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What the Republican Debate and the latest news on President Biden reveal

by | Sep 28, 2023

By Dave Andrusko

Last night’s Republican debate, held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, was full of give and take, back and forth, which you would expect when there are seven presidential candidates jockeying to get a word in edgewise.

But there was plenty of time to lambast pro-abortion President Joe Biden for him zealotry on abortion. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis hit the nail in on the head when he said, “I think we should hold the Democrats accountable for their extremism, supporting abortion all the way up until the moment of birth. That is infanticide and that is wrong.”

Meanwhile President Biden’s re-election ship continues to take on water. Alex Thompson, writing for Axios in a sense laid out the case for how much trouble Biden is in—and why.

President Biden and his campaign are working on a critical project for his re-election bid: Make sure he doesn’t trip.

Driving the news: As voters express deep concerns about the 80-year-old president’s age and fitness for office, Biden’s team is taking extra steps to prevent him from stumbling in public — as he did in June, when he tripped over a sandbag at the Air Force Academy.

With a physical therapist, Biden has been doing exercises to improve his balance as far back as November 2021.

Since his stumble in June, he has been wearing tennis shoes more often to avoid slipping — and using the short stairs on Air Force One, entering the plane on a lower deck than before.

Why it matters: Democrats, including some in the administration, are terrified that Biden will have a bad fall — with a nightmare scenario of it happening in the weeks before the November 2024 election.

And the numbers reflect this public uncertainty. “Five Polls That Show Joe Biden’s Chances of Re-Election Are in Jeopardy” is the headline for a story in Newsweek written by Alex Phillips.

The polls include two—by ABC News/Washington Post and NBC News—that we wrote about on Monday.  The former has Donald Trump ahead by a whopping nine points, 51% to 42%, the latter has them tied at 46%.

Phillips hones in on the stronger-than-expected showing by Robert Kennedy Jr. who if he decides to run as an Independent, would likely siphon considerably more votes from Biden than from Trump.

Biden’s stock with minority voters was sky-high in 2020; he carried 92% of Black voters. The NBC News poll showed growing dissatisfaction. “His job approval rating slipped from 80 percent in 2021 to 63 percent among Black voters—though it also found 76 percent would still vote for him come 2024,” Phillips reported.

But 76% is not 92%.

Finally just a reminder of what the ABC News/Washington Post revealed. According to Gary Langer of ABC News, “Just 37% approve of his job performance, while 56% disapprove. Still fewer approve of Biden’s performance on the economy, 30%.” Langer adds

In terms of intensity of sentiment, 20% strongly approve of his work overall, while 45% strongly disapprove. And the 74% who say he’s too old for a second term is up 6 percentage points since May.

This is important. More than twice as many strongly disapprove [45%] as strongly approve [20%] of Biden’s work overall. Moreover

These views play into early-stage election preferences. A remarkable 62% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say the party should pick someone other than Biden as its nominee in 2024; just a third back Biden. Desire for a different candidate is at a numerical high, but also consistent with past results (56% to 58%) the past year.

 More tomorrow.

Categories: Politics