Democratic strategist David Axelrod, former senior adviser to President Obama, expressed his lack of concern regarding President Biden’s poor polling numbers a year before the 2024 election. Axelrod emphasized the need to analyze and adjust these polls while drawing on his experience with Barack Obama’s 2011 difficult polling situation. Despite recent polls showing Biden trailing former President Trump in battleground states, Axelrod’s primary concern revolves around voters’ apprehension regarding age, which he believes cannot be reversed.
Polling Concerns and Age:
Axelrod acknowledged the recent New York Times/Siena College poll, which indicated Biden trailing Trump in five of six key battleground states, and a subsequent CNN poll showing similar results. However, he cautioned against attaching significant importance to polls conducted a year before the election. Instead, he highlighted voters’ concerns about Biden’s age as a more pressing issue. Axelrod noted that regardless of Biden’s effectiveness behind the scenes, his public image is causing worry among some voters.
Clarification of Statements:
Having faced scrutiny for his earlier comments suggesting Biden might consider stepping aside ahead of the 2024 presidential election, Axelrod clarified his position during the CNN interview. He stated that he was not calling on Biden to step aside but rather suggesting that he “ought to think about it.” At 80 years old, Biden is the oldest president to serve in the White House, while Trump, his potential GOP rival in 2024, is 77 years old.
As the 2024 election approaches, Axelrod’s focus on the polling landscape a year in advance reflects a pragmatic approach to analyzing public sentiment. While poor polling numbers can be cause for concern, he emphasizes the need for adaptation and adjustment. However, concerns about Biden’s age may hold more weight in the public eye, underscoring the potential impact of perceptions surrounding candidates’ fitness for office as they grow older.