Jim Crawford: How Biden can win in 2024

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 18, 2024

Campaign rhetoric aside, the 2024 election will be decided along the margins with independent voters and dissatisfied voters determining the outcome.

Barring earthquake-sized new issues appearing before November, Biden and Trump will fight over about 5 percent of the voters in swing states to determine the winner.

Here is what Joe Biden should do to win.

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Unfortunately, presidential politics are decisively influenced by money. Biden is world-class at this aspect of campaigning, and it is already showing. Biden is making more campaign appearances and holding more fundraising events than Trump. So far, the result has been a significant money lead at this point in the campaign. Biden must keep that edge to win.

Having money allows Biden to utilize a “quick response” team to pounce on every Trump misstatement within hours. This week, after Trump displeased everyone with his stand on abortion, and after Arizona made abortion grab more Republican-damning headlines, the Biden team came out with an almost-instant ad, “Trump Did This.” 

This strategy will work as long as the campaign has the money to fund it.

Biden has a good record for his first term in office, having passed significant legislation that is helping create jobs, rebuild infrastructure and work to restore the environment. 

But, in a political environment where news cycles daily and long-term programming disappears, too many voters feel the pain of high grocery prices and housing costs slowing home ownership and impacting rents negatively. In short, Biden cannot say much about the good economy when people simply are not “feeling it.”

The balance then is to emphasize that more needs to be done to bring down the price of eggs, bread and meat and more needs to be done to bring down interest rates. 

The Biden folks had counted on the Federal Reserve cutting rates in 2024, as the Feds had indicated their intent late last year. Those cuts have not happened though, because inflation remains above 3 percent, and rate cuts might increase inflation if taken now. This is Biden’s worst issue and could cost him re-election. The campaign must speak to the issue with concern and compassion.

The Biden campaign has thought, since the Dobbs vs. Jackson decision, that abortion would be a crucial campaign issue. In the 2022 midterms, many Democrats thought otherwise, only to see voters flood to show their interest in preserving and protecting abortion rights. 

Likewise, in 2024, abortion will drive voters to the polls and could change the outcomes in states like Florida, Arizona and Georgia, where Republicans have held significant leads in voters. The Biden folks own this issue and must stay on it through Election Day.

The other core Biden campaign issue is democracy itself. As much as Republicans would like voters to forget that their 2024 candidate attempted to steal a free and fair election in 2020 for the first time in American history, the Biden campaign cannot allow this “forgetting” to prevail now or ever. 

Trump is the issue. Trump led the insurrection and is under indictment for his actions in subverting democracy blatantly in 2020. By the November election, Trump may be a convicted felon, and the Biden campaign should lean into that possibility daily.

There is another issue that, to date, the Biden campaign wizards have ignored, that the Republican Party is in shambles, torn apart by radicals who could care less about legislating and more about preening before the cameras while articulating QAnon conspiracies like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s claim that God caused the New York earthquake and eclipse.

Finally, Biden is not fighting enough on immigration and the southern border. The Democratic Senate should craft a new and dynamic bill to once again force Republicans to demonstrate that they either are serious about border policy or want border chaos.

Biden should prevail in 2024, but only if every voter shows up on Election Day.

Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.