In a recent podcast episode of “Hacks on Tap,” David Axelrod, former senior adviser to President Obama, expressed concerns over President Biden’s declining approval rating and potential impact on his reelection campaign. Axelrod referred to a Wall Street Journal poll, which revealed that only 37 percent of respondents approved Biden’s job as president, while 61 percent had an unfavorable view.
Axelrod highlighted the worrisome comparisons between Biden’s ratings and former President Trump’s. In a hypothetical matchup, Biden trailed Trump by 4 points, with 47 percent of respondents favoring Trump and 43 percent choosing Biden.
What alarmed Axelrod the most were the numbers reflecting voters’ perceptions of Biden’s and Trump’s policies. According to the poll, 23 percent of voters believed Biden’s policies had helped them, while 49 percent said the same of Trump’s policies. Additionally, 53 percent thought Biden’s policies had personally hurt them, compared to 37 percent for Trump.
Axelrod expressed concern that these numbers could indicate voters rationalizing their votes against Biden, potentially leading to a loss in the upcoming election. He criticized the White House’s use of “Bidenomics” signs placed on stage during speeches to promote the president’s economic agenda. Axelrod found it concerning that such photo opportunities were pursued despite the declining approval ratings.
While Axelrod acknowledged that private polling he had seen suggested the situation may not be as dire as the public poll indicates, he emphasized the need for the Biden campaign to act swiftly. He referred to a recent CNN voter poll showing former President Trump with a significant lead over Biden in the state of Michigan, emphasizing the importance of the campaign’s more concerted effort to engage with voters and highlight the choice they face.
Axelrod argued that the Biden campaign is lagging in this regard due to divided attention between the election and the responsibilities of the White House. He believes this has negatively impacted their ability to shape the narrative and create a sense of urgency among voters.
It’s worth noting that Axelrod previously faced criticism for suggesting that Biden should drop out of the 2024 presidential race after a poll showed him trailing Trump. However, he later clarified that he is not concerned about poor polling numbers so far before the election and expressed optimism about Biden’s chances of winning reelection.
The declining approval ratings and unfavorable comparisons to Trump’s policies pose significant challenges for the Biden administration. As the 2024 election approaches, the campaign must address these concerns, accelerate its messaging, and engage with voters more effectively to secure a successful reelection bid for President Biden.