Biden’s Reelection May Be at Risk: The Kiplinger Letter

Biden's weakness in polls and potential impeachment may mean darker days ahead for the Dems.

To help you understand what is going on in politics now and what we expect to happen in the future, our highly experienced Kiplinger Letter team will keep you abreast of the latest developments and forecasts (Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Letter or subscribe). You'll get all the latest news first by subscribing, but we will publish many (but not all) of the forecasts a few days afterward online. Here’s the latest…

Odds are growing that Joe Biden will be the fourth president impeached by the House, joining Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, who was twice impeached by the lower chamber, in 2019 and 2021.

While short on evidence so far, House Republicans are plowing forward with their inquiry, even issuing subpoenas for Biden’s family members as part of an effort to prove the president illegally profited from his son’s business dealings.

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Biden may still be spared impeachment if the GOP’s probe goes nowhere. And even if not, the Democratic Senate wouldn’t vote to convict and remove the president from office, barring some sort of bombshell revelation. But the impeachment inquiry could still hurt Biden’s reelection chances, sowing greater doubt about a president already grappling with poor job approval.

Also hampering Biden’s chances are two key swing-state demographics. One is rural voters, whom the president is actively trying to win back after years of bleeding rural support. Biden and various lieutenants are starting to visit communities across the country, highlighting a $5 billion campaign that includes investments in infrastructure and sustainable agriculture.

Republicans expanded their rural advantage under Donald Trump, who garnered 59% of the rural vote in 2016 and 65% in 2020. Democrats were able to offset this decline somewhat by making further inroads with suburban voters. But the shift puts them at a disadvantage in key swing states, such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all of which have a higher share of rural residents than the nation overall.

The other is Arab-American and Muslim voters, who have soured on Biden over his response to the latest Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One poll shows support for Biden’s reelection among this voting bloc plunging from 59% in 2020 to 17%. This development poses a problem for Democrats in Michigan, which is home to one of the country’s largest Arab-American populations and Rashida Tlaib (D), the only Palestinian-American lawmaker in Congress. 

Tlaib has faced pushback for her criticism of the Biden administration’s support for Israel. An intraparty fight is the last thing the party needs before competitive presidential and Senate races.

Not to mention the retirement of Joe Manchin (D-WV), which is a huge blow for Senate Democrats. Republicans will easily flip his seat. Manchin was among the few Democrats who could have won in the deep-red state, though even his poll numbers were flagging.

So, the GOP needs only one more seat for a full majority in the chamber, and not even that if a Republican wins the White House – allowing the vice president to serve as a tiebreaking vote, as Kamala Harris did early on in Biden’s presidency.

The GOP will also benefit from a favorable Senate map. The Republicans must defend only 11 seats versus 23 for the Democrats. Moreover, every Senate seat Republicans are defending is in a state that Donald Trump easily won in 2020.

This forecast first appeared in The Kiplinger Letter, which has been running since 1923 and is a collection of concise weekly forecasts on business and economic trends, as well as what to expect from Washington, to help you understand what’s coming up to make the most of your investments and your money. Subscribe to The Kiplinger Letter.

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Sean Lengell
Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter

Sean Lengell covers Congress and government policy for The Kiplinger Letter. Before joining Kiplinger in January 2017 he served as a congressional reporter for eight years with the Washington Examiner and the Washington Times. He previously covered local news for the Tampa (Fla.) Tribune. A native of northern Illinois who spent much of his youth in St. Petersburg, Fla., he holds a bachelor's degree in English from Marquette University.

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