Senate Democrats have strongly pushed back against criticism from within the party that President Biden’s poll numbers are so low that the party should prioritize replacing him, and there are concerns about Biden’s certainty of victory. He dismisses it as completely counterproductive.
Some of the sharpest criticism of Mr. Biden’s electability came from former President Barack Obama’s senior political adviser, David Axelrod, who warned that Mr. Biden had only a 50-50 chance of winning re-election. ing.
Senate Democrats, whose majority is tied to Biden’s fate in the next election, have made it clear they don’t appreciate Axelrod and other Democrats talking badly about his chances of taking office in 2024. .
“There is no prospect of a replacement at this point. I think Joe Biden is in very good shape mentally. I was with him for two hours Wednesday night. He is sharp, well-informed, very measured and insightful in his comments on sensitive policy areas,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).
“If Democrats support Trump and abandon hand-wringing and eye-rolling, he will defeat Donald Trump,” he said.
Democratic senators argue that talk of replacing him with a presidential candidate fails to account for his legislative accomplishments or the fact that the first primary election of 2024 is just weeks away. There is.
Although polls show a majority of Democratic voters want someone else to be the party’s nominee, Senate Democrats rallied behind the president early on and pushed him away from the nomination. decided to reject any discussion of its removal.
“Democrats, stop!! We need to stop wringing our hands from pundits and polls!” Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) Recently posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. He cited Democratic wins this month in Kentucky, Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania as reasons for optimism heading into next year’s presidential election.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (New York) also said that a New York Times/Siena College poll showed that Biden was ahead of Trump in five battleground states: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Michigan. He dismissed any discussion of him as the party’s nominee to replace Biden after showing that he was lagging behind the president. Pennsylvania.
In response to a question, Schumer said, “I believe President Biden will win the election and beat President Trump. I believe that the people are learning every week, state by state, all the good things that President Biden has done.” said. About the polls that are setting off alarms among other Democrats.
on the other hand, New York Times/Siena Poll Although it received extensive media coverage, Democratic lawmakers dismissed it as an early snapshot of a political environment that will change significantly in the 11 months leading up to Election Day in 2024.
“I think it’s a year away. I think the poll numbers — I just can’t believe the poll numbers,” he said, running for re-election in a state where Trump beat Biden by 17 points in 2020. said Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), who is facing .
But the polls have given Biden’s critics within the party room to demand changes at the top.
“I think his shot here is 50-50, just not better, maybe a little worse.” Axelrod told Maureen Dowd of the New York Times.said the president’s age was a major factor.
“He thinks he can fool nature here, but that’s really dangerous. If they’re expecting Trump to win, they’re in big trouble. I remember. [Hillary Clinton] We’re doing that, too,” Axelrod warned, alluding to Biden’s age. The president turned 81 on Monday.
Axelrod suggested that Biden consider withdrawing his bid for a second term when the Times-Siena poll was released earlier this month. Post to X: “If he continues to run, he will be the Democratic nominee. What he needs to decide is whether it is wise or not. Is it in his interest or Is it in the country’s interest?”
This kind of talk is frustrating Democratic senators who must defend weak incumbents in Arizona, Montana, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
They fear that discussions among prominent Democrats like Mr. Axelrod about what critics perceive as Mr. Biden’s weaknesses could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. ing.
“Our biggest problem is that we get so wrapped up in thinking about this issue that it becomes our reality,” said one Democratic senator. Some Democratic members spoke on condition of anonymity about their rethinking about Biden as a candidate.
Ross K. Baker, a political science professor at Rutgers University, said Biden does not have a serious primary opponent and that any attempt to realign the Democratic presidential field at this point would throw the party into turmoil. It pointed out.
He said Axelrod’s comments about Biden were politically “useless” to Democrats.
“Obviously there’s always going to be some tension between the Obama and Biden factions, but it seems to me politically foolish to voice it so openly.” said.
He warned that if “enough people” within the party question Biden’s ability as a candidate, “it will take on a life of its own.”
He said there is “really no one” to replace Biden. “We need a major realignment of the Democratic Party at this point, and no one wants to do it.”
Democratic senators generally agree.
“Polls have Biden up within the margin of error. Polls show him trailing. The campaign hasn’t started yet. I’m not going to worry about polls this far out. ” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).
So far, Biden’s only rival in the Democratic primary is Rep. Dean Phillips (D), a little-known congressman from Minnesota who has received little attention during the 2020 presidential campaign. The only two people who didn’t include self-help author Marianne Williamson.
The only apparent exception to the unity within the Senate Democratic caucus supporting Biden is West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who said he would “absolutely” consider a third-party candidacy for president.
Manchin plans to go on a national listening tour to see if there is enough appetite among “centrist” voters to support him running for president as a pragmatic centrist.
He warned in an interview on NBC last week that Biden and Vice President Harris won’t have a strong ticket in 2024.
“I truly believe that political parties are in crisis right now, and they’re basically attracting extreme people,” he told NBC’s Kristen Welker. “I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure we’re mobilizing moderate, sensible, common-sense centrists.”
“I think Joe Biden is leaning too far to the left. Can he come back? Let’s see,” he added.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.