The Democratic Party is deciding whether their best bet for the 2024 presidential election is the incumbent, President Joe Biden.
There is a gaping divide in the Democratic Party between institutional public opinion and the actual voters who ultimately decide elections, recent polling shows.
Public opinion from the institutions, including party leaders, lawmakers, donors, and consultants, is for Biden to run.
Biden has practically eliminated all internal criticism from within the Democratic Party.
Doubts about Biden’s age have all but vanished from institutional Democrats’ public conversation. The DNC has neutralized the influence of Iowa and New Hampshire, where an rebellion from inside of the party could have started.
Even once-skeptical progressives Democrats including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), have jumped on the Biden bandwagon. This is even despite the fact that most of their agenda did not get passed in the first two years with Democratic majorities in Congress.
Washington are growing more and more positive and aggressive on Biden’s re-election prospects.
But polling shows voters are not optimistic about their own economic futures. And a majority of Democrats want a new standard-bearer for 2024.
Only three presidents since World War II have had lower approval ratings at this point in their presidency. Biden’s job approval rating is 43 percent according to the FiveThirtyEight polling average.
Almost half of Americans, at 45 percent, had no confidence in Biden’s ability to make the right decisions for the country’s future, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll just before the State of the Union.
In that same poll, 16 percent of respondents said they were better off financially now compared to when Biden became president. And 41 percent said they were worse off.
One of the big factors will be the economy. Public perception of the economy’s health will be a major factor in Biden’s political standing.
Biden is well aware. The president used his state of the union address last week to showcase the economy’s resilience, pointing to record-low unemployment and claiming the fastest economic growth in 40 years.
But there remain worries of inflation, which is persisting despite efforts.
Experts say that looking ahead at the next race for the White House, Biden’s biggest ally is the unpopularity of the GOP opposition — particularly former President Trump.
Democrats performed extremely well in last year’s midterms, doing much better than anticipated prior to the November elections. Whatever hesitations voters held toward Biden, Republican candidates were viewed as too extreme.
There are big divisions in the republican party including over spending cuts, changes to social security programs and Medicare programs, and other big issues. These divisions will also be useful for the White House in making the next election a choice more than a referendum.