Democratic strategist David Axelrod, known for his role as a senior adviser to President Obama, has expressed his lack of concern over President Biden’s low polling numbers one year ahead of the 2024 election. Drawing upon his experience with Barack Obama’s challenging polling situation in 2011, Axelrod emphasizes the importance of analyzing and adjusting these polls. While recent polls show Biden trailing former President Trump in crucial battleground states, Axelrod believes that voters’ apprehension about age is a more significant issue, one that cannot easily be reversed.
Polling Worries and the Age Factor: Axelrod acknowledges the recent New York Times/Siena College poll, which indicates Biden’s trailing behind Trump in five out of six key battleground states. A subsequent CNN poll draws similar conclusions. However, he cautions against attaching undue significance to polls conducted a year before the election, instead emphasizing voters’ concerns on Biden’s age. Axelrod believes that regardless of Biden’s effectiveness behind the scenes, his public image is causing worry among certain voters.
Clarifying Statements: Facing scrutiny for his earlier remarks suggesting that Biden should consider stepping aside ahead of the 2024 presidential election, Axelrod clarifies his position during a CNN interview. He emphasizes that he is not calling for Biden to step aside but merely suggesting that he should “think about it.” At 80 years old, Biden is currently the oldest president to serve in the White House, while Trump, his potential Republican rival in 2024, is 77 years old.
The Road Ahead: Axelrod’s focus on the polling landscape a year ahead of the 2024 election reflects a pragmatic approach to understanding public sentiment. While poor polling numbers can be a cause for concern, he highlights the need for adaptation and adjustment. Nonetheless, concerns about Biden’s age may carry more weight in the eyes of the public, highlighting the potential influence of perceptions surrounding candidates’ fitness for office as they age.