Annenberg Radio News

Biden 2024? Experts and USC students weigh in

Following President Biden’s State of the Union Address, ARN takes the temperature of Biden’s likability and chances at a second nomination from the Democratic party.

President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, in Washington. Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., applaud

According to the poll, 50% of Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents believe that their party has a better chance of winning the White House with Biden as their nominee. We spoke with a USC expert and students to learn their perspectives on Biden’s potential for reelection.

Morley Winograd, a senior fellow at the Annenberg Center for Communication Leadership, has researched the impact of youth voters in elections. He believes that Biden’s ability to banter with opposition during the State of the Union greatly impacted his approval ratings.

Morley Winograd: I think the fact that he was able to do an hour speech to do it on a, you know, in a spontaneous give and take in which he clearly got the better of them and had humor and the right kind of facial expressions about it, I think that went a long way.

At the midterm elections, young voters had an unprecedented turnout, with many of them voting Democrat. Winograd believes that despite his age, Biden’s focus on abortion rights, climate change and student loan forgiveness will be a motivator for many young voters.

Winograd: His appeal in 2020...occurred when he advocated for things like tuition free college that are very important to younger voters. Probably their number one reason why to vote.

Alexis Valle is a USC student majoring in business and disagrees with Winograd on Biden’s ability to pull through when it comes to those issues.

Alexis Valle: Biden, I feel like he said a lot of things and his actions tried to match what he said, but they weren’t really that 100% about, like student loan relief and stuff like that.

Sasha Hussain is the President of Trojan Democrats, and is optimistic about Biden’s chances for reelection following his address. She, like Winograd, thinks Biden’s continued focus on such hot button topics that youth voters consider more important will be key to his success.

Sasha Hussain: I think when you look at a lot of issues that Americans care about, he addresses a lot of them and specifically a lot of them for populations like middle class and low income, but also POC, BIPOC communities as well.

Overall, while Hussain would ideally prefer a younger candidate, she believes Biden is the Democrat’s best shot at maintaining the presidency.

Hussain: If you want to think strategically, Biden is our best chance because he does appeal to young Americans in many aspects, but also appeals to the older population.

Despite Biden’s rising approval ratings with Democrats, his rate are lackluster with independents. In the same poll, just 36% of independents approve of the job Biden has done since he took the presidency. Biden has still not formally announced his bid for the 2024 nomination, but a second term as President, given his age, would be “unpresidented”.

For Annenberg Media, I’m Matt Chen.