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 January 16, 2023

The latest setback for Biden comes as Democrats debate whether he is their best 2024 bet

President Joe Biden is increasingly looking like a reelection candidate, but the latest controversies surrounding his White House raise new questions about whether Democrats should rejoice.

After Democrats successfully weathered the midterm elections, retaining the Senate and minimizing House losses, the pendulum on Biden's reelection swung back in his favor, according to a report by The Washington Examiner.

Biden was not immediately demoted to the status of a lame duck.

Republicans did, however, win the House and will be in a position to re-examine Hunter Biden's shady business dealings. This comes on top of a classified documents scandal caused by the president.

These controversies could, at the very least, blunt promising lines of attack against former President Donald Trump, who is the subject of his own special counsel investigation for mishandling sensitive government information and has already announced his intention to run for president in 2024.

It's already reminiscent of the Hillary Clinton email scandal, which was seen as exaggerated but also damaging to their electoral prospects.

The steady drip of new document news is already dwindling the enthusiasm that surrounded Biden after the Democrats survived the midterm elections when the share of the party's voters who thought he could win reelection increased 11 percentage points to 71%.

While the story may be mostly resolved by 2024, it is currently being played out against the backdrop of Biden's reelection decision.

Rank-and-file Democrats have been telling pollsters for months that they would prefer a different nominee than Biden.

During the midterm elections, two-thirds of all voters expressed opposition to him running for reelection.

However, some Democrats are rallying around Biden. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA), the leading Democrat who appeared to be preparing for a national campaign, has announced that he will not run. Inside the administration, the main alternatives are Vice President Kamala Harris, whose poll numbers have been a persistent issue, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who has also struggled.

All of this positions Biden well to be the first octogenarian major party presidential nominee, which is likely to be a problem in the campaign, especially if the Republican nominee is someone other than, and younger than, Trump.

Former Obama adviser David Axelrod, who remains an influential Democratic establishment figure, signaled as much last year.

“The presidency is a monstrously taxing job, and the stark reality is the president would be closer to 90 than 80 at the end of a second term and that would be a major issue,” he said.

Written By:
Charlotte Tyler

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