Wed. May 22nd, 2024

5 worries keeping Biden, Democrats up at night

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May11,2024

President Biden’s campaign is feeling good about where it is in its battle for reelection.

The president had a successful week, it says, stumping in Pennsylvania and picking up a big endorsement from the Kennedy family.

All the while, former President Trump was stuck in a courtroom and off the campaign trail for his hush money criminal case.

“It was the best kind of split screen,” said one Biden ally, noting that Trump at times during the proceedings had to listen to potential jurors call him racist and sexist. There were also reports of Trump dozing off at times.

“We were campaigning. He was not,” the ally added. 

Still, the Biden campaign is not complacent, and there are lingering fears among Democrats and the larger Bidenworld about how a number of issues from inflation to the crisis in Gaza could hurt the president in the fall.

Here’s what keeps the Biden campaign up at night: 

Robert Kennedy Jr.

Biden this week received one of the only endorsements that will matter this election — the backing of Camelot.

The Kennedy clan threw their arms around Biden in a major campaign rally this week while basically snubbing Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is running a third-party bid for the White House.

Kennedy’s extended family has all but begged the electorate not to vote for RFK Jr. while pressing him not to run.  

None of this means Kennedy is diminished in the presidential race.

In fact, he’s becoming a bigger threat.

Kennedy this week secured a spot on the ballot in Michigan, a battleground state Biden desperately needs to win but where he appears quite vulnerable.

And he is likely to be on the ballot in other key states, including Arizona, Georgia and Nevada.

In what is shaping up to be a low enthusiasm/low turnout race, Kennedy could become a viable option to voters who feel turned off by Biden and Trump.

And if he wins even a small sliver of those voters, it could be lights out for the president.

Inflation

Unemployment is down. Wages are rising. The U.S. has seen double the growth of other countries. And yet, cost of living is the thing that keeps bringing Biden down.

A TikTok video went viral this week after a Boston-based woman complained about buying an apple at Whole Foods for $7.

“Genuinely what economy are we all f—ing living in that it costs $7 to buy an apple?” the woman asked. 

As the election inches closer, anger and irritation over inflation seems to be the one unifying issue crossing most demographics and party lines.

“It’s the one issue that gives me the most anxiety because we can’t do much about it,” said one Biden ally. “All we can do is explain where we were and how far we’ve come since then.”

Trump and Republicans are sensing blood in the water, and they’re making the economy their go-to issue in the campaign.

“You can’t hide it with pretty statements and press releases,” Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) said in an interview with The Hill. “The reality is people are paying an arm and a leg more and if you’re very wealthy you can deal with that. But if you’re working class or middle class, this is really tough on you.” 

Gaza and Israel

Since the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on Israel, Biden has expressed his unwavering support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He’s paid a price for doing so with the Democratic base, which has continued to express their unhappiness with Biden’s stance on Israel.

In recent weeks, the president has continued to ramp up his criticism of Israel’s actions.

First, he warned Israel about their actions in Gaza, where thousands of civilians have died.

Last week, after Iran attacked Israel, he told Netanyahu the U.S. would not participate in a counter-attack.

But for Biden, that may be too little too late. Polling shows that the president’s backing of Israel has splintered his party and some Democrats fear that if Israel finds itself in a broader war, his base will blame Biden for not being tough enough on Israel from the start.  

“I think the hug Bibi strategy has turned out to be a huge mistake,” said one top Democratic strategist. “Biden could have supported Israel but not alienated so many in his base.” 

Young voters

During the 2020 race, young voters supported Biden in droves. But that support is slipping this cycle.

Four years ago, 51 percent of all young adults supported Biden, while 28 percent backed Trump, according to the Harvard Youth poll, which was released this week.

Now, 45 percent of young voters support Biden, while 37 percent back Trump.

Much of the dissatisfaction from the under-30 crowd comes from the economy, but there are other issues at play, too, including Gaza, immigration and climate. 

“Young people today have clear concerns about where our country is headed,” said Setti Warren, the director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School, in a statement on the poll.

Biden allies know they have work to do to appeal to this core constituency. And this is where celebrities and other influencers can help.

One big surrogate the campaign would love out there ASAP: Taylor Swift. 

The Trump campaign

In the last two campaign cycles, Trump aides became a punchline to Democrats with their infighting and clashes frequently becoming public fodder.

And while Biden allies say their rival candidate is still a joke and undeserving of the highest office in the land, they acknowledge the Trump campaign is a tighter, more disciplined team.

Gone are the large personalities including Kellyanne Conway, Corey Lewandowski, Brad Parscale and attention-seeking members of Trump’s family.

Now the campaign consists of anti-leakers, including Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita, who have set a different tone in the campaign.

“You haven’t seen the internal wars playing out in the pages of the New York Times,” one strategist acknowledged. “They’ve learned their lesson. 

“Now they’re leaving the drama to their boss.”  

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “5 worries keeping Biden, Democrats up at night”
  1. It’s concerning that with the positive momentum of Biden’s campaign, there are still worries keeping the Democrats up at night. Despite Trump’s legal woes, issues like inflation and the crisis in Gaza could pose challenges in the upcoming election.

  2. What impact could Robert Kennedy Jr.’s third-party bid potentially have on the Biden campaign’s reelection strategy?

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