Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the first Indian American woman to serve in the US House, fears the 2024 election is in “great trouble” for President Joe Biden after new polling showed him trailing former President Donald Trump in multiple battleground states.
“You said the polls really don’t reflect where people are, I agree with you,” Jayapal, a Democrat who has repeatedly voiced her support for Biden told MSNBC on Sunday.
“But I will tell you — this is the first time, Jen, that I have felt like the 2024 election is in great trouble for the president and for our Democratic control, which is essential to moving forward.”
Jayapal, who represents Washington’s 7th congressional district in the House since 2017, said maintaining Democratic control is important in the wake of Israel-Hamas war.
The ongoing violence in Gaza has killed more than 9,700 Palestinians, according to the Hamas-ruled health ministry in Gaza.
“Because these young people, Muslim Americans, Arab Americans, but also young people see this conflict as a moral conflict and a moral crisis,” Jayapal told the former White House press secretary. “And they they are not going to be brought back to the table easily with you know, if we do not address this.”
A New York Times and Siena College poll published hours before Jayapal’s comments showed Biden trailing Trump in five out of six battleground states including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania by margins of between 3 to 10 points among registered voters.
Biden topped Trump in Wisconsin by 2 points, according to the poll.
The findings dealt the Biden campaign a major blow after the incumbent won in all six states in 2020 against Trump.
Shortly after the poll was published on Sunday, David Axelrod, a key aide of former President Barack Obama, suggested Biden drop out of the 2024 presidential race, arguing the poll is set to “send tremors of doubt” through the Democratic Party.
“Only @JoeBiden can make this decision,” Axelrod, who served as former President Obama’s senior adviser, wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
“If he continues to run, he will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. What he needs to decide is whether that is wise; whether it’s in HIS best interest or the country’s?”
“Not ‘bed-wetting,’ but legitimate concern,” he added.
Biden campaign spokesperson Kevin Muñoz brushed off concerns over the poll. “We’ll win in 2024 by putting our heads down and doing the work, not by fretting about a poll,” Muñoz stated.
Biden’s reelection campaign has faced growing concerns from voters within his own party over his age and policy actions on various issues, notably the economy.
At 80, Biden is the oldest US president in history. If reelected in 2024, he would be 86 at the end of his second term.
Pollsters found that 71% of registered voters said they agree to some degree that Biden is “just too old to be an effective president,” while only 39% said the same about Trump, who is 77.
Asked if Biden has the “mental sharpness to be an effective president,” 62% of participants said no, while 35% agreed with the statement. Meanwhile, 52% of participants said they believe Trump has the mental sharpness to be an effective president, while 44% said he does not.
Multiple Democrats have suggested Biden’s age makes him “too old” to run for reelection next year. Biden has argued voters are fair to discuss his age, but has stressed they should judge him on his ability to perform the job.