Democrats are beginning to panic about the 8.6 percent inflation, Joe Biden’s approval rating, the looming midterm shellacking and the continued Trump domination of the Republican Party. A few are speculating on and looking for a new and hopefully stronger candidate for 2024.
Inflation, recession, poor approval and age were all factors in the 1980s. Inflation hasn’t been this high since 1981 – Ronald Reagan’s first term when Republicans lost 26 seats in the ’82 midterms, yet Reagan went on to a landslide 49-state victory over Walter Mondale in 1984. Fighting inflation led to the 1981-1982 recession, but Reagan was able to claim, as the economy picked up in late 1982, that he had overcome stagflation. Reagan’s Gallup average approval rating in 1982 (Jan. 1982 to Jan. 1983) was 43 percent (Biden’s has now drooped to below 40%). Recall, Reagan at 73 years old was the oldest president nominated or to win (Biden was 77 in 2020 and will be 81 in 2024).
The Democratic scan for a 2024 alternative is not unexpected, but it is still early and the effort spreads even more gloom.