Democratic campaign strategist David Axelrod Monday suggested President Biden should consider dropping his reelection bid amid dire poll results.
The veteran of former President Barack Obama’s historic White House campaigns tweeted that Biden might want to think about stepping aside after a bombshell poll said he is trailing in most battleground states exactly a year out from the 2024 presidential election.
“If (Biden) continues to run, he will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. What he needs to decide is whether that is wise; whether it’s in HIS best interest or the country’s?” Axelrod asked, emphasizing the word “his.”
“Only @JoeBiden can make this decision,” Axelrod added.
Axelrod praised Biden’s political skills. But he warned against dismissing the polling results or claiming that Democrats who fret about Biden’s chances are overreacting.
“He’s defied (conventional wisdom) before but this will send tremors of doubt thru the party,” he said “Not ‘bed-wetting,’ but legitimate concern.”
Axelrod, a University of Chicago political scientist who frequently appears as a pundit on CNN, was responding to a New York Times/Siena College poll of five battleground states that finds Biden trailing former President Trump in five of six battleground states.
The polling shows Biden dramatically underperforming expectations with core Democratic constituencies including young people, Blacks and Latino voters.
The poll says if the election were held today Biden would lose even in states with emerging Democratic majorities like Arizona, Georgia and Nevada, along with battlegrounds Michigan and Pennsylvania.
The poll and Axelrod’s tweets come at a particularly fraught time for Democrats, with cracks showing in the party over Israel’s war with the Palestinians among other issues.
Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minnesota) recently launched a primary challenge to Biden, citing his age and perceived trouble in a rematch with Trump.
Vice President Kamala Harris would be considered an instant front-runner if Biden were not in the race, but she is also slumping in polls.
But many Democratic strategists say the naysayers are ignoring the historical pattern of incumbent presidents often lagging behind challengers until the campaign actually gets underway in part because their loyal supporters are not energized.
Especially if Trump is the GOP standard-bearer, Biden loyalists predict he will have ample time to rally the Democratic base behind a hated lightning rod like the former Republican president.