Democrats should be concerned with President Biden’s poll numbers, some of which show him trailing various GOP candidates in head-to-head matchups, Democratic strategist James Carville said Thursday
Polls also have consistently shown many voters are concerned about Biden’s age and whether he is fit to be president. Biden is 80, will turn 81 in November and would be 86 at the end of a second term.
“You can’t look at this and not say that you’re concerned,” Carville said in an interview on CNN. “For me to come on television and say I don’t find this alarming or troubling at all would be stupid. I wouldn’t do that.”
A CNN poll released on Thursday found that 46 percent of registered voters said any Republican presidential candidate would be better than Biden. The president didn’t fare much better among Democratic-aligned voters, 67 percent of whom said they would like a nominee other than Biden.
The president’s age is front of mind for many, with 73 percent of Americans and 56 percent of Democrats saying they are “seriously concerned” about Biden’s physical and mental competence, the poll found.
“To say the least, the polls were not great,” Carville said. “And it tells us that, you know, voters are expressing some apprehension here. It’s pretty clear. There’s not much else you can say when you look at them.”
“I guess the best thing you could say is, if anything, they’re worse for [former President] Trump,” he continued.
Trump is 77, but the age concerns plaguing Biden haven’t shown up the same way in polls surrounding Trump.
The former president is battling a series of indictments, however, and a number of Republicans worry that in a general election contest he could be a weak candidate against Biden despite the president’s weaknesses.
The CNN polling showed Trump ahead of Biden by a single percentage point. Biden trailed former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley by six percentage points, and he trailed Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), former Vice President Mike Pence and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie by two percentage points a piece.
Biden was tied with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and was polling ahead of 38-year-old entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.
Trump, however, is the runaway favorite to win the GOP presidential nomination despite his legal problems. GOP candidates like Haley are likely to argue they are more electable that Trump in a general election, but it’s unclear whether that will actually be a winning argument with GOP voters in primary states.
Biden is facing two primary challengers in environmental activist Robert Kennedy Jr. and author Marianne Williamson, but neither are expected to give him a serious challenge.
It all makes the possibility of a second Biden-Trump matchup in November 2024 the most likely general election contest.
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