In a recent interview with MSNBC, President Joe Biden dismissed his poor polling numbers, attributing his 2020 presidential election victory to overcoming similar odds during the Democratic primary.
What Happened: “I know the polling numbers are not good, but they were the same way when I ran and won. Everybody thought I was gonna get clobbered in the primary. I got 80 million votes in the last election,” Biden said, The Hill reports.
Biden’s 80 million votes in the 2020 election set a record for the most votes cast for any presidential candidate, largely due to the increased voter turnout. His campaign seemed all but over after disappointing results in Iowa and New Hampshire during the Democratic primary. However, his fortunes turned around after winning the South Carolina primary, largely due to Rep. Jim Clyburn’s (D-SC) endorsement.
Despite recent polls showing the president struggling to reach much above a 40% approval rating, Biden is campaigning for his reelection. A recent poll showed that 34% of U.S. adults approve of the president’s handling of the economy, while another poll showed that 68% of Americans are concerned about the president’s mental and physical health.
Why It Matters: Despite the low approval ratings, Biden remains optimistic, citing the better-than-expected results Democrats had in the midterm elections. “I remember I was saying that I thought the Democratic Party was going to do extremely well in the off-year election,” he said.
Democrats in 2022 held on to the Senate, increasing their margin by one seat, and were able to hold on to more seats in the House than expected.
However, Biden’s recent gaffes and health concerns have sparked debates about his age and fitness for office. The president, who would be 86 at the end of a second term, has faced questions about his re-election bid for the 2024 presidential votes. “I respect them taking a hard look at it. I’d take a hard look at it as well – I took a hard look at it before I decided to run,” he said.