Biden’s approval slump, coupled with Trump’s rising support in both polls and betting markets, suggests the political tides have turned

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John Podhoretz: How Can Biden Stay In Now?

The American people are sour on the state of things for a reason. Inflation may be lower than it has been, but goods still cost substantially more than they did when Biden took office—and any benefit Americans may be enjoying from the impressive wage growth they may have experienced has been immediately eaten up by higher food prices and higher interest rates and prices on big-ticket items like cars and homes. All of this can get better in the course of this year, but there’s no sign any of it will improve dramatically. And as was proved by the White House effort to make “Bidenomics” happen, with the same success Gretchen Wieners had in making fetch happen, you can’t talk people into feeling that the day-to-day difficulties of life are improving. They will either feel the improvement, have their mood lightened, and feel better about the country and its leadership or they won’t. Right now they aren’t.

And then there’s age.

If you dig into the crosstabs of the NYT-Siena poll you’ll find that there are a bunch of questions they haven’t yet released the answers to but will (I’m guessing) on subsequent days to keep their poll generating new news. I’m guessing those unreleased numbers have to do with perceptions of Biden and Trump on matters of age, competence, and criminality. And given that the results in this poll dovetail pretty well with the recent NBC News poll released three weeks ago, the age response is likely to be devastating for Biden. As Mark Murray of NBC News reported: “A combined 76% of voters say they have major concerns (62%) or moderate concerns (14%) about Biden’s not having the necessary mental and physical health to be president for a second term.”

It’s been said a billion times, but I’ll say it again: One thing Biden really cannot do is get any younger.

Thursday night the president will give the State of the Union address. The stakes are crazily high, because there’s no way to set the bar low. One false move and he’s done for.

But what does “done for” mean? I have no idea. No one can explain to me the modality of how Democrats would dump him from the ticket. That leaves it to Biden and his loved ones. The question is whether Biden himself is looking at these numbers—and in moments of clarity is able to discern the colossal humiliation he may be on the verge of experiencing, not to mention historical judgment that will be rendered of his feckless decision to hold on to the reins of power should he lose in November.

Might he, therefore, get himself out of the race and give Democrats a chance to do what they clearly think is the most important thing they can do—save America from another Trump term?

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