On April 25, President Joe Biden announced his intent to run for reelection. It was a decision that was widely expected, and likely affirmed by a string of legislative wins over the course of his term and the unexpected performance Democrats had in the midterms, increasing their numbers in the Senate and only narrowly losing the House.
Conventional wisdom prior to the 2022 midterms was that a president’s low approval rating can drag down candidates running for local, state and federal office (with pundits expecting a “red wave” due to Biden’s unfavorable ratings), but those very pundits underestimated voters’ ability to make nuanced decisions, recognizing that although they may not hold Biden in high esteem, the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade and Republicans’ efforts to strip freedoms away from Americans raised an urgent alarm.
Biden may very well bank on the unpopularity of Republican policies to push him over the finish line again, making up for lack of enthusiasm about his own re-election bid. Between the Republican efforts to decimate abortion rights, ban books, ban drag shows and strip rights away from the LGBT community, it’s clear that they’re using culture war issues to instill fear in voters and distract them from the fact that Republicans are offering little when it comes to tangible policies that can improve the lives of Americans. Biden and the Democratic apparatus will likely focus on that fixation on stripping away rights and MAGA extremism, in addition to highlighting Biden’s bipartisan achievements to make the case that he can make government function better than Republicans.
Biden stated in his re-election announcement that he ran for the presidency four years ago to restore the soul of the nation, and that we are still in a battle to do so. It was clear the intent was to set up a contrast to a dark and divisive Trump presidency, and while there is still over a year to go before November 2024, we’re on track to a rematch between Biden and Trump as the two main parties’ nominees. Trump is still the biggest player in the Republican Party, holding immense sway despite (unprecedentedly) being the first president to have been indicted. His biggest rival for the Republican nomination, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, has not formally announced a bid for the nomination as of this writing, nor has he gained momentum against the former president.
On April 7, U.S. District Judge Matthew Macsmaryk made a ruling banning mifepristone, an FDA-approved abortion pill, claiming that the FDA improperly approved the medication. The case then fast-tracked to the Supreme Court where the judges ruled 7-2 to block the lower court decision, bringing the case to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The case is bound to make its way back to the Supreme Court, where the justices could very well make a more decisive, wide-ranging decision. Republican politicians for years claimed to be the party of state’s rights, but we are increasingly seeing that that’s a facade and that the intent is to on a national level continue to chip away at the rights of Americans.