Biden's biggest electoral challenge right now isn't wooing Independents but firming up the Democratic base

  • Independent voters will be a significant force in the 2024 presidential election.

  • Both Biden and Trump are competing hard for this highly coveted slice of the electorate.

  • But Biden’s most pressing challenge right now is convincing Democratic voters to stick with him.

President Joe Biden is working to reassure wary Democrats that he’ll be able to reorient his campaign and win the November general election after last month’s disastrous debate.

Despite Democratic calls for Biden to reevaluate his candidacy, he received a dose of good news on Saturday in the form of polling conducted by Bloomberg News/Morning Consult.

The swing-state survey showed that the gap between former President Donald Trump and Biden narrowed to just two points — with Trump holding a 47% to 45% lead among registered voters.

Most observers would assume that Biden could overtake Trump by wooing Independents on the fence. But right now, that’s not the president’s biggest issue regarding the electorate.

The latest Journal poll showed Biden and Trump tied at 40% support among Independents, representing a four-point increase for the president and a four-point decline for the ex-president. According to the latest numbers, this demographic is competitive for both candidates.

However, fueled by renewed concerns over Biden’s age, the president’s most pertinent challenge will involve getting Democrats back into the fold.

Biden insists he can defeat Trump in the fall, but the latest Wall Street Journal poll shows how the Democratic incumbent’s standing has slipped within his own party.

Trump led Biden 48% to 42% among all registered voters questioned in the survey.

But in that same poll, Trump won over 93% of Republicans, a seven-point jump from the February Journal poll.

Meanwhile, Biden’s standing among his party slipped, with 86% of Democrats indicating that they’d back him, a 7-point decline from February.

And there’s another challenge: The latest Journal survey showed Trump winning 95% of the voters who supported him in 2020.

Biden’s number stands at 84%, a sign of erosion among the coalition that sent him to the White House nearly four years ago.

The Journal poll also had a sobering number for Biden.

Among Democrats, 76% of respondents said he was too old to serve as the party’s 2024 standard-bearer. So he’ll have to convince swaths of Democratic voters who are skeptical of his effectiveness to also cast ballots for him this fall.

For Biden, a pre-existing concern was his struggles in bridging the enthusiasm gap among young and minority voters. Many have registered frustration with the administration over the conflict in Gaza, unresolved issues regarding student loan debt relief, and concerns over the economy.

A CBS News/YouGov poll conducted in June revealed that 66% of registered voters aged 18 to 29 said they would definitely vote in November, a rate lower than every other age group. But when these voters turn out, as they did in key races in 2022, it has been a game-changer for Democratic candidates.

While Independents are poised to play a decisive role in the general election — especially in the seven swing states Biden and Trump are competing in — Biden will have to shore up his support among Democrats. And he’ll need to do it quickly.

Business Insider has reached out to the Biden campaign for comment.

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