Democratic pundits, panicked by New York Times polls that show Joe Biden losing almost every swing state to Donald Trump, are desperately clutching at straws to explain how his failed presidency can rebound.
Walter Shapiro of the New Republic has taken on the unenviable task of explaining why Biden is not “Jimmy Carter 2.0.” He claims Carter’s woes “only have a cursory resemblance to the political winds buffeting Biden.” Carter’s real sin was he was “too honest about America’s problems” – neglecting to mention Carter had caused many of them.
Democrats have a habit of tossing their unpopular incumbent presidents overboard. That happened in 1952 when Harry Truman had low poll numbers going into the 1952 election. Unsure if voters would give him another term, Truman allowed his name to appear on the New Hampshire primary ballot.
The result was grim. As the incumbent president, Truman won only 44% of the vote against Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver. Eighteen days later, Truman dropped out of the race. Lyndon Johnson did the same thing after he performed poorly against Eugene McCarthy in the 1968 New Hampshire primary.
Carter was a weak incumbent too. He narrowly survived a brutal primary challenge from Ted Kennedy and then proceeded to lose in a blowout to Reagan in November of 1980.
We think there is a good chance that Biden will bow out gracefully in the months ahead, or he will be pushed off the train by Democrat powerbrokers.
Failed Democrat Presidents Truman, Johnson, Carter, and Biden: