HomePolitics5 things to expect from Biden's re-election campaign

5 things to expect from Biden’s re-election campaign

President Biden cycles along a trail at Gordons Pond State Park in Rehoboth Beach, Del., on Thursday. (Lea Millis/Reuters)

When former President Donald Trump traveled to rainy Washington, D.C. to face charges Thursday in connection with his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis faced criticism for promising to curb federal bureaucracy by “cutting throats”. President Biden relaxed on the beach.

While the race for the GOP presidential nomination has been fierce, Biden is almost certainly the Democratic nominee — even though Robert F. Kennedy Jr. a persistent irritation.

Certainly, Biden’s advanced age remains a concern. And there is little excitement among the Democratic Party’s progressive base, a disturbing reality reflected in his re-election campaign’s struggle to attract small donors.

That headwind may continue. Others can become reality. But his close advisers nevertheless believe he is in a strong position to win re-election, especially if he runs against Trump again.

Read more from our partners: Joe Biden redefines presidential campaign austerity

You’re going to hear a lot about Bidenomics…

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at a press conference.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at the US Embassy in Beijing on July 9. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Bidenomics is not so much a single coherent policy as an atmosphere, an optimistic view of the US economy that the White House hopes will propel the president to a second term.

Bidenomics refers to the billions Biden has invested in green energy, infrastructure and semiconductor manufacturing, but it is also the Federal Reserve’s deft management of interest rates to contain inflation, decisions beyond the president’s control.

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Bidenomics is primarily Biden’s response to a Republican party now largely defined by culture wars waged by Trump, DeSantis and others.

Admittedly, most Americans remain pessimistic about the economy. But unemployment is at historic lows, growth is exceeding expectations, wages are rising and a recession looks increasingly unlikely.

Read more from our partners: Bidenomics has been a boon to working-class voters. Why don’t they give him credit?

…and about MAGA Republicans

Supporters of former US President Donald Trump in white coats that read Front Row Joes in red hold hats with slogans like MAGA King and Trump Forever.

Supporters of former President Donald Trump as he announces his candidacy for president at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., on Nov. 15, 2022. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Prior to the 2022 congressional midterms, Biden regularly proclaimed “MAGA Republicans,” a reference to how thoroughly the GOP had been captured by Trump and Trumpism. According to Biden, the MAGA Republicans were nothing like the Republicans he had worked with in the Senate for decades.

This new brand of Republican, he argued, was determined to ban abortion, make it harder for black people to vote and relax gun control restrictions — all while falsely claiming that Trump had won the 2020 presidential election .

“MAGA troops are determined to take this country backwards – backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry the one you love,” he said in a fiery speech last September . “They promote authoritarian leaders and they fan the flames of political violence.”

Several weeks later, some of the most extreme Republican candidates lost in state and federal races, seemingly confirming Biden’s approach. Politicians tend to stick with what works, and Biden is already taking on MAGA Republicans no matter who turns out to be the nominee.

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Read more from our partners: MAGA voters say an indictment would help Trump’s 2024 presidential bid

A soft launch

President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, in baseball caps, sit on simple lounge chairs under an umbrella with their beach towels.

Biden and his wife, Jill, on Delaware’s North Shores Beach on Thursday. (Lea Millis/Reuters)

Biden launched his 2024 reelection campaign with a video announcement, just like he did in 2020. But while that campaign was defined by the coronavirus and restrictions on large gatherings, there’s nothing stopping the 2024 candidates from campaigning as they did before the pandemic .

But as the sitting president, Biden enjoys an advantage that none of his Republican challengers have: the White House. He is expected to use the so-called Rose Garden strategy, using his pulpit instead of holding large rallies across the country.

Some Democrats have called for him to campaign more aggressively, which could help voter (and donor) enthusiasm. But many of those same concerns surfaced ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, when Biden was criticized for not campaigning more often or more energetically.

He largely ignored those critics, but saw the Democrats perform better nationally than many expected. This time, too, he probably won’t heed their calls.

Read more from our partners: Top liberals support Joe Biden’s 2024 campaign. But some activists have reservations

The age problem will not go away

Biden holds out his hand to wave, with bodyguards behind him.

Biden at Auburn Manufacturing in Auburn, Maine, on July 28. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Biden turned 80 last fall, making him the oldest sitting president in U.S. history. Although Trump is 77, other Republican candidates for the primary are nearly half the president’s age. And each of his stumbling blocks or misstatements serves as a reminder – rightly or wrongly – of his advanced age.

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A Yahoo News and YouGov poll last spring found that 68% of respondents — including 48% of Democrats — believed that Biden was “too old for another term as president.” Like the rest of us, he’s not getting any younger. And while the Rose Garden strategy may work amid a contentious Republican primary, it will have to deal with the grueling campaign of campaigning once the general election season begins late next summer.

He will also need young voters, who his campaign says will court policies related to climate change, gun control and economic opportunity.

“We will meet younger Americans where they are and channel their energy into action,” a campaign spokesman, Kevin Munoz, told the Associated Press.

Read more from Yahoo News: Are Biden and Trump too old to be president?

Trump may be stronger than he seems

Donald Trump holds an umbrella against the rain as he exits a black vehicle, with a disgruntled expression on his face.

Former President Donald Trump leaves Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va, on Thursday. (Pool via Reuters)

Polls have consistently shown that the last thing most Americans want is a rematch between Trump and Biden. But it’s increasingly looking like that’s exactly what they’re going to get.

Biden and his advisers like their chances in that matchup. Trump was indicted earlier this week for his role in undermining the 2020 election, the latest of his legal woes — but almost certainly not the last. By next year, Trump could be in the middle of several trials and potentially face a lengthy prison sentence. And he’s already toxic to many Americans.

On the other hand, there are millions of Americans who say they will only vote for Trump. The temptation to underestimate him can be dangerous, as Hillary Clinton discovered in 2016. Recent polls put Biden and Trump tied for voters, with 43% each.

In other words, 2024 may not be quite the cakewalk that some Democrats envision. Former President Barack Obama reportedly made that point to Biden last month at a White House luncheon, warning his former vice president not to treat the likely rematch with Trump with too much confidence.

Read more from our partners: Can the race really be that close? Yes, Biden and Trump are tied.

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