Biden’s SOTU Outlines 2024 Race

The president tried to stem left-wing dissension while also appealing to moderates

What’s happening: Joe Biden delivered his third State of the Union address last night, unofficially kicking off the general election campaign between him and Donald Trump.

Why it matters: Biden’s address revealed two strategies: shore up his left flank and convince swing voters that Trump is a threat to the country. He likely did not accomplish either goal.

Biden goes on offense: The president highlighted three priorities for November: Ukraine, January 6th, and abortion. But, he may have trouble taking the fight to Trump on those issues.

  • Ukraine: Polling shows Americans are becoming less supportive of taking an active role in solving the world’s problems.

  • January 6th: Biden and his campaign believe January 6th will be at the top of voters’ minds in November. However, it is not even close to their top issue — immigration — on which the president polls poorly.

  • Abortion: Recent polling revealed only 24 percent of voters blame Trump for post-Roe abortion restrictions.

Left flank: The president announced that the U.S. military will establish a port in Gaza through which aid can flow — a move to appease Muslim voters who have threatened to stay home in November due to his Israel stance. Biden, a self-identified Zionist, may have trouble winning them back.

The age issue: Biden tried to point out that Trump is almost as old as he is, referring to his predecessor as being “my age.” Yet voters are far more likely to think Biden, rather than Trump, is too old to serve.