IN UNSCRIPTED REMARKS yesterday, Joe Biden confused Taylor Swift with Britney Spears. It happens; Donald Trump has seemed confused recently on countries and their leaders. But the cringe-inducing video of Biden’s remarks reinforced a major problem for him — Biden now trails Trump among young voters, which isn’t supposed to happen to a Democrat. POLLS SHOW THAT AMONG YOUNG VOTERS, aged 18 to 24, Biden has 42% support compared to Trump, who has 46% support. The NBC poll is an early warning; election returns in 2020 showed Biden won young people by 20 points. If Biden can’t win young voters by at least 10%, he’s in real trouble.
WHY HAS BIDEN’S SUPPORT PLUNGED AMONG YOUNG VOTERS? That’s easy — a stunning 70% of young people disapprove of his handling of the war between Israel and Hamas, reflecting the enormous friction on college campuses. The NBC poll showed that 62%, including 30% of Democrats, disapproved of Biden’s handling of foreign policy in general. The erosion for Biden is most pronounced among young Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza.
YOUNG VOTERS HAVE OTHER ISSUES: After abortion — which is a clear plus for Biden — the biggest issue in the 2024 election is likely to be Social Security, with Democrats contending that Republicans want to sharply cut the popular retirement plan. Many Republicans want to create a commission on ways to reduce the deficit, but few politicians want to touch anything that might advocate Social Security cuts.
BIDEN IS TIED TO ANOTHER HUGE ISSUE: How to reduce the surging budget deficit, over $1 trillion a year, as net borrowing costs rise. There’s little hope for meaningful deficit reduction — and one reason why is Social Security and Medicare.
CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS, MOSTLY IN THE HOUSE, want to create a Congressional commission to look at deficit reduction, but any Social Security cuts are a deal-breaker. Democrats feel they have a potent issue that could bring young Democrats back to the fold — expansion of Social Security, proposing to boost benefits for the lowest-income retirees, while shoring up Social Security’s main trust fund by raising taxes on those making $400,000 or more a year.
THE GROWING ISOLATIONISM AMONG YOUNG VOTERS is one of the most important issues of the year. They ask — why should the U.S. send billions of dollars to Ukraine and Israel? We would argue that Vladimir Putin and the Iranians must be stopped before their wars engulf Eastern Europe and the Persian Gulf, respectively, but we seriously doubt whether a majority of young voters could identify Ukraine and Gaza on a map.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING !!! We have much to be thankful for as this difficult year comes to a close. In particular, we’re grateful for the support and kind words from all of our fantastic readers; your comments are always civil — and appreciated.
We wish you and your families a joyous holiday.
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