With relative calm around Covid, Biden faces several new challenges. The American public is overwhelmingly opposed to impeachment, and the majority of voters in battleground states say they are unlikely to cast their ballot for him.
“He has been the most powerful Democrat in a generation, and one of the most powerful white men,” said former Obama attorney John Nolen, now an NBC News contributor. “Now that he’s been challenged by the left, he has been forced to make some choices.”
It was the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in the ’90s that triggered the current surge of support for the former vice president.
As his poll numbers have fallen, Biden’s advisers have been working to build a more national profile as the party’s preferred candidate for the November election, in what some are calling his coronation.
The former vice president hasn’t lost his national support entirely. His personal rating rose from 49% to 52% when last month’s impeachment trial reached a conclusion and he received two more terms as the nation’s chief diplomat.
Among adults who lean Democrat, 52% say they would support Biden in the election. Among Republicans, 62% say they will support him, down from 70% in a June poll.
Biden has also found a receptive audience for his message.
Virulent far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones said Sunday that Biden could be “the next president” of the United States.
In his latest effort to rebrand himself, Biden traveled to South Carolina to address the state’s Democratic activists.
The former vice president was greeted by a chorus of boos, but he was cheered by the audience when they heard him vow to be a president for all Americans.
Biden, speaking at the University of South Carolina, told them he was “a candidate of hope and change” and said that those who were “tired of the status quo” needed to be “kept whole.”
“You know, ‘Keep moving forward.’ That’s the message of hope,” Biden said, adding that “America is at a fork in the road.”
Sixty-five percent of the 800-plus attendees, including some who have not previously engaged with Biden, said they felt that way. Biden is the 10th most popular candidate