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As polls sag, allies urge Democrats to unite behind Biden 2024 Bid

By Jake Beardslee · November 24, 2023

In brief…

  • Allies say criticism of Biden from Democrats is not helpful and call for party unity
  • Recent polls show Biden trailing Trump, concerning some Democrats
  • But Democrats say there's still time for Biden to recover his standing
  • Question is who would replace Biden if he didn't run for reelection
  • Allies urge Democrats to stay focused on supporting Biden-Harris ticket
Democrats are calling for unity amid criticism of Biden's reelection prospects from some in the party.  Michael Stokes/Wikimedia

Allies of President Biden are increasingly calling for Democrats to unite behind the president after recent criticism from within the party about his prospects for reelection in 2024.

Former Obama adviser David Axelrod “caused a ruckus” by suggesting Biden should not run again and claiming he has just “a 50-50 shot” of winning if he does, sparking backlash from Democrats who say such comments are not helpful given Biden’s poor polling. Former Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) said “We gotta pipe down the moaning and groaning and all the whining. There’s too much of that,” arguing it damages voter perceptions, The Hill reported.

Other Democrats agreed complaining is counterproductive. “I don’t think it’s helpful as a party for people to sort of run around publicly and complain,” said Steve Elmendorf, a former Kerry campaign official, The Hill reported. Recent polls show Biden trailing former President Trump, but some Democrats say there’s ample time for Biden to recover. “You have to be concerned, but you also have to take it with the understanding that a year of politics, especially in an election, is a lifetime,” said former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, according to The Hill.

Daschle acknowledged concerns about Biden’s age but said Democrats must unite behind him. Senate Democrats are also pushing back on criticisms of Biden’s electability. “He’s running for reelection, people need to understand that and so as a party, everybody should figure out how do we get him reelected. Like, that’s pretty simple,” Elmendorf said.

Others note today’s campaigns are much different than in the past. “A lot of the people who comment on campaigns these days are sort of living in past campaigns,” said Elmendorf. If Biden doesn’t run, the question is who would replace him. “Joe Biden has done it. Who would you put in his place?” said Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC on Morning Joe. Biden allies say despite concerns, Democrats must stay focused on supporting the Biden-Harris ticket.