Global lens

‘If anyone can save Joe Biden, it’s Donald Trump’

Donald Trump’s second term is looking increasingly likely, said The Atlantic

Is the US ready for Donald Trump’s second term? It had better get used to the idea, said David A. Graham in The Atlantic (Washington DC), as it’s looking increasingly likely. The former president has all but declared his candidacy, and the way things are going for Joe Biden, Trump won’t even need to steal the 2024 election; he could win it “fair and square”.

A lot could change between now and then, said A.B. Stoddard on RealClearPolitics.com (Chicago). Democrats are hoping that things turn around as the pandemic retreats, the economy rebounds, and the administration’s stalled agenda finally passes through Congress. But there’s no doubt that the party’s standing with voters today is “awful”. Biden’s approval ratings have tumbled in the past three months. His numbers are dropping on everything from his leadership skills and honesty to his stewardship of the economy.

The Democrats’ predicament is partly down to voters’ changing priorities, said Catherine Rampell in The Washington Post. In the first months of Biden’s term, when the pandemic was particularly bad, there was a great public appetite for a more interventionist state, and the media welcomed Biden’s ambitious spending plans.

But polls show that this surge in support for a more active government has since ebbed away: only 43% of Americans want it now. “This is likely to present a problem for the Democratic Party, which is trying to pass a cradle-to-grave expansion of the welfare state.”

Add in the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle and the administration’s poor record in policing the border with Mexico, and it’s hard to see how either Biden or Kamala Harris could now win in 2024, said Joe Concha on The Hill (Washington DC). “Unless, of course, Trump enters the fray.” For as soon as that happens, Biden’s record will receive little attention. The focus will all be on the divisive Trump, who will spend the whole campaign ranting about past injustices.

If the Republicans want to win in 2024 they’d be much better off with a more regular candidate, like Florida governor Ron DeSantis. If anyone can save Biden it’s Trump, agreed Chris Cillizza on CNN (Atlanta). Trump’s latest inspired idea last week was to call on Republicans not to vote in next year’s midterm elections (or in 2024) unless the 2020 results are overturned and he is restored as president. With enemies like this, Biden doesn’t need friends.

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