PJ Media readers know that Joe Biden is in real trouble. It’s actually quite difficult to find a single poll that doesn’t flash huge warning signs about his chances in 2024. In addition to Americans thinking that he’s too old and cognitively impaired, they also don’t approve of the job that he’s doing right now, and normally reliable voting blocs for any Democrat are swinging towards Trump.
This political reality is something we have no problem talking about, but, according to famed Democratic Party strategist James Carville, it’s something people on the left are being told to keep quiet. Carville revealed to The Atlantic he has been urged by fellow Democrats to refrain from discussing President Joe Biden’s vulnerabilities in the 2024 election.
Carville’s revelation highlights a broader sentiment within the Democratic leadership that acknowledges challenges in Biden’s re-election prospects but advises maintaining silence on the matter.
“I’m looking at polling data, and I’m looking at all of it. The president’s numbers are just not good—and they’re not getting any better,” Carville told Tim Alberta of The Atlantic. “I talk to a lot of people who do a lot of congressional-level polling and state polling, and they’re all saying the same thing. There’s not an outlier; there’s not another opinion … The question is, has the country made up its mind?”
Other Democratic strategists are trying to look at the situation through rose-colored glasses. For example Obama’s 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina thinks there are parallels between that campaign and Biden’s current campaign, and if there were a true problem on the horizon, more serious Democrats would be jumping in the race.
“Biden’s already beaten Trump once,” Messina insisted. “He’s the one guy who can beat him again.”
Carville says this is hogwash, and that 2024 doesn’t look anything like past elections:
Biden is even older, there is a proliferation of third-party and independent candidates, and the Democratic base, which turned out in record numbers in the last presidential election, appears deflated. (“The most under-covered story in contemporary American politics,” Carville said, “is that Black turnout has been miserable everywhere since 2020.”) Carville added that in his own discussions with leading Democrats, when he argues that Biden’s prospects for reelection have grown bleak, “Nobody is saying, ‘James, you’re wrong,’” he told me. “They’re saying, ‘James, you can’t say that.’”
While this may be something they can’t say out loud, it’s clearly a concern within the party, and it’s why Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) has decided to jump into the presidential race.
“My grave concern,” he said, “is I just don’t think President Biden will beat Donald Trump next November.”
Phillips told The Atlantic that in his conversations with party leaders over the past year, that “everybody, without exception” is concerned about Biden’s prospects. Phillips has also found that no one wants to go on record about it.
“Democrats claim to view Trump as a singular threat to the republic, the congressman complains, but for reasons of protocol and self-preservation they have been unwilling to go public with their concerns about Biden, making it all the more likely, in Phillips’s view, that the former president will return to office,” writes Alberta.
If I had to guess, party leaders would like to see Biden withdraw from the 2024 race, but Biden’s inner circle is convinced that he’s the only candidate that can beat Trump. Regardless, if I were a Democrat, the inability to acknowledge Biden’s weakness is a huge concern is a huge red flag. And, next year, after the election, many in the party will point to this denialism as where everything went wrong.