Tuesday, April 09, 2024

'Meh': Biden Met Lukewarm Reactions in Liberal College Town, and That Might Be Generous

By Matt Vespa | Townhall.com

AP Photo/Matt Kelley

Joe Biden is running into two major problems in his 2024 re-election campaign: people don’t know what he’s done because he hasn’t accomplished much, and young voters are infuriated over his position in the Israel-Hamas War. Forty percent are poorer than they were four years ago. Inflation remains inexcusably high. New employment is overwhelmingly in part-time work. We’re shipwrecked abroad, with the president thinking a floating pier in Gaza meant to deliver aid is a good idea. It’s a massive terror target, with our troops literally being sitting ducks. 

Biden lacks the political acumen and charisma that were some of the hallmark characteristics of his former boss, Barack Obama. Love him or hate him, people got excited about the first-term U.S. Senator from Illinois. We’re lucky we have term limits because Obama built a political coalition that was damn near unbeatable. College towns flocked to see Obama. With Biden, his presence is met with ‘meh’ feelings, groans, or outright anger due to the Gaza War. He doesn’t have it—he never did. It’s why his past two presidential efforts were disasters. These cities and towns used to be shoo-in territory for Democrats. They can no longer expect that this year (via NYT): 

If you want to be the president, you should probably win Wisconsin. 

And if you are a Democrat, there is a proven way to do that: Run up the numbers in Dane County, the fast-growing and deeply progressive swath of the state that contains Madison and the behemoth public university that carries the state’s name. 

President Biden’s trip on Monday to a technical college in Madison, where he announced a new plan to help pay off student loans, seemed to be part of an effort to build excitement around his re-election bid in a college town that has been a bright spot for Democrats, one seen as crucial to his victory in the state in 2020 and vital to his chances in November. 

“My district,” said State Senator Kelda Roys, a Democrat who represents much of Madison, “could potentially decide the fate of the free world.” 

But this year, amid signs of an enthusiasm gap among young voters and widespread anger on college campuses over the administration’s handling of Israel’s war in Gaza, college towns are emerging as a more complex battleground for Democrats. 


Last week, when Wisconsin voters went to the polls in snow and rain for the now-very-much-effectively-over presidential primaries, nearly 50,000 people cast “uninstructed” votes on the Democratic side — meaning 8.3 percent of the state’s Democratic primary voters seemingly decided to use their ballots to protest the Biden administration’s support for Israel’s war in Gaza. 

That wasn’t enough to net the “uninstructed” voters any delegates to this summer’s Democratic National Convention, as “uncommitted” voters did in Michigan, where the protest movement was born. 

But it was enough to send a signal about voters’ discontent with Biden — particularly in a state that he won by just 20,682 votes in 2020. 


The student Democrats here are hugely proud of how they turned out in droves in 2020, in the midterms and last year’s state Supreme Court election, which flipped the court to liberal control. They see themselves as tipping-point voters in a tipping-point state. 

But as they packed up their blue plastic tablecloths and empty cups of iced coffee, some of the activists expressed a current of worry, too. 


A poll conducted by Della Volpe late last year found that young voters appeared less likely to vote in 2024 than in 2020, and a Times poll conducted this year found that young voters were the age group least likely to feel hopeful or excited about the election. 

 Given Biden’s age, there’s no ‘fountain of youth’ moment ahead. If young people feel lukewarm about him, that will remain the case. They’re also more focused on the war in Gaza than student debt relief. They don’t care. Biden is scraping at the bottom of the barrel concerning legislative achievements because he has none, other than a COVID omnibus that sent inflation spiraling. Ironically, some of that money hasn’t been spent, and it could be diverted toward good infrastructure projects, like rebuilding the Francis Scott Key Bridge. However, there is no doubt that the delivery will be botched. Biden already likened himself to the families of the six workers killed in that bridge collapse because he too lost a son, Beau Biden, who the president exploits for political points in the unseemliest ways. 

The Biden administration touted the anniversary of Obamacare—why? That’s not even a Biden legislative accomplishment. it’s Obama’s. Biden said it was a “big f**king deal.” Yeah, and you, as vice president, did nothing. Your job, besides maintaining your pulse, was to shore up the more traditional wings of the Democratic Party about having a young, inexperienced black man at the top of the ticket. 

You’re trying to retread the Obama days. It won’t work. You’re trying to keep the Obama coalition together—it’s already in tatters. It’s truly Trump’s election to lose at this point, given the chaotic mess that’s been bestowed upon us by a cabinet that is grossly unqualified and incompetent. And we haven’t even delved into how illegal immigration, the loss of operational control at the southern border, and the spike in crimes from these illegal animals will impact the race. They’re all coming into deep blue havens, creating havoc, and committing the most preventable of crimes if we abide by the simple rule of deporting people who shouldn’t be here, an alien concept in today’s Democratic Party. 

When Democrats are suspect about college towns in 2024, you know they have a candidate that can’t hack it.