Monday, Jun 17, 2024

Democrats Nervous Over Betting It All on Joe Biden

If you ask almost any Democrat who will win next year’s presidential election and govern this country for the next four years, their answer is sure to be, Joe Biden, probably followed by a silent prayer that Biden will remain healthy enough and live long enough for that answer to prove to be correct.

For Democrats, next year’s political die has already been cast and the fix is in. As in 2016, the party’s leadership has conspired with the mainstream media to make sure that there will be no obstacles in Biden’s way.

All serious potential Democrat contenders have been duly warned against challenging Biden for the party’s nomination, and the few who have ignored that warning are being falsely demonized by Biden’s protectors in the mainstream media as “fringe” candidates promoting weird and dangerous conspiracy theories.

As a result, for the duration of the primary season, Biden won’t have to take the risk of exposing his frailties by showing up for debates. He won’t be required to prove that he can withstand the normal rigors of a presidential primary campaign. Instead, his White House handlers will continue to ration Biden’s fading strength and cognitive abilities for display during brief and carefully scripted exposures to media reporters and the voting public.

This limited exposure strategy worked well for Biden during the 2020 general election campaign because of the Covid pandemic, which enabled Biden to remain mostly out of sight in the basement of his Wilmington Delaware home. But voters who now have even more questions about Biden’s vitality and mental fitness for office may not accept a repeat White House Rose Garden version of the same strategy.

DEMOCRATS CAN’T IMAGINE TRUMP WINNING AGAIN

What many Democrats can’t seem to understand is why the 2024 presidential race isn’t already over. After all, look at the impressive cherry-picked statistics that “prove” the president’s claim that Bidenomics has been an economic blessing for the typical American family. So why does the vast majority of Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy?

Look at Biden’s likely Republican opponent, former president Donald Trump. He will have to spend most of next year trying to defend himself in court against four sets of Trumped-up criminal charges, instead of traveling across the country to campaign against his opponents for the GOP nomination, and then Joe Biden in the general election for the presidency. Democrats ask themselves, “How can anyone seriously consider voting for him?

As in 2016, most Democrats are now having a difficult time just imagining that their candidate could lose to Donald Trump. Could that unimaginable scenario really happen for a second time next year?

The deeply disturbing answer to that question that Democrats are now reading in the latest national opinion polls is definitely “yes.” Biden’s national job approval rating remains stuck at a politically dangerous low level of 42%, while Trump continues to maintain a roughly 40 percent lead over his nearest competitors for the GOP nomination. And in head-to-head polling matchups between Biden and Trump, the two remain virtually tied, with any lead well within the poll’s margin of error.

Veteran Democrat presidential campaign masterminds James Carville and Jim Messina, are urging their fellow Democrats to stay calm and not to panic. But other popular Democrat media pundits are now urging Biden to step aside so that Democrats can nominate someone from a younger generation who, actuarially, will be much more likely than Biden to survive and remain fully functional through the end of his or her four-year presidential term.

AN AGING BIDEN IS CLEARLY STRUGGLING

During his relatively infrequent public appearances, President Biden appears to be increasingly frail. He often appears to be visibly struggling to find the right word and carefully follow the script that has been laid out by his handlers.

The voters can easily see this, which is why a two-thirds majority of Democrats now say that they would prefer almost anyone else (except for Vice President Kamala Harris) as their presidential candidate.

Yet no Democrat of prominent national stature has been willing to say this publicly, much less enter the primaries to challenge Biden for the party’s nomination. Instead, they have been compelled to repeat the now standard Democrat party narrative that they are confident that Trump will again be the Republican nominee, and that Biden has already proven that he can beat him. Therefore, they will argue, there is no need to panic or risk dividing the party over a replacement for Biden just because of some disappointing poll numbers more than a year before the presidential election.

LISTING BIDEN’S POLITICAL LIABILITIES

But a Wall Street Journal editorial is challenging the logic of that argument in light of what they say are “Biden’s obvious political liabilities:

  • His age and decline. The press has tried to cover for Mr. Biden, but voters trust their own eyes. Some 73% of registered voters in the latest Wall Street Journal poll say Mr. Biden is too old to run for President…
  • Vice President Kamala Harris. Mr. Biden chose her as his running mate in 2020 to meet his party’s identity politics demands. But it has backfired as she has shown little capacity to be Commander in Chief and is often embarrassing in interviews…
  • The economy. The economy has rebounded this year, and third-quarter growth has been strong, but a slowdown is expected in the months ahead. Despite falling inflation, real incomes are still a long way from recovering from the price increases of the last 30 months…
  • The spreading migrant mess. Has there ever been a bigger self-inflicted policy wound than the Biden Administration’s refusal to deter and stop the migrant flood at the U.S.-Mexico border? Mr. Biden refuses to challenge his progressive base on asylum law, and the damage has spread far and wide…
  • Hunter Biden and the family business. House Republicans have already exposed enough details to confirm the President’s son’s use of the Biden name — “the brand,” as business partner Devon Archer put it — to enrich the family. The press can say there’s no evidence that Joe Biden received a check, but Democrats don’t know what remains to be uncovered. The danger for Democrats is that the Biden family influence-peddling will end up neutralizing Mr. Trump’s indictments as a liability. That’s what he did to Hillary Clinton in 2016.”

