In the absence of a serious insurgent challenger for the presidency, we must mobilize independently.

By Robert L. Borosage, The Nation

Joe Biden’s plan to coast to a second term isn’t working. As the 2024 election season gears up, the Democratic establishment is lurching from complacency to panic. Everything was going according to plan: The Biden campaign had cleared the field of any serious challenger, eliminated debates, and greased the president’s path to the nomination. The only catch is that early polls suggest voters aren’t buying what the campaign is selling. Biden isn’t likely to withdraw, so it is imperative that progressives mobilize independently of the party to build the populist energy and message needed to drive fundamental change.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden (D-Delaware) gives a speech at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Liberty and Justice Celebration in Des Moines, Iowa.

Biden assumed he could run on a decent economy and a solid record of accomplishment. The threat posed by Donald Trump and the outrage over Republican efforts to outlaw abortion would help get people to the polls. In a choice between “competent” and “crazy,” voters would stay with the incumbent.

But Biden’s approval ratings remain deeply underwater. A CNN poll this month reported that a stunning 67 percent of Democrats would prefer that he not be renominated, reflecting widespread concerns that Biden, who will be 82 on Inauguration Day, is simply not up to the job. Polls show him running neck and neck with a disgraced Donald Trump.

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