OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
A new survey provides additional evidence that President Joe Biden is continuing to struggle politically — against GOP rivals, for sure, but also a key Democrat who has been mentioned as signaling a primary run in 2024.
A Suffolk University/USA TODAY Network published on Tuesday found that two-time Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton would beat Biden in the key state of Florida, as would former President Donald Trump and the Sunshine State’s increasingly popular governor, Ron DeSantis, who has been mentioned as a potential GOP presidential candidate as well.
Only 39 percent of respondents said they approved of the job Biden is doing versus 53 percent who disapprove.
Trump won Florida, the country’s third-biggest state with 29 electoral votes, in 2016 and by a wider margin in 2020.
The Daily Mail notes further:
But the poll has more gloom for Biden, suggesting that he is vulnerable not just in a general election but in a primary.
Former Democratic nominee Clinton, 74, would win a hypothetical primary matchup by 46 percent to 43 percent, although she would then lose to Gov. Ron DeSantis or Trump by margins of 13 points and seven points, respectively.
“Ironically, this 2024 Florida case study could be the narrative of the 2022 midterms: party nominees, who are strong within their party but less popular among the general electorate, could win their respective party primaries but falter in the general election,” observed David Paleologos, the director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, which is located in Boston.
According to the survey, Biden does better against either GOP candidate but still loses; Trump beats Biden by 3 points while DeSantis bests him by 8 points in his home state.
In recent weeks there has been increasing chatter that Clinton is toying with a third run at the White House as she watches Biden’s administration flounder and his approval ratings crater along with those of his vice president, Kamala Harris.
Dick Morris, who served as a top adviser to then-President Bill Clinton, said in an interview with WABC’s John Catsimatidis in mid-January “there’s a good chance” Clinton runs again, likely against former President Donald Trump, if Democrats lose Congress during the midterm elections later this year.
“Hillary has set up a brilliant, brilliant strategy that nobody else is able to do,” Morris said.
“What she’s done — at a point at which no Democrat is willing to come out and criticize Joe Biden, but all Democrats are disappointed with him and have to realize the ultimate correctness of our accusations that he was incompetent to be president — she has set up a zero-sum game with him,” he continued.
“The worse he does, the better she does because she’s positioned herself as the Democratic alternative to Biden,” Morris added.
In late December, Clinton appeared to take some political potshots at the Biden White House if not the president himself, which is uncharacteristic for another Democrat to do.
During an interview with NBC’s Willie Geist, Clinton seemed to suggest the White House is not “stable” and “sane.”
Her comments were in response to the host asking about the progressive wing of the party costing Democrats in swing elections in next year’s midterms.
“I think that it is a time for some, you know, careful thinking about what wins elections and not just in Deep Blue districts where a Democrat and a liberal Democrat or so-called progressive Democrat is going to win,” Clinton said.
“I understand why people want to argue for their priorities, that’s what they believe they were elected to do. So, look, I am all about having vigorous debates. I think it’s good and it gives people a chance to be part of the process,” she added.
“But, at the end of the day it means nothing if we don’t have a Congress that’ll get things done and we don’t have a White House that we can count on to be sane and sober and stable and productive,” Clinton said, adding that the party’s majority should come “from people who win in much more difficult districts and our majority in the Senate comes from people who can win in not just blue states and hold those wins … but can win in more purplish states.”
Of Clinton’s statement, Morris claimed: “She was right about that.”