Former President Obama’s senior adviser David Axelrod on Sunday suggested President Biden drop out of the 2024 presidential race in the wake of a new poll showing the incumbent trailing former President Trump.
Pointing to a New York Times and Siena College poll published Sunday, Axelrod wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter: “It’s very late to change horses; a lot will happen in the next year that no one can predict & Biden’s team says his resolve to run is firm.”
Arguing Biden is “justly proud of his accomplishments,” Axelrod said Biden’s poll numbers will “send tremors of doubt” through the Democratic Party.
“Not ‘bed-wetting,'” but legitimate concern, Axelrod wrote.
“Trump is a dangerous, unhinged demagogue whose brazen disdain for the rules, [norms], laws and institutions or democracy should be disqualifying,” Axelrod wrote in a separate post. “But the stakes of miscalculation here are too dramatic to ignore.”
“Only @JoeBiden can make this decision,” he continued. “If he continues to run, he will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. What he needs to decide is whether that is wise; whether it’s in HIS best interest or the country’s?”
The poll found Biden trailing Trump in five out of six battleground states including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania by margins of 3 to 10 percentage points among registered voters. In Wisconsin, Biden was ahead by 2 percentage points, according to the poll.
The poll’s findings serve as a major blow to Biden’s campaign after the incumbent carried all six states in 2020 when up against Trump, The New York Times reported.
Biden’s reelection campaign has faced growing concerns from voters within his own party over his age and policy actions on various issues, notably the economy.
The poll found that 71 percent of registered voters said they agree to some degree that Biden is “just too old to be an effective president,” while only 39 percent said the same about Trump.
Asked if Biden has the “mental sharpness to be an effective president,” 62 percent of participants said no, while 35 percent agreed with the statement. Meanwhile, 52 percent of participants said they believe Trump has the mental sharpness to be an effective president, while 44 percent said he does not.
Biden has faced criticism over his age since his 2020 campaign, and this criticism has continued throughout his time in the White House. At 80, Biden is the oldest U.S. president in history.
If reelected in 2024, he would be 86 at the end of his second term.
Axelrod called Biden’s age is “his biggest liability” and something he cannot change.
“Among all the unpredictables there is one thing that is sure: the age arrow only points in one direction,” Axelrod wrote on X.
Axelrod’s comments follow a series of calls from some Democrats who have suggested Biden’s age makes him “too old” to run for reelection next year. The president has argued it is fair for voters to discuss his age, but he has said they should judge him on his ability to perform the job.
The New York Times/Siena College poll was conducted among 3,662 registered voters in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin from Oct. 22 to Nov. 3, 2023. The margin of sampling error for each state is between 4.4 and 4.8 percentage points.