3. Biden isn’t wooing younger voters well
In 2019, the former vice president and his team seemed to deeply internalize the conventional wisdom among many establishment and center-left figures: that “Twitter is not real life” and that Democrats should not be too “woke.” Biden has seemed very frustrated at times with young liberal activists who have confronted him at rallies and argued that he was too conservative on some issues. He was fairly dismissive of criticisms of his handling of the Clarence Thomas hearings and his touching of women in ways that some of them considered inappropriate. He suggested the views of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t represent those of many other Democrats. His campaign aides downplayed the power of “Pod Save America” and did little to court the “black left.”
This all looked fairly savvy (or at least somewhat harmless) … until voting started. And you wonder now whether the Biden campaign could have at least competed for young voters by taking a different approach.
4. Younger Democrats don’t want to repeat the Obama presidency
This overlaps a bit with No. 1, but it’s worth mentioning because carrying on Barack Obama’s legacy has been such a central part of Biden’s message. (The former president is immensely popular among Democrats.) But a HuffPost/YouGov survey conducted in April 2019 found that 42 percent of Democrats ages 18-29 want the next Democratic nominee to be more liberal than Obama, while only about a quarter of Democrats 30 and over had that view. So Biden’s strategy of positioning himself as Obama’s heir, while probably not costing him voters, may not help him court younger Democrats.