And again, this is just one poll, small sample size, caveat, caveat, caveat. And that is holding back Biden’s overall level of support in the poll. If one party’s base is upset at something about their party, you can only imagine what the Independents and the other side think about it. So I think this is almost certainly a problem for Biden, in some respect. There’s not much good news to go off of if you’re hoping to defeat Donald Trump without something from above coming in to shake up the race.


Now, voters may not be right about whether the economy is better or worse than it was then. I’ll leave that to the economists to debate. But what’s clear is that Biden is certainly not getting credit for the improving economy yet, and he may still be blamed for an economy that voters simply don’t think is good at all. And I’d add one more thing, which is that voters know these candidates really well.

And that, based on this poll, is just not looking likely, unless somehow, Trump is literally disqualified from running through a criminal conviction before the primary is completed. It’s very difficult for Ron DeSantis to look like the guy who can beat Biden or can get things done when Donald Trump is the one who’s dominating him on the airwaves and in the national conversation every day. And strength and leadership are big advantages for a presidential candidate to command by this kind of margin. And you know, maybe there’s something that could happen.

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  • And that is preventing Biden from maximizing his base of Democratic support and getting his number up above 43.
  • So I don’t see very much cause for anyone else to have hope here either.
  • Again, these are people who are sort of recoiling at the thought of having to choose between these two, and maybe not even getting to the point where they can tell us the decision that not only they made last time but that they’ll make again.

And never mind the fact, of course, that Donald Trump actually did lose to Joe Biden three years ago. On the Trump side of the ledger, I think that it’s a little weirder to think about what Trump needs to do in the same sort of terms. Because the poll doesn’t really suggest that he has an obvious path to, like, 51 percent of the vote or something. And I find it hard to believe that the people who believe he’s a criminal or who believe that he’s a threat to democracy can be talked out of that too easily with the right words on the trail.

And I think that, to your point about fortress Trump, a lot of what’s going on here is about Trump’s strength. So the idea that Ron DeSantis could overpower all of his other problems by talking about this woke issue set doesn’t seem to be supported here either. And we didn’t even talk about the coronavirus, because that issue, which really brought Ron DeSantis to national prominence, is in the rearview mirror at this point. A dramatic brawl on the Montgomery, Alabama, riverfront pitted people standing up for a Black riverboat worker against a group of white people who began beating him for telling them to move their illegally parked pontoon. And this race is competitive, and at least right now, the Democrats have work cut out ahead of them, and the events of the last three years haven’t brought this race to an early end as some might have thought.

And whenever we tested the — I’ll call them “woke issues,” like taking on woke businesses or fighting the woke Left in schools — they didn’t fare that well. It’s not that Republicans disagreed and thought that Republicans shouldn’t fight these fights over woke. They just thought that other values and other issues were more important.

Honestly, I think this is a notch worse than that. I mean, what we see — what we see since 2016 isn’t simply a low turnout among Black and Hispanic voters. We increasingly see both Democratic turnout declining further, and now, Republicans beginning to actually make gains. So it’s not just that non-white voters seem to be staying home, it’s that some more of the non-white voters who are turning out are supporting Donald Trump and other Republican candidates. How much of his problem is in the second bucket? Even though there’s a case that the economy is getting better, 49 percent of voters in this poll said the economy was poor, to just 2 percent who said it was excellent.

Well, they’re polling very low right now. I mean, Tim Scott and Mike Pence are at 3 percent and 2 percent. I think that they haven’t been tested on the national stage yet, because they haven’t emerged as major players in this race. Maybe if they did, it would go a lot better for them than it’s gone for Ron DeSantis. I think that if you’re the Biden campaign, your task is fairly straightforward, not necessarily to pull off, but at least to identify.

But we have seen these problems for Democrats and Joe Biden before. In the midterm election, Black turnout was really quite weak. There’s an information ecosystem that is in play here.