WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden, who took office aiming to steady a nation convulsed by the coronavirus pandemic and the Jan. 6 insurrection, clinched a second straight Democratic nomination Tuesday and set up an all-but-certain rematch with the predecessor he blames for destabilizing the country.

Biden became his party’s presumptive nominee when he won enough delegates in Georgia. That pushed Biden’s count past 1,968 for a majority of delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago this August, where his nomination will be made official. Former President Donald Trump is expected to clinch the Republican nomination shortly.

Just 38% of U.S. adults approve of how Biden is handling his job as president while 61% disapprove, according to a recent survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Biden and his allies are betting that over a bruising seven-and-a-half-month general election, his Democratic base and independent voters fearful of a second Trump presidency will stand with him despite their misgivings. Their strategy to constantly highlight Trump’s perceived shortcomings — combined with Trump’s plan to attack Biden in brutally personal terms — sets up an spiritless campaign that many Americans said they didn’t want but will have to decide in November anyway.

Biden has tried to frame the race as a battle for freedom, both at home and abroad. He contrasts his support for Ukraine and work to expand NATO with Trump’s praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his suggestion that he would tell Russia to attack NATO allies he considers delinquent.

Biden is pushing back on GOP-led efforts to restrict abortion rights that have also jeopardized in vitro fertilization procedures. Democrats credit the backlash to the Supreme Court overturning a federal right to abortion for electoral victories over the last two years. Trump appointed three of the justices who voted to strike down Roe v. Wade and had taken credit for the decision.

But despite major accomplishments and what his allies see as advantages on key issues, Biden enters a rematch with Trump with vulnerabilities he can’t easily fix.

The botched U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan left indelible images of desperate people trying to flee a country that American troops fought to secure for two decades and lost in a matter of months to the Taliban. Thirteen U.S. troops died in a suicide bombing outside the Kabul airport during the evacuation of American citizens and allies.

With the economic growth came surging inflation that raised basic prices for Americans and ate into the income gains many people made. Inflation has slowed from its highs two years ago, but just 34% of U.S. adults say they agree with how Biden has handled the economy, according to an AP-NORC survey.

And after campaigning to reverse Trump’s immigration crackdown, Biden’s White House struggled to process record numbers of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border without authorization — sometimes thousands of people a day. Republican states sent migrants on buses to Democratic-led cities that struggled to shelter them.A question of age

But the president can’t alter one of voters’ deepest concerns with his candidacy — his age.

Already the oldest-ever American president, Biden would be 86 if he served out the entirety of a second term. Regardless of the November outcome, he or Trump would be the oldest leader ever sworn in on Inauguration Day 2025.

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