President Joe Biden traveled to Colorado on Wednesday to make a familiar pitch while touring a factory that is building wind turbine parts thanks to funding from legislation he signed into law.

“We’re investing in America. We’re investing in Americans. And it’s working!” Biden said.

As he ramps up his bid for reelection, Biden is staking his campaign on such events: leaning into the economy, and the legislation he’s enacted to improve it, what he's branding as his "Bidenomics" agenda.

What You Need To Know

  • As 2024 approaches, President Joe Biden is preparing for a rematch against former President Donald Trump, who remains the GOP frontrunner

  • While still a year out, recent polling shows Biden’s approval rating is low and that voters are concerned about his age

  • Analysts tell Spectrum News the Biden campaign will have to work on re-engaging key groups of voters that proved vital in 2020, as well as work to show Biden’s age is not impacting his ability to do the job

  • A Biden campaign spokesman says the president’s legislative priorities and years of experience will be an effective contrast to Trump’s legal troubles

But the president is ending 2023 with his approval rating averaging at or below 40%, according to polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight.

“We haven't had a president reelected with job approval ratings under, say, 48-49%,” said Amy Walter, editor-in-chief of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. “Even Donald Trump, going into his election, he was somewhere around 46% or 47% in 2020. This president, well, he's right around 40% or 41%. So yes, there are some real danger signs there.”

Recent polls – albeit one year out from the general election – show Biden running neck-and-neck with his likely opponent next year, former President Donald Trump, even as Trump battles four criminal indictments that have resulted in 91 felony charges.

“Joe Biden has a problem, but he's got a year to figure it out,” said Todd Belt, a political science professor at George Washington University. 

Belt said one of Biden’s biggest problems is sagging support with voters who helped elect him three years ago.

“Those are particularly young voters, 18 to 29 years old, African American voters, and Latino voters,” Belt said. “He really needs to reestablish, over the next year, his ability to get these voters out and to vote for him.”

Biden, who just turned 81, also is fighting worries about his age. He entered office as the oldest president and would be 86 at the end of a second term.

Trump and other Republicans frequently call Biden too old for the job, even though Trump is just three and a half years younger.

“We have a man that – he can’t even walk off a stage," Trump said, mocking Biden, at a campaign rally in New Hampshire in October. "He walks off the stage, just finishes his speech – he has no idea,”.

It’s an attack those same recent polls show is connecting with some voters.

Analysts like Walter and Belt say Biden will have to figure out how to show his age is not preventing him from accomplishing things.

Walter, a highly-acclaimed political analyst, said Biden’s challenge is less about doing more in-person campaign events.

“It’s that when people do see him, whether it is an official event or unofficial event, he looks older, he looks slower,” she said. “He does look like somebody who is an older person. And that's not going to change between now and the end of this campaign.”

Belt, the director of GW’s political management program, said the age factor seems to impact Biden more than Trump based on each man’s demeanor.

“[Biden’s] always been sort of soft spoken. He whispers into the microphone. He doesn't move around a lot. He's not terribly animated,” Belt said. “Whereas in contrast, Donald Trump is, and even though they're only a few years separated in terms of their age, Donald Trump just comes off as a more energetic person.”

When asked if concerns about Biden's age are valid, Biden campaign spokesman Kevin Munoz told Spectrum News instead sought to frame the election as a choice between Biden and Trump and their policies – echoing the broader strategy of the president's reelection bid.

“I think it's really important that every American understands the stake of next year's election, and just what is going to be before them,” Munoz said.

Munoz argued that while Biden is working to lower costs and create jobs – thus the focus on "Bidenomics" – Trump is all about chaos and limiting freedoms, like reproductive rights.

As for age, Team Biden is trying to frame his advanced years as an asset.

“Now is not the time for a rookie in the White House. Now is not a time for MAGA chaos and division,” Munoz said. “And President Biden has been able to get big things done just because of his leadership and his experience in Washington. And that's a record we're happy to have a debate on.”

Throughout 2023, Biden has held a limited number of public campaign events, focusing more on official White House duties. He has been traveling to fundraise, and his campaign has invested a record amount of money into early television, radio, and social media ads.

But Munoz said this is just the beginning. He said Biden will begin holding rallies more frequently in the early spring, as voters tune into the race, and the campaign will invest in more ads and having influencers spread the word through social media.

Overall, Munoz said the campaign is confident that the choice between Biden and Trump will become more stark once Trump’s criminal trials begin.

“I think it's really important that the American people make these decisions on their own, and that the president and this campaign doesn't intervene in legal proceedings,” he said. “That said, look, this is another reminder to the American people of who is really focused on the real issues impacting them.”