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Joe Biden's biggest problem, himself

A longtime Democrat strategist calls it as it is - Joe Biden is his own biggest problem.

Most Americans can see that but, interestingly, more party insiders are coming forward to state the obvious. Most Democrats are busy gaslighting Americans that President Biden is just fine. Behind closed doors, he's a bundle of energy focused on doing his job. 

Nah, don't fall for any of that malarkey. Democrat strategist Neil Oxman says the poll numbers show the president is now a negative factor for the Democrats. Biden is losing to former President Trump in battleground states, but Senate candidates are polling higher than their Republican opponents. That is important because Democrats are likely to lose their slim majority in the Senate and are clinging on for dear life to keep control. 

Democrats have been doing well in special elections, despite Biden's high unpopularity rating. The most vulnerable Democrat incumbents in the Senate are polling ahead of their challengers in battleground states. Abortion has been used successfully by Democrats to win elections and they are using that playbook again. Yet, Biden trails Trump in almost all polls. 

The split in political fortunes between the president and other Democrats has grown unmistakably clear to party leaders, laying plain the degree to which Biden’s problems appear to be Biden-specific. Interviews with Democratic lawmakers, strategists, and former party officials in Washington and the states found Democrats increasingly willing to acknowledge that the president’s political difficulties are anchored in Biden’s individual vulnerabilities — including his age, his inconsistent messaging, and his dismal support among young people.

“Democrats are enthusiastic about trying to win the Senate and trying to win the House,” said Neil Oxman, a Pennsylvania-based Democratic strategist.

And they’re “not enthusiastic about Biden’s reelection,” Oxman said. “Period.”

It's not them, Joe, it's you. The fact that strategists are willing to come forward on the record is devastating to the Biden campaign. Besides Oxman, James Carville and David Axelrod have been beating this drum for months. Team Biden is in deep denial. They insist that the president's polling will turn around. They think Democrats will rally around Biden in the November election. 

I think the Biden campaign should be worried that Democrats will stay home instead of coming out to vote in November. The lack of enthusiasm is real. The only people ginning up support for Sleepy Joe are those in his campaign and the White House and the media. The media shamelessly campaign for Joe Biden with impunity. 

Three Obama bros who host a podcast, Pod Save America, went on  Stephen Colbert's late-night show to serve up some fart jokes to help Biden in next week's presidential debate. No, really. 

"Pod Save America" podcast hosts Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor appeared on Colbert's program to discuss next week’s first presidential debate between Biden and former President Trump. For the first time in recent history, the debate between presidential contenders won't have a studio audience, which prompted Colbert to ask if jokes would still work if there is nobody around to laugh. 

The man-children thought their jokes were hilarious. So much for restoring dignity to the presidency, eh, Joe? How's all that civility and unity working out?

It's not unheard of for down-ballot candidates to run stronger than the top of the ticket. It happened during the Trump and Obama administrations. But this time is different. Biden is doing worse than Trump or Obama did with voters. Another Democrat insider weighed in on this topic.

President Biden is not only unpopular — he is more so than both Trump and Obama were at the same point in the fourth year of their presidencies, according to Gallup. He has lost some support among key building blocks of his 2020 coalition, including Black voters and young people. And Republicans hold the advantage on two of the top issues of this election: the economy and immigration.

“There’s a disconnect between the successes we’re having locally and in specials and the environments we’re experiencing at and near the top of the ticket,” said Steve Israel, a former representative and past chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “It is the fundamental challenge confronting Democrats right now: Why are we doing as well as we’re doing on the ground, in local and state elections, but we still have this very tight polling at the presidential?”

The campaign holds on to the mid-term victories the Democrats experienced. There was no red wave in most elections. However, Biden was not on the ballot then. Democrat voters were excited to get out and vote, especially on the issue of abortion. The Dobbs decision was fresher.

National and state races are as different as apples and oranges. Political divisiveness is more toxic for Biden, as with any national candidate. Add that to the problems the Biden campaign has in messaging and that is a losing picture for Biden.

The majority of voters have made up their minds at this point. The first word used to describe Biden when voters are asked is "old." There is no fixing that. 

The debate next week will be a make-or-break moment for Biden. He has to be touted as the winner and the media will be happy to help. No matter what, as long as Biden remains upright and survives the debate without another freeze moment, he'll be the winner with the media. The headlines are already written and ready to go. 

Voters will see the contrast, though, and realize the extent to which the White House is going to convince Americans that Biden is vigorous and able to do his job. I want Trump to hang back, don't get riled up, stick with talking about his past accomplishments in office, and let Biden be the one to go off the rails. Let Biden lose control. Just a couple of Old Yeller responses to Trump should do the trick. Let Biden go into full angry old man mode. 

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