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Dems’ 2024 disconnect

Thought Leader: Josh Kraushaar
February 12, 2023
Source: Axios
Written by: Josh Kraushaar

There’s a gaping divide in the Democratic Party between institutional public opinion — party leaders, lawmakers, donors, consultants — and the actual voters who ultimately decide elections, recent polling shows.

Why it matters: President Biden has all but erased internal Democratic Party criticism. But only three postwar presidents had lower approval ratings than Biden at this point in their presidency.

Zoom in: Doubts about Biden’s age (80) have all but vanished from institutional Democrats’ public conversation. The DNC has neutralized the influence of Iowa and New Hampshire, where an intraparty rebellion could have started.

Zoom out: Public perception of the economy’s health will be a major factor in Biden’s political standing. Biden used his SOTU address to tout the economy’s resilience — pointing to record-low unemployment and claiming the fastest economic growth in 40 years.

Reality check: Biden’s biggest ally is the unpopularity of the GOP opposition — particularly former President Trump.

The bottom line: The vibes in Washington are growing bullish on Biden’s re-election prospects. But polling shows voters aren’t optimistic about their own economic futures. And a majority of Democrats want a new standard-bearer for 2024.

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