May 6, 2024

Election Update

With six months to go before election day, as of Sunday former President Donald Trump leads President Joe Biden by 1.1 percent in election polls. FiveThirtyEight

Joe Biden's support among young voters has declined in the last four years, a new poll has revealed… In the 2020 election, around 60 percent of people ages 18-29 voted for the Democrat. But according to a Harvard Youth Poll released earlier [last] month, Biden's support among this age group has now declined, with 45 percent of 18-29 year olds planning to vote for him.” Newsweek

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From the Left

The left argues that the race is still close and that Biden needs to court young voters.

“Instead of changing one’s perspective every time a new poll comes out, it makes more sense to look at polling averages that diminish the exaggerated importance of outliers. That’s particularly important in horse-race polling. Staring intently at a single poll can be beneficial in terms of understanding underlying trends, demographic-group preferences, and issue landscapes. But if the question is ‘Who’s ahead?’ and the race is close enough to make precision matter, stick with the averages…

“Overall, it’s reasonably clear that the Biden-Trump race remains very close in terms of the national popular vote with Trump maintaining a small advantage in winning enough battleground states to secure the 270 electoral votes necessary for victory. That’s also what other metrics like candidate favorability, partisan affiliation, and above all recent history would suggest…

“It should require some pretty clear indicators suggesting otherwise before anyone fairly concludes Trump or Biden is ‘winning,’ particularly this far away from November.”

Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine

“Biden’s odds may particularly diminish if he cannot hold all three of the former ‘blue wall’ states across the Rust Belt that he recaptured in 2020 after Trump had taken them four years earlier: Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Biden is running more competitively in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin than in any other swing states. But in Michigan, Biden has struggled in most polls, whipsawed by defections among multiple groups Democrats rely on, including Arab Americans, auto workers, young people, and Black Americans…

“[Michigan pollster Richard Czuba] said Biden is facing obstacles in Michigan that extend beyond his often-discussed problems with Arab American voters over the war in Gaza, discontent on college campuses around the same issue, and Trump’s claim that the transition to electric vehicles will produce a ‘bloodbath’ for the auto industry. Biden is also deeply unpopular among independents in the state, [and] Czuba said concerns about his age are a principal concern.”

Ronald Brownstein, The Atlantic

Biden has primarily [focused] on various domestic policies to court young voters. Earlier this week, his administration moved to begin the process of reclassifying cannabis…

“The president has also announced a series of measures to reduce student debt… [But] in the end, if Biden can’t find ways to respond to the concerns driving campus activists and make them feel heard and represented, the other policy changes might not have much of an effect.”

Julian Zelizer, CNN

From the Right

The right argues that Biden is in trouble due to his high disapproval rating among voters.

The right argues that Biden is in trouble due to his high disapproval rating among voters.

“No incumbent president should ever want to be near 43% in a head-to-head ballot test. Yet here is Joe Biden at 43% in the latest CNN poll, 43% in the latest Morning Consult poll, 43% in the latest Economist/YouGov poll and 43% in the latest Harvard/Harris poll… The CNN poll has Biden’s job approval right there at 40%, where it’s held steady for about a year, with 60% disapproving…

“According to the CNN poll, 55% of the public now considers the Trump presidency a success, and 44% look at it as a failure. Biden, in contrast, is upside down. Only 39% say his presidency has been a success, while 61% say it’s been a failure… Being considered a failed president is not, needless to say, a status consistent with winning re-election.”

Rich Lowry, New York Post

“And, as of now at least, many voters say they have made up their minds. When [CNN] asked respondents who did not support Biden whether there is any chance they might eventually vote for Biden, 52% said there is ‘no chance whatsoever’ they would vote to reelect the president. When pollsters asked people who did not support Trump whether there is any chance they might eventually vote for Trump, 47% said there is ‘no chance whatsoever’ they will vote for Trump.”

Byron York, Washington Examiner

“This presidential election is a unicorn. One former president is running against the current president. The problem for Joe Biden when he starts pontificating about what Trump will do if he is elected in November is that Trump has a record as president. All Trump has to do when Biden tries to scare voters is to remind voters that he didn't do whatever nefarious thing is on Biden's mind when he had the chance when he was in the White House.”

Karen Townsend, Hot Air

“The problem with the Biden campaign is that it’s being run as though its candidate were in the first position, as though it were protecting a lead that Biden doesn’t have. That means refusing the kind of big move that [Ezra] Klein and others urged, wherein a patriotic recognition of his own limits, physical and political, leads the unpopular incumbent to step aside and give his party a chance to reset the terms of the election…

“It means eschewing the smaller kind of potential ticket shake-up, in which Kamala Harris, the worst possible backstop for an aging president, yields to a vice-presidential candidate who might actually be reassuring, even popular. And it means letting the administration’s policymaking keep running on progressive autopilot… What’s happening right now is that Biden is gliding toward defeat.”

Ross Douthat, New York Times

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