Monday, February 13, 2023

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: The Perilous Puzzle For Democrats In 2024

It is now clear that Democrat party leaders have shut

down successfully any serious efforts to challenge

incumbent President Joe Biden for the party’s 2024 

presidential nomination — at least for now.

Mr. Biden is obviously planning to run for re-election

with a formal announcement expected any time in the

next few months.

Following better-than-expected results in the 2022 

national mid-term elections, a growing movement by

Democrats and the establishment media to dump 

Biden evaporated as the president briefly surged in 

the polls, and insurgents lacked a major party figure to 

rally around.

The prospect of former President Donald Trump being

the Republican nominee in 2024 further diminished 

the apparent need, party leaders reportedly felt, for a 

new Democrat ticket next year.

Quickly, however, the political environment shifted.

After a prolonged effort, the Republicans chose a new

speaker of the House of Representatives, ended

the Democrats control of the lower body, and soon

inaugurated investigations into the activities of the

Biden administration and Mr. Biden himself. Many

allegations had been made previously, and now these

charges will be aired publicly over coming months.

Impeachment proceedings were also begun against Mr.

Biden’s secretary of Homeland Security.

As the Mexican border crisis worsened, and inflation

continued to rise, the president’s brief surge in the polls

ended, and his unfavorables returned downward in

double digits. A controversy about dealing with Chinese

reconnaissance balloons flying in U.S. air space, and a

leaked report alleging that Mr. Biden had ordered a

strike against the Nord Sea gas pipeline, did not boost

his foreign policy standing with the general public.

Mr. Biden’s choice for vice president, Kamala Harris, has

been by virtually all accounts a bust, and she has even

more unfavorable polls than the president. He has

already indicated that she would remain on the ticket in

2024, and considering public concerns about Mr. Biden’s

age and physical condition, this further raises doubts

about a Biden-Harris re-election.

With his opponents, and now even the media, putting  a

spotlight on the president’s increasing number of gaffes

the 81 year-old chief executive seems to be getting more

publicly frail.

Polls currently indicate that despite the party establishment

rallying around the president, only about half of Democrat

voters want him to run.

On the Republican side, Mr. Trump’s initially likely

re-nomination is now in some doubt following Florida

Governor Ron DeSantis’s singular success in the mid-term

elections and his popular administration in that state.

Mr. Trump still leads in most national polls, but Mr. DeSantis

is ahead of the former president in several key state polls.

Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is about to

announce her presidential candidacy, and Senators Tim

Scott of South Carolina, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Ted

Cruz of Texas, as well as former Secretary of State Mike

Pompeo are among several other well-known Republicans

thinking of running.

With no opponents in the Democrat race, and several major 

candidates in the GOP race (all of whom will be criticizing

the president), Mr. Biden’s normal domination of the news

cycle will likely have to compete with the Republican contest.

There are paths to a Biden victory in 2024, but they will

depend on several factors mostly outside his control. As 

always, the economy will be extremely important. If 

inflation is receding, the stock market is then rising, 

unemployment falling, manufacturing and production

booming, Mr. Biden will benefit. If he resolves the border

crisis, the war in Ukraine ends, conflict with China fades, 

his campaign will be greatly helped. Should the 

eventual Republican ticket fail to appeal to its own base 

or to independents, Mr. Biden’s chances will greatly 

improve, and if the economy is also going well, he would 

likely win.

But that’s a lot of ifs. Many of them will be more clear

about a year from now, and should Mr. Biden then decide

not to run, his party would have to scramble to come up

with a replacement ticket, having given the GOP a big

head start.

The alternative would be for Mr. Biden to decide to retire 

now, a lively Democratic nomination contest, and a new 

liberal-progressive presidential ticket. History shows that 

forcibly ousting an incumbent president for re-election, or 

even seriously challenging that incumbent, makes 

re-election in November unlikely.

The most promising scenario for Democrats, a Biden

retirement now, is apparently not going to happen.

But as 2022 indicated, political outcome predictions are 

very risky, especially this much before election day.


Copyright (c) 2023 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment