Joe Biden is not popular. One year before the 2024 election, the 80-year-old commander in chief has a meager 39 percent approval rating, the worst since Jimmy Carter, who went on to lose reelection by a landslide. Adding to Biden’s apparent unpopularity, a recent NYT-Sienna poll shows Trump leading Biden in 5 swing states. However, despite Biden’s national unpopularity, Democrats are still very successful on the state level.
Despite no Congressional contests on Election Day 2023, the results mattered a lot. Across the country, many different states saw important elections. In an off year, low turnout election season with an embattled incumbent President, these elections should have been much closer. But despite Biden’s pitfalls, Democrats were victorious in almost all of them. In Ohio, measures to codify Abortion and legalize Marijuana easily passed. In Pennsylvania, Democrats were able to seat a left leaning justice, and in largely red Kentucky, incumbent Democrat Andy Beshear comfortably secured a second term as Governor.
The Democrats’ favorable performance in 2023 can tell a lot about 2024. For example, Ohio supporting two overwhelmingly Democratic measures is a good sign for Sherrod Brown, the incumbent Democratic Senator who is going through a tough reelection race. Meanwhile, Virginia, despite having a Republican Governor, is still trending blue, which was shown when Democrats took full control of the state legislature. While we can make many implications about state politics, the Democrats over performing across the nation could show that Americans may like Biden’s performance more than the media thinks, or that the GOP is doing a bad job marketing themselves.
The day after Democrats won across the country, the third Republican Primary Debate took place in Miami. In the debate, Vivek Ramaswamy went after the Republican National Committee, calling them a “party of losers”. When he says this, he isn’t wrong. Republicans haven’t had any major victories since 2016, and the party is more divided than ever. I believe that despite Biden’s poll numbers, the Republican Party cannot properly attack Biden’s weaknesses, and is too divided to win in 2024.