OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
A prominent strategist at JPMorgan Chase asserted this week that President Joe Biden will withdraw from the 2024 race before Election Day, implying that there may already be preparations in motion for such an eventuality.
Michael Cembalest, who leads the financial giant’s market and investment strategy unit in JPMorgan Chase’s asset management division, believes Biden, 81, will leave the race “sometime between Super Tuesday and the November election, citing health concerns.”
Super Tuesday, set for March 5, encompasses primary elections in over a dozen states, including California, Texas, Massachusetts, Vermont, and North Carolina. In the modern era, the candidate who secures the majority of Super Tuesday primaries is typically seen as the frontrunner and the eventual nominee of the party.
Cembalest justified his prediction by citing Biden’s taking approval rating, especially for a president who can claim “around 10% job creation since his inauguration,” though much if not most of that was caused by Americans returning to the workforce after lengthy COVID shutdowns, which Cembalest noted in a forecast letter to investors and clients.
He didn’t predict who would take Biden’s spot but predicted it would be “a replacement candidate named by the Democratic National Committee.”
Conventional wisdom points to Vice President Kamala Harris as the logical successor, but she faces significant unpopularity. According to the political analysis site FiveThirtyEight, her disapproval rating stands at 55%, surpassing even Biden’s level of unpopularity.
That said, “Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) and self-help author Marianne Williamson are the only other Democrats who have declared their candidacies,” the New York Post noted.
Biden is trailing Trump by margins ranging from four to ten percentage points in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, according to a recent battleground state survey. Biden led only in Wisconsin by two percentage points. Across the six battlegrounds—all of which Biden carried in 2020—the president trails by an average of 48 to 44 percent.
In a Times/Siena College poll in December, for example, discontent was pervasive; most respondents claim that Biden’s policies have negatively impacted them personally, the New York Times reported.
The survey results revealed a wide range of Biden’s shortcomings, and worries about the president’s aging and mental capacity are just the beginning. Sixty-two percent of respondents felt that Biden lacked the “mental sharpness” necessary to be an effective leader.
The poll also showed how much the coalition of different races and generations that supported Biden in his election is eroding. Now, there is much more competition among the demographic groups that supported Biden by wide margins in 2020 because two-thirds of voters believe the nation is headed in the wrong direction.
Biden’s lead among Hispanic voters is in the single digits; his advantage in urban areas is half of Trump’s edge in rural areas; and he is only slightly preferred by voters under thirty.
Men favored Trump by twice as much as women did, reversing the gender advantage that had driven so many Democratic victories in recent years, even though women still supported Biden.
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.
He’s defied CW before but this will send tremors of doubt thru the party–not “bed-wetting,” but legitimate concern. https://t.co/g6zeWF0T87
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) November 5, 2023
Long a pillar of support for Democrats and Biden, black voters are now giving Trump 22 percent of the vote in these states, a percentage never before seen in presidential politics for a Republican in modern times.
Biden trailed more in swing states with greater diversity, and he only led in the whitest of the six states, in an astonishing indication of a slow racial realignment between the two parties.
The poll indicates that both Biden and Trump enjoy extreme unpopularity. However, a majority of voters who feel the country is headed in the wrong direction are venting their resentment at the current president.
Spencer Weiss, a 53-year-old Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, electrical substation specialist who backed Biden in 2020 but is now backing Trump, albeit with some reservations, said, “The world is falling apart under Biden. I would much rather see someone who I believe can lead the nation as a positive role model. However, I believe that Trump is at least intelligent.”