Sunday, August 16, 2020


A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll gives Joe Biden a 9-point lead over Donald Trump, and a 7-point lead in battleground states (Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin).

Good news, right? But we're getting the usual warning:

In another sign of potential softness in the Democrats’ support, 58% of those who back Mr. Biden say their vote is more in opposition to Mr. Trump than in favor of their chosen candidate. By contrast, those planning to cast a ballot for Mr. Trump are more enthusiastic about their choice, with almost three-quarters saying their vote is more for him than against Mr. Biden.
But is that bad? Here were the numbers four years ago:

Four years ago, Hillary Clinton was the candidate more likely to attract voters who were voting affirmatively. Before Trump led a personality cult, he mostly attracted voters who opposed Hillary. And that was enough to get him to the White House.

I know -- he lost the popular vote. But negative partisanship allowed him to make it a race when the polls showed him trailing. Now Biden is leading and he has negative partisanship on his side. Anger against the other side is a powerful force in American politics.

I'm usually a gloomy guy, but I'm nearly certain that Biden will win if it's more or less a fair election. Of course, Trump is doing everything in his power to cheat. But if we can minimize his ability to do that, Biden will win -- though that's a big if.

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