Point-Counterpoint: Should Biden run for reelection in 2024? 

Photo by Zaire Diaz/The Daliy Campus

Point (Dan): 

While I do think that Biden is in a solid position for 2024 due to the disarray in the Republican Party, I still don’t think he should run for reelection. The biggest reason I say this is because Biden will be 81-years-old on election day 2024. And while I’m not going to sit here and push the right wing smear that Biden has dementia, Biden’s gaffe tendencies have only increased during his presidency as a result of his age. As such, voters would likely be skeptical about supporting an aging Biden’s bid for a second term, especially after recent polling by YouGov found that nearly 40% of Americans believe that increased age hurts the president’s ability to perform the job.  

Biden’s age would also be an easy talking point for conservative media to harp on. Everyone from Fox News’ primetime slate to failed RNC chair candidate Mike Lindell would simply smear Biden as an old man with dementia instead of talking about his administration’s policies. While it seems asinine, repeating this over and over again could potentially rally Republican voters to the polls in 2024. Biden would be the only Democratic candidate this approach could work against, so the party would be taking a risk by nominating him again.  

I know my argument may come off as ageist, but the reality can’t be ignored that we have a senior citizen as president. If Americans continue to express that candidate age is an important issue to them, then Biden should forgo a reelection bid.   

Point (Sam): 

My argument for why President Biden should seek re-election hinges on one word: unity.  

We live in a country where less than 25% of presidents won election after the previous president had shared their party, and the only such person to pull this off in the 50-state era of the United States was George H.W. Bush. In other words, the Democratic party has a slim chance of winning according to history if it chooses not to put the incumbent back on the ballot. 

Because the Democrats are likely not going to find success if they seek a different option, it’s important to capitalize on a clear advantage they currently hold over the Republicans, and that is that the GOP has been in disarray as of late. Look no further than the fiasco surrounding the recent House Speaker election, where Kevin McCarthy needed 15 tries before his party decided to use its majority to install him. 

If Republican lawmakers are having trouble agreeing on things, it’s probably not too much of a stretch to assume that the people who put them in Washington probably aren’t some magically unified front either, and that provides a shred of hope for the Democrats. 

Whether Republican voters push Donald Trump through the primaries again, or opt for a newer, younger choice like Ron DeSantis, (these two seem to be two early frontrunners) it might be smart for the Democrats to go back to the tried and true candidate that already beat Trump once. He’s certainly not everyone’s number one, but he’s probably got a better shot than anyone else when it comes to pulling votes out of all sorts of places. 

Counterpoint (Dan): 

I agree with your point about the advantage Democrats have right now given the divisions in the Republican Party that have been fully on display as of late. However, the main question comes down to whether Democrats can take advantage of this goldmine of an opportunity. Not only do they have the edge in the presidential race, but control of congress is also in the mix here. Democrats’ success in 2024 will be determined by who’s on the top of the presidential ticket. Though Biden is the most “tried and true” candidate, getting Americans to be excited to turn out to vote for an 81 year-old man is going to be a tough challenge. Getting younger voters out is going to be even more challenging, as his approval rating among 18 to 29 year olds has dipped under 30% at various points this past year. 

While Biden could still win a presidential election, it’s all going to come down to how motivated the Democratic base is to vote for him. If Biden wants to increase turnout, the best thing he could do would be to nominate a new vice presidential candidate. Having someone relatively younger, more liberal, or just more likable than Kamala Harris could make an immediate difference in young voter turnout.  

Counterpoint (Sam): 

I’ll be up front here and say that I completely agree with your point. In fact, I wrote an article last month about this exact thing. However, while I think Biden’s age should probably disqualify him from running altogether, this doesn’t really discount my original argument. First off, there is a relatively likely chance that Biden will end up in a rematch against Trump, which would nullify the age factor immediately, as it would apply to both. I’ll definitely concede that there would be more trouble if DeSantis, a man in his 40s, were to be the challenger, but it’s still pretty difficult to make the case that Biden wouldn’t still be the best option. One important thing to note from your opening argument is that while arguing that the incumbent should not run again, you did not list any alternatives. 

Going back to my point about unity, it really does seem like that’s the only upper hand that the Democrats currently hold over the Republicans. Hakeem Jeffries, who was just appointed to Democratic House leadership received 212 votes in the Speaker election all 15 times a vote was called for, while McCarthy, a man who has been in House leadership since 2014, was unable to rally his peers without a struggle. This proves that Republicans are not necessarily going to fall in line behind an established name, so if the Democrats do, they might have a chance. Now is not the time to experiment, and while I certainly wouldn’t say that choosing Biden guarantees victory, it definitely seems like the safest bet. 

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