President Biden faces three major challenges to reelection: 1) wasted votes; 2) an electorate highly critical of his economic stewardship in general and handling of inflation in particular; and 3) concerns about his age, health, and cognitive abilities, if not now then in five and a half years, when he would be concluding a second term. A lack of confidence in whether Vice President Kamala Harris is ready for the job doesn’t help much, either. While Biden is only three years older than Donald Trump, by appearance Biden looks at least 10 years older. My guess is that Biden would probably beat Trump in a 100-yard dash or a test on his command of issues, but the optics of how Biden appears and occasionally sounds are terrible.

Last month, this column looked into the first two of these challenges. As a consequence of Republican voters being more efficiently allocated among the 50 states, Biden (or any other Democrat) will probably need to win the national popular vote by at least 4 or 5 percentage points, possibly 6 or even 7

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