Biden’s lacking policies may lose the DNC young voters

With the 2024 general election now less than a year away, recent polls have indicated that former President Donald Trump is gaining ground on President Joe Biden, and Biden is losing support particularly among young voters. This trend is entirely avoidable and merely exists as a result of the incompetence of Biden and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) at appealing to their voter base.

One recent poll from The New York Times/Siena Poll found that Trump was leading Biden in five crucial battleground states, and another from Emerson College indicated that 45% of voters under 30 who were polled support Trump, while 43% support Biden.

The American people’s response to Roe being overturned should be an indication to the DNC that running on populist issues works, but the pleas for this concerted attention towards other issues are falling on deaf ears.

Ohio made news headlines for its pro-abortion and cannabis referendums last week after an election day that was very promising for Democrats nationwide. Despite this dominance on left-leaning causes in the state, an NBC News exit poll found that 73% of voters believed the president should not seek reelection. These statistics are deeply troubling and ought to be a wake-up call for the Democratic Party.

First, a few necessary caveats are needed. It’s true that it’s difficult to accurately predict election results a year out, and one shouldn’t assume that this current polling data is representative of what we’ll see next November. Another important aspect is that approval rating doesn’t uniformly correspond with how people will vote, and it’s likely we could still see last-minute support for Biden despite broad disapproval.

With these important aspects in mind, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the lack of attention to progressive causes from Biden and the DNC are largely responsible for these low approval ratings.

The obvious pressing issue abroad is the conflict in Israel and Palestine. Biden’s response has been disappointing and shameful for a multitude of reasons, and the president’s handling of the situation is likely the biggest contributor to the largest approval rating drop among Democrats we’ve seen in his entire presidency.

Beyond the crisis in the Middle East, however, frustration and discontent towards Democrats has been festering for years now as a result of the party’s failure to support a myriad of progressive policies. Health insurance reform, for example, is the principal progressive cause which unites Leftists, Social Democrats and Liberals alike. Support for a single nationalized healthcare program is overwhelming among Democratic voters.

Despite this broad support, Biden, who ran on the platform of a public option, has abandoned his promise in favor of Obamacare-like reforms which pale in comparison. The Biden Administration has been reluctant towards even the most meager crumbs of policy relating to this, such as during the pandemic when former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki scoffed at the idea of distributing free COVID-19 test kits, a position which the Biden Administration soon reversed after a tide of backlash.

Other immensely popular issues such as a $15 federal minimum wage are supported by Biden, but the drive and morale from the president and many moderate Democrats on said issues has been despondently weak. It’s worth noting that Biden realistically can’t get everything done, but the president has the power to use the bully pulpit and at least provide lip service to these issues.

One of the biggest domestic issues we’ve seen in recent years was the overturning of Roe v. Wade by a Conservative majority Supreme Court. The response from voters was to vote blue in what was a surprisingly strong midterm election for Democrats.

The American people’s response to Roe being overturned should be an indication to the DNC that running on populist issues works, but the pleas for this concerted attention towards other issues are falling on deaf ears. Instead, the DNC is solely squeezing every drop of political capital they can out of Roe and anti-Trump sentiment, which are limited strategies that won’t work forever.

What’s truly a shame is that Biden has actually exceeded progressive expectations in some ways through his commitment to pulling out of Afghanistan, a historic National Labor Relations Board ruling which gives more power to unions and his support for the removal of cannabis as a schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. This type of policy is seldom, however. The lack of broad support for progressive policies from Biden and the DNC is discouraging, and it may just cost the president his chances at reelection.


Featured photo courtesy of Matt Johnson, Flickr