Thursday, January 30, 2020


There are some numbers in the new Pew poll that are very bad for President Trump:
Asked to look ahead to how they might vote in November, more voters say they will definitely or probably vote for the Democratic candidate (48%) than will definitely or probably vote for Trump (38%), while 13% express no preference....

Currently, Democrats are more definite about their general election preferences than are Republicans: 73% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters say they will definitely vote for the party’s nominee, while 59% of Republican and Republican-leaning voters say they will definitely vote for Trump.
When voters are asked to predict their reactions if Trump wins reelection, 57% express a negative emotion and say they would be either disappointed (32%) or angry (25%); fewer say they’d experience either relief (24%) or excitement (18%).
Among Democrats and Democratic leaners, 96% say they'd be angry or disappointed if Trump wins. Among Republicans and Republican leaners, only 84% say they'd be excited or relieved.

Trump's opponents would seem to have the upper hand -- and yet...
... Republicans are far more confident of victory in November. Nearly four-in-ten Republican voters (38%) think Trump will definitely win reelection, while another 41% say he will probably win. Among Democratic voters, just 11% say the Democratic candidate will definitely win, while 32% see a Democratic victory as probable.
And this pessimism is borne out by other polling. Right now, the Real Clear Politics polling average says Joe Biden is beating Trump by a less-than-overwhelming 4.3 points. Mike Bloomberg leads by 3.2, Bernie Sanders by 3.0, and Elizabeth Warren by 1.2. Pete Buttigieg trails Trump by 0.2. (Hillary Clinton won the 2016 popular vote by 2.1.)

I know that a lot of you believe Trump will win through illicit means. I worry that he has a good chance of victory for a much simpler reason: too many Americans who oppose him will be reluctant to vote for the Democrat in November. I'm not just talking about Bernie-or-Busters who won't vote for Biden or moderate Democrats who won't vote for Sanders. I'm also talking about voters who are sick of Trump but have internalized decades of daily Democrat-bashing by conservative media figures and Republican politicians, none of it ever effectively contested (or even acknowledged) by the Democratic Party.

If Trump wins, it won't just be because GOP states suppress the Democratic vote or because Facebook blithely allows right-wing and Russian disinformation to spread. It won't just be because of the Electoral College, or because the "liberal" media retransmits GOP talking points about the Democratic candidate. It will be because the Democratic brand is in awful shape in large swaths of the country, and the party doesn't even recognize that it has a problem.

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