Home Politics 2024 State of the Union Address Recap: Did Joe Biden Improve His Odds?

2024 State of the Union Address Recap: Did Joe Biden Improve His Odds?

by Scott Kacsmar
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Joe Biden State of The Union

Unless he wins again in November, U.S. President Joe Biden may have delivered his final State of the Union speech last Thursday night. 

With a poor approval rating and odds favoring former President Donald Trump to win in November, Biden needed a big performance to draw back some voters. That meant sounding strong, sharp and decisive about what problems lie ahead and what he’s ready to do to get another term.

How did Biden fare at the State of the Union, and has there been any improvement in his ratings or odds at the politics betting sites? Let’s take a look.

Joe Biden’s State of the Union Performance

The State of the Union can be the roughest speech to watch a president give each year, regardless of which party is in control. You have to expect many long pauses for clapping (along partisan lines, of course). You can play a game predicting if the Vice President behind them is going to stand up and applaud or merely clap from their seat.

You also have to expect guests in the audience to be there as political puppets to score points with the party by pushing an agenda.

But the 2024 State of the Union was not like most in the past. Biden came with energy and a purpose, making sure to shake as many hands as he could before getting to the microphone. But he also made a great viral moment with his facial reaction to Marjorie Taylor Greene’s outfit:

That would not be the final moment between Biden and Taylor Greene that evening. Now that heckling is a part of these speeches, she screamed out the name of Laken Riley, the 22-year-old student who was abducted and murdered while jogging in Georgia by a 26-year-old Venezuelan who was in the country illegally.

In an unscripted moment, Biden did not back down from the moment and addressed the murder:

Was it a perfect response? No, the right condemned Biden for calling her “Lincoln” instead of “Laken” Riley. The left is mad that he used “illegal” instead of the more politically correct “undocumented.” The important takeaway should be that Biden did not back down from acknowledging what happened to her was terrible, and he can speak from experience to know what it’s like to lose a loved one.

The Trump Mentions

Getting back on script, Biden called out Donald Trump at least 13 times during the speech, but he made sure to use “my predecessor” instead of calling Trump out by name. Everyone knew who he meant though.

Biden also did not mince words about January 6, 2021, calling out the many members of Congress in the building who have supported or still support the stolen election lie and have not punished Donald Trump for his role in what happened there.

Biden on January 6: “My predecessor and some of you here seek to bury the truth about Jan. 6. I will not do that. This is the moment to speak the truth, and to bury the lies. Here’s the simple truth: You can’t love your country only when you win.”

Biden also talked about abortion and how he would restore Roe v. Wade and the right to choose as the law of the land again if he’s given a Congress that would support that in numbers.

Closing Statements

Biden, 81, closed his more than an hour-long speech by not shying away from talking about his age.

“I know it may not look like it, but I’ve been around a while. When you get to be my age, certain things become clearer than ever before,” Biden said. “I know the American story. Again and again I’ve seen the contest between competing forces in the battle for the soul of our nation. Between those who want to pull America back to the past and those who want to move America into the future.”

Reaction to Biden’s Speech

Overall, the response to Biden’s State of the Union was very favorable from Democratic-leaning political pundits. They thought he was energetic and strong, and delivered his points accurately while making it one of the most political speeches ever given at a State of the Union.

Republicans, of course, did not like the speech. New Speaker of the House Mike Johnson could be seen repeatedly shaking his head at the things Biden was saying throughout the night, and many Republicans did not clap or stand for Biden’s call to not have political violence in the future.

Katie Britt and the Nightmare of a Republican Response

Another factor that helped Biden have a good night was the Republican response to his speech, which aired after he finished. Alabama Senator Katie Britt delivered the response, and if you never heard of her before, turn up your speakers, because the Whispering Queen of random emotions now has everyone making fun of her after her disastrous speech from her kitchen:

She became an instant parody on Saturday Night Live as Scarlett Johansson played her. Even Megyn Kelly thought Britt was “totally cringe.”

Have the Numbers Changed for Biden After the Speech?

Biden had a great night, but for the moment of truth, did the numbers change anywhere in his favor?

In terms of being the Democratic nominee, Biden’s odds have improved from -300 a week ago to -800 at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review to learn more), so that is good news for him. Kamala Harris, Gavin Newsom, and Michelle Obama are all in a 3-way tie behind him at +1100 odds.

What About the Others?

As for the odds to win the presidency, Biden has gone up slightly from +175 last week to +150 going into Tuesday at BetOnline. He is still trailing Donald Trump (-110) there, but Trump’s odds have decreased from -120, and the choice of “Any Other” candidate than these 2 is at +375.

According to Election Betting Odds, Trump has a 50.8% chance of winning the November election, which is down from 52.7% right after Super Tuesday. Biden has gone up slightly from 32.6% to 34.7% to win.

However, the odds on the winning party in November have not changed from a week ago at BetOnline. The Republicans are still -115 to win the election with the Democrats still at +100 after Biden’s State of the Union address.

Finally, according to FiveThirtyEight, Biden’s approval rating is still poor at 38.0%, showing no improvement from a week ago. Trump was at 41.7% on this same day in his presidency, and presidents under 40% have usually lost their reelection bids.

Biden Approval Rating

Biden still has plenty of work to do before November to reach more voters, but he did not do any damage to himself at the State of the Union.

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Scott Kacsmar
NFL football picks are Scott Kacsmar's expertise, serving as his main focus. He has contributed to various sports websites and blogs, such as NBC Sports, ESPN Insider, FiveThirtyEight, and, JoeWager. Originating from Pittsburgh, Scott maintains a love-hate connection with the Pirates.

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