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Jonathan Bernstein

What It Would Take for Democrats to Dump Biden

Even unpopular presidents have lots of influence in their parties, so the odds against forcing this one to step aside in 2024 are high. But it’s not clear how hard he’d have to be pushed.

A lot to think about.

A lot to think about.

Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The most predictable story in the world gets recycled whenever a first-term president becomes unpopular and his jittery party starts wondering whether other options are better than nominating him for re-election. So with President Joe Biden’s approval ratings sagging below 40%, here comes a column by Ed Kilgore at New York magazine asking whether Democrats are “stuck” with Biden in 2024.

To answer, set aside (legitimate!) questions about whether Biden, now 79, is too old for a second term. Tune out consideration of whether Democrats believe he would be a good second-term president. Turn to the way electoral politics actually unfolds.