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The Biden Bunker Mentality

President Biden Departs the White House for Illinois
The recent, panic-inducing Times/Siena poll largely backed up what the chattering class has been saying for months: The party’s ideas are popular, it’s the candidate who is the problem. Kevin Dietsch/Getty
Tara Palmeri
November 9, 2023

So, you may have heard about a recent New York Times/Siena poll suggesting that Joe Biden would currently succumb to Donald Trump in five key swing states… and you may have also come across a provocative tweet from the president’s old Obama administration colleague, David Axelrod, delicately suggesting he reconsider his plan to run for re-election. Well, as you can imagine, this is what every single Democratic operative and adviser in town has been talking and texting about, ad nauseam, all week long, even despite a series of elections that benefited their own party on Tuesday.

Broadly speaking, there is a cyclone of frustration building among non-Biden-affiliated Democrats in town, who feel that the president is truly vulnerable to Trump. And that frustration was compounded this week by a belief that the White House took an unearned victory lap after the positive electoral developments on Tuesday: Gov. Andy Beshear’s re-election in Kentucky, Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s humbling in Virginia, the referendum protecting abortion access in Ohio. “[Tuesday] confirmed that the Democrats should lead with abortion, not Joe Biden,” said a Democratic operative close to party leadership. “People are going to tell him that he’s fine because they make millions of dollars off of him.”