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What's Behind Sudden Surge in Support for Biden's 2024 Bid & Is It Sustainable?

© AFP 2023 / SAUL LOEBUS President Joe Biden speaks about the US midterm election results as he attends the East Asia Summit during the 40th and 41st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summits in Phnom Penh on November 13, 2022
US President Joe Biden speaks about the US midterm election results as he attends the East Asia Summit during the 40th and 41st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summits in Phnom Penh on November 13, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.11.2022
Almost 71% of Democratic voters believe that Joe Biden could win the 2024 White House race. This represents a two-digit jump from the 60% who thought this way in August, according to the latest Ipsos poll. What's behind the surge?
"Democrats have become more optimistic about Biden’s chances for winning a second term because he proved to be a strong electoral leader in the midterm elections, leading them to a narrow Senate majority," Dr. Harvey Schantz, professor of political science at State University of New York at Plattsburgh, told Sputnik.
Likewise, Schantz argued that Biden's approved of his efforts at "limiting damage in the House, while at the same time exhibiting energy in his campaign schedule and international travel, and successfully enacting Democratic policy promises despite narrow congressional majorities."
The latest Ipsos survey has indicated an apparent change of heart among Dems: even though three in five Democratic voters believed Biden can win the next presidential election, the majority (56%) still insist that he should not run for re-election in 2024. Furthermore, according to national exit polling, 67% of midterm voters – comprising both Democrats and Republicans – said they did not want Biden to run for president in 2024.
Prior to that, Biden's party fellows chastised him over "coddling and catering to progressives," while Democratic governors J.B. Pritzker and Gavin Newsom were rumoured to be interested in running for president instead of Biden.

"Right now Biden is enjoying a post midterm boost in his standing among Democrats, and although continued support for a second term is contingent upon future performance, Biden’s increased standing comes at a vital time for it could dissuade other Democrats from entering the presidential race, as it is in spring 2023 when presidential campaign announcements are expected to be made," suggested Schantz.

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However, whether the Dems remain enthusiastic about Biden's 2024 odds depends on his administration's performance in the coming months, according to John Tures, a political science professor at LaGrange College in Georgia.

"Inflation isn't rising, but it isn't falling either, and holiday spending should keep it up," Tures warned. "The anti-inflation measures from the Federal Reserve could produce a recession. Terror attacks like the one on the gay bar in Colorado will continue to rise. And there are threats of government shutdowns by the Republicans over spending."

Meanwhile, the latest Ipsos poll has also demonstrated that a considerable number of Republicans (75%) think Trump could win the next presidential election. The number of GOP voters backing Trump amounted to a whopping 82% in August, however, which shows that their enthusiasm has somewhat decreased in the wake of the midterms.
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Nonetheless, most voters are content with the results of the midterm elections, according to the latest Rasmussen poll, with 48% of likely US voters believing that Republicans winning a majority in the House of Representatives is good for America. Just 34% of respondents consider it bad for the country, while 14% said that the GOP taking control of the House will not make much difference. Earlier, in October, Rasmussen found that 62% of likely US voters said it was important that Republicans win at least one of the chambers of Congress with 48% saying it was "very important" to their vote.
The GOP's eventual electoral victory over Dems in the House of Representatives means that the US government will remain "divided" in the coming two years. This situation is fraught with certain opportunities and risks, according to the observers.

"Americans seem happy that one party will not control everything, and a divided government gives all people a say," said Tures.

Schantz appears to share a similar stance: "Satisfaction with the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives reflects the sentiments of Republicans and their supporters, independents who want a change of direction in government, and voters who want an opposition party in Congress able to check and balance the president," he said.
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At the same time, the divided government also means that none of Joe Biden's landmark initiatives are likely to be greenlit by the Republican congressional majority. Furthermore, the government may end up in a deadlock over the debt ceiling issue, providing the GOP with leverage in dealings with the Biden administration. The federal debt ceiling was last raised in December 2021, with the US Treasury expected to reach its mandated $31.4 trillion borrowing limit in 2023. That means this limit will need to be raised again. Republicans earlier signaled that if they win the lower chamber, they would use this opportunity to draw the nation's attention to the country's rapidly growing debt and demand federal cuts in exchange for boosting the ceiling.
According to the observers, if the GOP throws sand in Biden's initiatives, they will bear the burden of responsibility of the potential economic failures.
"If the Republicans focus on solutions, that will help. If they focus on Hunter Biden, Anthony Fauci, and government shutdowns without a plan for compromise, they'll only be in charge for two years," presumed Tures.
However, the opposite scenario is similarly possible: some US media outlets suggest that if the Biden administration continues to fail in delivering on its promises, the GOP may end up with an even more reinvigorated base and higher approval ratings by 2024.
Come what may, it has long been a part of US political tradition that Congress changes hands every two or four years.

"[T]he reality is that roughly since the 1980s that has been the case that Americans prefer Democrats and Republicans in Congress," explained Quardricos Driskell, adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Political Management of George Washington University, policy influencer and federal lobbyist. "From election to election, based on turnout and swings back and forth, you get this constant back and forth of our electoral politics where one party is in control for two to four years and then the other party is in control. That’s really important because it has massive implications for the presidential election."

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