Four years ago, President Biden clinched the Democratic nomination by actively courting progressives, forming a robust alliance that propelled him to victory in the White House. Four years ago, President Biden clinched the Democratic nomination by actively courting progressives.
This formed a robust alliance that propelled him to victory in the White House. However, deep fault lines between him and the left are emerging. This casts a shadow over his prospects for re-election in 2024. However, deep fault lines between him and the left are emerging. This casts a shadow over his prospects for re-election in 2024.
Gaza Conflict Exacerbates Strain
The handling of the Gaza conflict has strained relations between the president and progressives over the past three months. His approach to the war in Gaza has left many on the left feeling disillusioned. His refusal to back a cease-fire despite the escalating death toll and humanitarian crisis draws criticism. Progressive lawmakers and advocates alike voice their discontent.
Immigration Policy Further Fuels Tensions
Additionally, Biden’s push for a bipartisan agreement to tighten immigration policies at the southern border has further exacerbated tensions. Progressives are particularly discontented. The proposed plan, which includes measures to restrict asylum and expedite deportations, has been met with staunch opposition from the left. They argue that it betrays Biden’s campaign promises and undermines the rights of immigrants.
Coalition Unity at Risk
According to a Wall Street Journal report, the Biden administration is banking on the president’s ability to rally the 2020 coalition, which necessitates maintaining support from progressives. However, for many on the left, the extent of Biden’s backing for Israel in its conflict with Hamas may be too much to overlook. Additionally, his recent endorsement of the border policy overhaul exacerbates concerns.
Progressive Dissatisfaction Evident
“According to Barron’s, ‘A significant portion of our base is increasingly hesitant about backing Joe Biden,’ said Stevie O’Hanlon, spokesperson for the climate-focused youth organization, Sunrise Movement. Joe Biden requires the support of the younger generation to secure victory. That entails taking substantial action on climate, Gaza, and immigration to regain the trust that has been eroded.”
Poll Reflects Deepening Divide
A recent NBC News poll highlighted the extent of the rift, with only 15% of voters under 35 approving of Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict, while 70% disapproved. Overall, Biden’s approval rating in the poll marked the lowest of his presidency, indicating growing dissatisfaction among progressives.
Urgent Call for Collaboration
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, emphasized the importance of collaboration with progressives for electoral success. “There’s a tendency to drift towards the right or center and forget,” she said. She urged the Biden administration to heed the concerns of the left.
Presidential Challenge Ahead
As the rift between Biden and progressives deepens over issues like the Gaza conflict and immigration policy, the president faces a critical test. It’s a test of his ability to maintain the coalition that brought him to power in 2020. With the 2024 election looming, Biden’s relationship with progressives could prove decisive in determining his political future.