May 15, 2024

Election Update

Donald J. Trump leads President Biden in five crucial battleground states, a new set of polls shows… The surveys by The New York Times, Siena College and The Philadelphia Inquirer found that Mr. Trump was ahead among registered voters in a head-to-head matchup against Mr. Biden in five of six key states: Michigan, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Mr. Biden led among registered voters in only one battleground state, Wisconsin.” New York Times

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From the Left

The left is concerned about Biden’s polling and urges a change of course.

“Biden’s campaign messaging lacks the kind of ambitious big-swing policy positions that can help dramatically improve American life, generate buzz, pique the curiosity of less engaged voters and help mobilize voters who have grown disillusioned with him over his tenure…

“Instead, Biden has relied primarily on a defensive messaging strategy and pledged to defend the republic from the threat of Trump. While that is in and of itself a worthwhile reason to vote for Biden, it’s a strategy that banks on people showing up to the polls for negative reasons — to avoid the return of Trump — rather than casting ballots out of a desire to see positive change. That strategy might have worked in 2020, when Trump was a vulnerable incumbent, but it’s a risky strategy to deploy in 2024.”

Zeeshan Aleem, MSNBC

“The Biden campaign will undoubtedly point to the disparity between the president’s poll numbers and those of Democratic senate candidates as proof that they can and will do better. It is only mid-May, after all. The general election campaign has not really begun in earnest…

“I would argue the numbers tell a different story, however. Voters know Joe Biden—and they’ve decided that they don’t think he’s capable of doing the job of president for a second term…

“He will not be any younger on Election Day, and there’s not a lot he can do to combat concerns about his age. He won’t get credit for not, say, mixing up words or stuttering. Inflation may cool, but with the election only six months away, voter perception of the economy is unlikely to change markedly…

A movement to replace Biden [on the ticket] would be undeniably risky. It would, at this late stage, necessitate a costly floor fight at what would be a volcanic convention in August… And yet, not seriously considering this option would be a huge mistake.”

Alex Shephard, New Republic

Some argue, “Biden is stronger than he looks… Typically, if you see the incumbent trailing in a poll, that's a sign that Americans are unhappy. But a staggering 74% of respondents in the NYT-Siena poll say they are satisfied with how things are going with their lives. This suggests that voters are not looking to make big changes…

“The fact that former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley keeps getting about 20% of the vote in Republican primaries months after dropping out suggests that Trump is having a problem consolidating GOP support. Biden also has the advantage of a disciplined and well-funded campaign that's not distracted by legal problems, a contrast with Trump… Biden is still in a decent position for re-election.”

Jennifer Palmieri, MSNBC

From the Right

The right argues that Biden’s low polling reflects voters’ opinion of his performance in office.

The right argues that Biden’s low polling reflects voters’ opinion of his performance in office.

“In the past six months, Biden has traveled the country, touting what he believes are his economic accomplishments. He has spent zillions of dollars on advertising, focusing specifically on the key states. And at the same time, Trump was either preparing to go on trial or, since April 15, actually on trial in New York, facing a maximum of 136 years in prison. And Biden is still unable to catch Trump…

“For months, Democrats had hoped that the specter of Trump on trial would cut into the former president’s support. Now, we are in the fifth week of the trial, with wall-to-wall media coverage, and it appears to have not affected Trump’s support at all. Obviously, that means Democrats are now praying especially hard that Trump will be convicted… [and then] at least a few Trump voters will abandon the former president. Maybe that will happen. But Biden’s position is becoming quite serious.”

Byron York, Washington Examiner

Trump was the first president since Carter not to start any new foreign wars — and he managed to maintain relative peace exhibiting serious strength against American adversaries, such as going after Russians in Syria and killing Iranian terror chief Qasem Soleimani…

“The Abraham Accords achieved by the Trump administration were such a diplomatic success at building peace in the region that when Iran launched missiles at Israel last month, Jordan and Saudi Arabia helped shoot them down. That kind of collaboration between Israel and Arab states, let alone in the middle of a conflict with the Palestinians, would have been unthinkable not that many years ago…

“And through all this, he was mocked by D.C.’s profoundly terrible foreign policy establishment, not to mention our free-riding European allies. Remember when Trump went to the UN and told the Germans not to become too dependent on Russian energy, and ‘German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas could be seen smirking alongside his colleagues’? Well, one new Ukraine war and an exploded Nordstream pipeline later, both of which happened on Joe Biden’s watch, who’s smirking now?”

Mark Hemingway, The Federalist

“Nearly two-thirds of Americans (65.4%) believe the country is going in the wrong direction… Plenty can happen between now and November, but perhaps not enough for Biden. Since the chaos at home and abroad keep growing, we can expect opposition to Biden to do the same, which in this case benefits Trump regardless what people think of him. Voters will want a return to the status quo ante again, perhaps especially because Trump will be term-limited and can provide a short-term solution that will necessitate a reset in both parties for 2028.”

Ed Morrissey, Hot Air

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