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President Biden’s sinking poll numbers are entering the range in which previous incumbent presidents faced the rare prospect of a midterm primary challenge, “Outnumbered” co-host and former Trump White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
On “Jesse Watters Primetime,” McEnany pointed to historic polling figures for a handful of 20th-Century presidents who faced primary challenges while running for reelection.
She referenced a clip of Biden from earlier Thursday where, upon finishing a speech, he appeared to turn to shake hands with a person who was not there — dubbing it an “invisible handshake.”
“I put up that video [online] and one person said back, ‘I think he’s trying to shake hands with his nonexistent supporters,'” she said.
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McEnany said that after seeking out historic polling figures, she found that when then-President Gerald Ford encountered his notable convention challenge from former California Gov. Ronald Reagan in 1976, his presidential approval had sunk to 42%.
Four years later, then-President James Carter faced a challenge from then-Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., after historic stagflation and an oil crisis cratered his poll numbers to 32%.
With Biden in the same league as Carter statistically, she said, “primary challengers are going to line up right beside you.”
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Recalling her own White House experience, McEnany predicted that while top Biden aides put on a brave face in public and tout the presidency as it stands, there is likely “panic” when they go into private senior staff meetings with chief of staff Ronald Klain.
She said Biden’s response to the war in Ukraine and his successful nomination of a Supreme Court justice have barely, if at all, moved his poll numbers upward.
“So, what is left?” she asked, saying the president enjoys a 20-point deficit in intraparty support to what her former boss Donald Trump had most of the time.
Trump often held GOP support for him in the mid-90s, while Biden’s, she reported, sits at about 77% in his respective party.