Happy birthday, President Biden: Time to Panic
Joe Biden, oldest US president, faces challenges with age, poll numbers, and support among younger voters due to Israel policy.
When Joe Biden won his first election in Delaware in 1972, he was just shy of turning 30, making him the youngest US senator in recent memory. Now, at 81, he is the oldest president in United States history. Democrats have been navigating Mr Biden's age as he prepares for a potential rematch with former president Donald Trump.
Reports suggest that Mr Biden's White House team has implemented a "bubble wrap" strategy to prevent any embarrassing tumbles that could signal his advanced age. Vice President Kamala Harris has urged people to focus on Mr Biden's record rather than his age. However, the administration has dispatched the vice president to tour historically Black colleges and universities, signaling a potential problem with young voters.
Former congressman Tim Ryan has argued that Democrats should distance themselves from the president, despite his accomplishments such as signing Democratic priority bills and avoiding significant spending cuts. However, Mr Biden's poll numbers have raised concerns.
A recent NBC News poll showed Mr Biden with the lowest approval rating of his presidency at 40 percent, with 57 percent disapproval. Moreover, 21 percent of Democrats disapprove of his job performance. The same poll also indicated that Mr Trump would narrowly beat Mr Biden in a head-to-head rematch.
Of particular concern is Mr Biden's declining support among younger voters, especially in relation to his handling of the war in Israel. A significant percentage of voters between the ages of 18 and 34 disapprove of his approach to the conflict. This issue has been a point of contention in US politics, with bipartisan support for Israel being a longstanding tradition.
Mr Biden has attempted to navigate this issue by supporting a two-state solution while also drawing parallels between Russia's aggression against Ukraine and Hamas's aggression against Israel. However, it remains to be seen if these efforts will resonate with younger, more progressive voters.