It appears that President Joe Biden is now operating under the assumption that former President Donald Trump will be his opposition in the 2024 general election.
According to the New York Times, Biden is no longer even considering Florida Gov. Ron Desantis (R) as a potential challenger.
"This spring, as the Republican presidential primary race was just beginning, the Democratic National Committee commissioned polling on how the leading Republicans — Donald J. Trump and Ron DeSantis — fared against President Biden in battleground states," the Times reports.
The outlet adds, "But now, as Mr. Trump’s lead in the primary has grown and hardened, the party has dropped Mr. DeSantis from such hypothetical matchups. And the Biden campaign’s polling on Republican candidates is now directed squarely at Mr. Trump, according to officials familiar with the surveys."
By now, the polls have made it abundantly clear that Biden and Trump are their party's respective frontrunners for 2024.
According to Real Clear Politics, Trump currently leads the Republican field by, on average, 44.9 percentage points. On individual polls, Trump's lead is even greater.
It is a similar story for Biden. He, according to Real Clear Politics, is leading the Democratic field by 51.1 percentage points.
What is even more significant, however, is the fact that Trump's lead, as the Times put it, has "grown and hardened." And, it has "grown and hardened" despite everything that Biden and the Democrats have thrown at Trump, particularly in terms of indictments.
So, at this point, it is a fairly safe assumption that we are going to see a Biden versus Trump rematch in 2024. The polling shows this matchup to be a virtual tie, although Trump appears to be pulling away as of late.
It is, apparently, with all of this in mind that Biden is now turning his attention exclusively to Trump. We saw this in speeches that Biden gave this past week.
The Times reports, "On Monday, Mr. Biden told donors at a New York fund-raiser that Mr. Trump was out to “destroy” American democracy, in some of his most forceful language so far about the implications of a second Trump term."
The outlet continues:
On Wednesday, as the president spoke to donors at a Manhattan hotel, he acknowledged in the most explicit way yet that he now expected to be running against “the same fella." And on Friday, Mr. Biden announced plans to join striking autoworkers on the picket line in Michigan next week — one day before Mr. Trump visits the state.
The Times goes on to report that Democrats are expecting this strategy of targeting Trump to help Biden, particularly to help him combat the criticism that he has been facing about whether or not he should pursue a second term in office.
We'll have to see whether or not Biden's strategy proves successful.