It’s official: Democratic President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that he is running for reelection in 2024.
Biden announced his reelection bid in a campaign video sent to his supporters by email and on social media Tuesday morning.
The video frames his presidential run as a continued “battle for the soul of America” and emphasizes the Republican Party’s recent attacks on democracy and human rights.
“Every generation of Americans has faced a moment when they’ve had to defend democracy. Stand up for our personal freedoms. Stand up for the right to vote and our civil rights. And this is our moment,” Biden says in his announcement.
The ad opens with imagery of loyalists to former President Donald Trump — who has also announced a 2024 presidential run — attacking the U.S. Capitol building on January 6, 2021. It also features protests in support of abortion rights.
“Personal freedom is fundamental to who we are as Americans. There’s nothing more important,” Biden says in the ad.
Biden’s ad goes on to condemn “MAGA extremists” — referring to Trump loyalists in federal and state governments — who are banning books, revoking LGBTQ rights, eroding voting rights, attacking reproductive rights and aiming to cut Social Security benefits.
“This is not a time to be complacent. That’s why I’m running for reelection,” Biden says in the video, adding, “Let’s finish the job.”
The announcement makes official what political pundits and observers have been saying for months now: that, barring any unforeseen circumstances, the 2024 general election will likely be a rematch of the 2020 election, pitting the incumbent president against Trump, his predecessor.
According to polling from NBC News, 60 percent of voters say they don’t want Trump to run for office again, while 70 percent say the same thing about Biden. However, because of the two-party system and the way candidates are selected through a series of primaries and caucuses in the run-up to the official nomination, a 2024 rematch between Biden and Trump is likely inevitable.
An aggregate of polling data collected from RealClearPolitics suggests that the matchup between Biden and Trump will likely be close, as it was in 2020 when the two first ran against each other. According to polls the site analyzed, Trump has a slight lead over Biden, but the data is within the probable margin of error.
The latest Economist/YouGov poll, for example, shows Trump with a 4-point lead, attaining 41 percent support from voters in a hypothetical matchup, while Biden receives 37 percent support. (Ten percent say they would vote for someone else or aren’t sure who they’d vote for, while 12 percent said they wouldn’t vote at all.) Meanwhile, a recent Wall Street Journal poll finds that Biden leads Trump by three points (48 percent to 45 percent), with 7 percent undecided.
According to FiveThirtyEight, which has also examined an aggregate of polling data, Biden’s approval rating has been net-negative since August 2021.
Despite Biden’s low approval ratings, the Democratic Party has said that it will support his reelection and has no plans to sponsor primary debates.
Biden’s campaign announcement was celebrated by Democratic Party voices on social media, while progressives encouraged Biden to secure votes by living up to his initial campaign promises.
“We’re with you Mr. President,” progressive Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-New York) wrote on Twitter. “But we need you to do much more on racial justice, climate, immigration, corporate greed, and labor rights. You need all of us to save the soul of America and to build a nation where everyone thrives.”
Though Biden has presented himself as a defender of voting rights, abortion rights, and more, he has often failed to deliver, progressive advocates pointed out. Even when Democrats controlled the White House and both houses of Congress, his administration was reluctant to call for changes to the filibuster to ensure the passage of a strong voting rights bill, and failed to convince conservative Democratic senators to back an abortion rights bill.
Hours after Biden’s announcement, the account for the Sierra Club’s Climate Adaptation and Restoration Team lauded Biden for proposing a number of pro-climate policies while in office, but warned that his other anti-environmental stances could affect his electoral chances.
“In the past three weeks, President Biden’s administration has proposed regulations to speed the transition to electric vehicles, committed $1 billion to help poor countries fight climate change and prepared what could be the first limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants,” the organization said in a tweet. “And yet, many young voters alarmed by climate change remain angry with Mr. Biden’s decision last month to approve [the ConocoPhillips oil-drilling Willow Project], an $8 billion oil drilling project on pristine federal land in Alaska.”
Youth-led progressive groups called on Biden to live up to his professed ideals if he wants the support of young voters.
“President Biden just announced his bid for reelection. If he wants to win, he must energize the young voters who have been carrying the Democratic Party since 2018. He can’t take our generation for granted,” wrote the Twitter account for the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led organization pushing for government action on the climate crisis.
The Sunrise Movement and other youth-led progressive groups — including March for Our Lives, Gen Z for Change and United We Dream Action — released a joint letter on Tuesday calling for Biden to earn young people’s votes.
“If we’re going to excite one of the leading voting blocs for Democrats, we need you to deliver the bold ideas that our generation cannot live without — stop the climate crisis, fight for the rights and dignity of immigrants, impose real gun control — and run on a bold platform that will get our generation out to vote,” the groups said.
Political commentator Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, condemned the Democratic Party’s decision not to hold primary debates.
“[The Democratic National Committee] has already announced that it will not allow any debates in 2024 primary. Biden is not to be challenged,” Uygur said. “Everyone on the Democratic side must shut up and fall in line.”
“Not having debates is undemocratic and ridiculous,” he added. “No progressive should agree to this kind of power grab.”