Biden sees challenge from Democratic ‘elites.’ Regular voters in Wisconsin beg to differ

Biden sees challenge from Democratic ‘elites.’ Regular voters in Wisconsin beg to differ

Politico reports:

Voters and local candidates in Wisconsin have a message for President Joe Biden: It’s not just Democratic elites who are freaking out about your mental acuity.

Biden on Monday suggested it was simply the “the elites in the party” raising doubts about his political viability after a halting, incoherent debate performance last month. In fact, questions about his age are dominating the political conversation in and around Milwaukee and Madison, crucial turf for Democrats in November, according to conversations with roughly two dozen Democrats and independent voters over the course of the past four days. The concerns come as a new AARP poll has Biden down five points to former president Donald Trump in the critically important swing state, and as Republicans prepare to formally nominate Trump in Milwaukee next week.

Even the president’s most loyal supporters — voters, local party activists and candidates alike — say that the debate fall-out has made it tough to focus on anything else. As a result, it’s become much harder for Democrats on the ground to deliver what they hoped would be a winning message in the swing state — on the Biden administration’s success reviving the local manufacturing economy and commitment to protecting abortion rights.

There’s little consensus, however, that Biden dropping out of the presidential race would improve the party’s odds in November.

Avery Renk, a Democratic candidate for a Wisconsin Assembly seat outside of Madison, said in an interview Sunday that it was too late for Democrats to pick another candidate and that they should “stick with Joe.” Still, the debate “definitely had an impact,” Renk said, as he mingled with prospective voters at a picnic hosted by a local farmer in his district.

While Biden’s age has long been a concern for voters nationally, “before the debate there was a lot of chat about me, about my opponents in the Democratic primary for the Assembly,” said Renk. ”Since the debate there’s been a lot of chat at [voters’] doorsteps about Biden, and everything I hear is, ‘he’s too old.’” [Continue reading…]

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