Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

Thinking Worst Case Scenario

The right must come to grips with the fact that, for close to half of the electorate, leftist policies are in fact compelling.

michelle obama

One might think that Joe Biden has done so much to ruin this country that by now he’s made himself unelectable. The problems caused by his administration, most recently the collapse of our southern border, have become so overwhelming that his partisans are having trouble changing the subject. In a recent poll, 62% of respondents think Biden is mentally unfit to serve a second term; 72% don’t want him to run again. The corruption of Biden and his family in selling favors to foreign governments has become a downright embarrassment; the cover-up by the surveillance state and Biden’s cabinet officers has not made the scandal go away. Although most Democrats may still vote for Biden, his support among independents is waning, and recent ABC-Washington Post polls indicate that even the very controversial Trump, despite his negatives, could beat Biden in a two-way race by 6 points. With the surging throngs of illegals now pouring across our border, it may be exceedingly hard, or so it might seem, for Biden to make headway against these figures.

Despite Biden’s daunting, largely self-inflicted problems, his political career may still not be over. According to RealClear Politics, our president would tie in a race against Ron DeSantis with each receiving 42.5 % of the electorate. Biden would do slightly worse in a race against Donald Trump but could still count on winning over 40% of the vote.  We’re always hearing that the Dems don’t have a strong bench if forced to replace Biden. But this may not be entirely true. There is one obvious replacement for Biden, namely Michelle Obama, who according to a recent Gallup poll has won the honor of being the most admired woman in the US for the third time in a row.  


In an article in The Hill we learn why Michelle’s nomination would provide the Democratic Party with a promising opportunity to win the presidential race. Michelle and her husband are still the pampered darlings of the media and can claim a large fan base quite independently of the current administration. Finally, Michelle and Barack enjoy the kind of “Camelot” aura that that once surrounded Jack and Jacqueline Kennedy. 

Although self-identified conservatives would not likely vote for this candidate as president, she would easily capture the Democrats’ core constituencies: blacks, feminists, LGBT enthusiasts, and government workers. Michelle would likewise be able to pick up independents who lean left on social questions. She might even be able to stay with the progressive programs of the Biden administration, which still resonate with the left. LGBT rights, critical race theory, a welcoming immigration policy, climate change legislation, and further antidiscrimination laws can all be given a new look once divorced from an apparently failed presidency. Michelle could then supplement her policy stands with attacks on “MAGA Republicans,” whether or not Donald Trump turns out to be the Republican candidate.

Please note that Biden’s policies have suffered partly because of their identification with a doddering, infirm president hobbled by family scandals. There is no reason to assume they would remain just as unpopular once associated with a celebrity of the left stressing “equity” and “diversity.” Naturally Michelle would have to promise to do something to hold back the surge on the southern border. But independents may be bought off with assurances that “appropriate measures will be taken” to address such disturbance. John Fetterman’s senatorial campaign in Pennsylvania last November underscores dramatically how well the woke agenda does with Democratic core constituencies, even with a president who is struggling with poll numbers. 

These observations about Biden’s and Michelle’s electability are not a prediction that either will inevitably win in 2024. What is being suggested, however, is that the left commands a force of over forty percent of the electorate, and these voters may not react negatively to what some of us on the right view as man-made catastrophes. These voters may in fact be delighted with what has happened at the border, which it is hoped will help create a permanent majority for their side and possibly turn the US further away from its Western Christian foundations. 

If the “Transition to Green Energy” is creating financial hardship for ordinary Americans, it enjoys favor among other voters as the necessary price for “saving the planet.” For America’s woke constituency, genders are fluid and perhaps even arbitrary, and most of the Democratic electorate believe there should be unrestricted access to abortion as some kind of human right. Republicans should pay attention to this large, influential leftist bloc. Imagining that they’re dealing with a unified “people” may be a strategic mistake. Even more importantly, the idea the Democrats will likely lose if Biden’s approval numbers stay low, may be an illusion. The left has a large faithful electorate, no matter whom it chooses to run.