Prominent Democratic operatives have warned that if President Joe Biden keeps his promise and runs for office in 2024, he will need to have primary challengers.
“If he runs, he will be challenged,” Michael Starr Hopkins told the Hill Wednesday. Hopkins “enthusiastically” supported Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, but soured on the president as the undisputed contender.
Corbin Trent, a former senior aide to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), echoed Hopkins’ analysis. “If it looks like it will be an every man for himself, then I think it will be back to the 24-person primary,” he said.
Democrats have been divided over Biden’s leadership. On the one hand, far-left radicals have pushed the administration toward policies that stifle the nation, such as energy dependence, inflation, immigration and crime.
On the other hand, less radical Democrats are trying to survive the midterm elections in less blue districts, whose voters are skeptical of the far-left agenda. For example, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who comes from a state that nearly voted for Donald Trump against Biden by 40 points, opposed many of Biden’s hardline policies. Manchin is responsible for the sinking of Biden’s costly “Build Back Better” program. He also supported the fossil fuel industry during its war with the Biden administration.
But far-left Democrats criticized Manchin for “blocking progress”. When Manchin opposed “Build Back Better”, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) blamed him for failing the radical agenda.
“It should surprise no one that Senator Joe Manchin went on Fox News to kill the Build Back Better Act — he’s been promising to do it for months, and some people wouldn’t believe him,” she said. “President Joe Biden’s political agenda has been scuttled by Joe Manchin. The progress of the American people has been halted by Joe Manchin.
Biden could not satisfy any part of his party. Hopkins thinks this split is why Biden will be primary.
“People went into his first term thinking it would be the left that would cause problems and make his life more difficult, but it’s more the moderates, the people he’s supposed to know best,” Hopkins said. “Progressives really carried the water for him and really was an ally in a way that I think most people didn’t expect,” he added. “He owes a lot of his political victories to the left.”
Biden’s perceived lack of progress within his party contributed to his dire poll results. Within his own party, Biden holds just a 77% approval rating. In contrast, Donald Trump’s GOP approval rating was in the mid-90s for most of his presidency. Overall, only 16% of Americans strongly approved of Biden and 40% strongly disapproved of Biden.
Biden’s sagging polls are potentially another indicator that he could win a primary challenger.
The establishment media seems to be aware of the president’s precarious situation. For months, he promoted Biden as not running in 2024 while promoting Harris and Clinton as legitimate contenders in 2024.
“The left is already looking towards 2024. Some want to see a main challenge from Biden,” A Politics title ran in January.
“Biden deserves a main challenger,” wrote the Daily Beast in February. In March, USA Today headlined, “There’s no chance Joe Biden will run in 2024. Why didn’t he dodge the question?
Those being polled to potentially campaign in 2024 include Vice President Kamala Harris, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama and Pete Buttigieg.
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