Democrats Are Facing a 'Biden Gap'

The bigger the name, the bigger their support of the president in 2024, writes Jonathan Martin
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2023 1:49 PM CDT
Among Prominent Democrats, a 'Biden Gap' Emerges
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.   (Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP)

In an assessment of the 2024 race for Politico Magazine, Jonathan Martin writes of what he calls the "Biden gap" among Democrats. "The further up a Democrat is on the political food chain, the more publicly supportive and even defensive they are of the president," he writes. Those closer to the grass roots are more likely to push for a different nominee. As an example of this, the story focuses on 51-year-old Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has ruled out running in 2024. This reality—a strong, relatively young candidate stepping aside for an octogenarian incumbent—has many Democrats lamenting "what could have been," as the headline to Martin's piece puts it.

The essay offers a contrast, noting that Whitmer was delivering a speech well received by a centrist crowd at the very moment Biden had a very public stumble and fall earlier this month. Martin also notes that plenty of state lawmakers in Michigan have gone public wishing for a Whitmer run 2024, but the best she will do is not rule out the possibility for 2028. A new poll suggests her supporters are not alone: One-third of likely Democratic voters say in an Echelon Insights survey that they would back a candidate other than Biden in a Democratic primary, reports Newsweek. And at the conservative Washington Times, Adam Brandon reads the tea leaves and predicts that Biden will drop out by the end of October, with California Gov. Gavin Newsom replacing him as the frontrunner.

"As a presidential candidate, Mr. Newsom would force Republicans to respond to tough political discussions that they will try to avoid this cycle," he writes. Newsom "will define the Republican platform on sensitive issues such as abortion, Social Security and Medicare, forcing the Republican candidate to go on the defensive." Brandon makes clear his piece isn't an endorsement of Newsom but rather a warning to Republicans to prepare for a different general election race than they currently expect. (More Election 2024 stories.)

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