A Democratic official slammed voters’ concerns about President Joe Biden’s age in a New York Times article this week, highlighting the growing differences between party brass and voters on the oldest president in history’s bid for reelection.
“I’m looking at all the polling, and I’m amazed that it has so little to do with reality,” Democratic National Committee member William Owen told the Times. “A big part of it is just pure ageism. The American people are prejudiced against old people.”
Owen’s comments are representative of the DNC’s position on Biden, whom party leadership has rallied around despite the 80-year-old’s frequent gaffes, stumbles, and confusion.
“The voters don’t want this, and that’s in poll after poll after poll,” James Carville, a Democratic strategist, said. “You can’t look at what you look at and not feel some apprehension here.”
A poll from CNN this month found that 67 percent of Democratic voters want the party to nominate someone other than the president, the latest proof of growing discontent among voters. Other polls show voters are worried about whether Biden would finish a second term.
“I think he’s a little—not a little—he’s a lot old,” James Collier, a 57-year-old Texan who voted for Biden in 2020, told the Times. “I’m hoping he would in his own mind think, ‘I need to sit this out and let someone else do this.’”
Democratic officials are worried about Biden’s unpopularity and age but are holding the line in public, the Times reported:
In quiet conversations and off-the-record gatherings, Democratic officials frequently acknowledge their worries about Mr. Biden’s age and sagging approval ratings. But publicly, they project total confidence about his ability to lead and win.
“It’s definitely got a paradoxical element to it,” said Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey, a Democrat who is among a group of governors who put aside their national ambitions to support Mr. Biden’s re-election bid. “This is only a matter of time until the broad party, and broadly speaking, Americans, converge with the opinions of folks like myself.”
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