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Jess Frampton

Despite unpopularity, Biden remains the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic nomination

Joe Biden is a historically unpopular president.

Two and a half years into his term, Biden’s average job-approval rating is a dismal 39.1%. His net approval – the difference between his approval and disapproval ratings – is -16.3%, the second lowest of any modern US president at this point in their term (the top spot goes to Jimmy Carter). Even former president and current Republican frontrunner Donald Trump was more popular than Biden.

Biden is struggling not just with Republicans (duh) and independents (whom he won by double digits in 2020), but he’s also unusually weak among Democrats and Democratic-leaning constituencies. More than two-thirds of Americans – including a majority of Democrats – say they don’t want the president to seek a second term. About half of these cite Biden’s age and mental fitness as major reasons why. Already the oldest president in history at 80 years old, Biden would be 82 on Election Day and 86 at the end of a second presidential term.

Biden’s unpopularity threatens to hurt his reelection bid. While he’s still the narrow favorite against Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis – the top GOP contenders –Biden’s lead seems to be shrinking, and Democratic elites are increasingly worried that the president’s age, deteriorating health, and weak public standing will lose them the White House.

It follows that Democrats will nominate someone else to replace Biden at the head of the Democratic ticket and maximize their chances of winning in 2024. Right?


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