THE LIBERAL MEDIA IS STILL COVERING FOR BIDEN

The liberal media outlets are still providing cover for Joe Biden and his family. However, following multiple disclosures of hard evidence, the White House has been forced to retract the president’s repeated claims that he had no knowledge of his son Hunter’s influence-peddling schemes with foreign business partners. Nevertheless, the Washington Post misleadingly reported again last week that President Biden “has denied any involvement in his son’s affairs, and no evidence has emerged proving otherwise.”

Meanwhile, Glenn Kessler, the fact-checker at the Washington Post, was forced to revise a previous story which supported the false claim by the Biden campaign denying that Joe Biden attended an April 2015 dinner at Café Milano, a swanky Washington DC-area restaurant, with Vadym Pozharsky, one of the executives of Ukraine’s corrupt Burisma energy company. Pozharsky later sent Hunter Biden, who was being paid handsomely at the time to sit on Burisma’s board, an email which was found on his abandoned laptop, thanking him for the “opportunity to meet your father and spend some time together.”

The New York Times was also forced to admit that Joe Biden lied to the American people when he claimed in a 2020 presidential debate that his family members had never received money from China. The Times also belatedly confirmed that the documents found on Hunter’s abandoned laptop were not Russian disinformation, as the newspaper had claimed when the New York Post first broke the story.

EVIDENCE OF BIDEN CORRUPTION IS STILL ACCUMULATING

Two years ago, another former Hunter Biden business partner, Tony Bobulinski, publicly explained the implications of another email found on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, which proposed that a 10% stake in a deal Hunter was negotiating with a Chinese-owned energy company would be set aside for his father.

More recently, congressional Republicans forced the FBI to release confidential testimony from one of its trusted human sources, quoting a Burisma executive who claimed to have paid $5 million each in well-hidden bribes to Hunter Biden and his father, who was then the vice president.

Last week, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer sent a letter to the National Archives and Records Administration, requesting it to produce copies of the email traffic to then vice-president Biden on December 4, 2015, after a Burisma board of directors meeting in Dubai when Hunter Biden ‘called D.C.’ to discuss pressure that Burisma asked him to relieve.”

Three days later, Vice President Joe Biden flew to Ukraine to deliver an ultimatum to then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. He demanded the firing of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, who was then investigating Burisma’s founder Mykola Zlochevsky. Biden had threatened that if the prosecutor Shokin was not immediately fired, he would personally withhold $1 billion in promised U.S. loan guarantees for Ukraine’s government. Biden would boast three years later to a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations about how quickly Ukraine complied with his demand that Shokin be fired.

TRUMP KEEPING PACE WITH BIDEN IN THE POLLS

The chief rationale behind Biden’s bid for a second term has always been that he is the best-positioned Democrat to beat Trump again. But in the current CNN poll, the two are locked in a statistical tie (47%-46%), and Trump’s 1-point lead is within the poll’s margin of error. Another 5% of voters sampled said that they would choose one of the third-party candidates on the ballot. Unless those polling results change significantly in Biden’s favor during the coming months, Democrat confidence in an easy Biden win over Trump is likely to become subject to much more serious doubts.

The same CNN poll came up with roughly similar results in head-to-head match-ups between Biden and the other Republican candidates for the party’s presidential nomination.

Former Vice President Mike Pence and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott both defeated Biden by a 2-point margin, 46 percent to 44 percent; former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also beat Biden by 2 points, 44 percent to 42 percent; Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was tied with Biden, at 47 percent, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy was behind Biden by 1 point, 45 percent to 46 percent.

The only matchup in the poll that yielded a clear winner with a lead larger than the margin of error had former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley clearly beating Biden by a six-point margin, 39 percent to 43 percent. It was the second major recent boost for Haley’s candidacy, following her strong performance in the nationally televised August 23 Fox News debate.

However, Haley is still running in fourth place in the closely followed RealClearPolitics average of polling in the race for the GOP nomination, with 6 percent support. She leads former Vice President Mike Pence in fifth place with 5 percent support, and she is following Ramaswamy, who also did well in the debate, in third place with 7 percent support. DeSantis is still fading slowly in second place with 13.3% support, and Trump is maintaining the support of a majority of those polled, 53.6 percent, giving him a huge 40.3 percent lead over DeSantis and the rest of the field of GOP candidates, and confirming his front-runner status.

Haley and her supporters argue that she is the GOP candidate best positioned to defeat Biden in the general election both because of her relatively strong support among white college-educated voters and that because she is a woman of color, it will be much more difficult for Democrats to attack her on the basis of women’s issues and allegations of Republican racial discrimination.

NOT MUCH MOVEMENT IN THE RACE FOR THE GOP NOMINATION

Taken as a whole, the relative positions of the GOP candidates have not changed much since the August 23 debate, with the next five candidates following Trump and DeSantis still closely bunched with support in the single digits. The next opportunity for one of them to break out will be during the nationally televised September 27 debate hosted by the Fox Business channel at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

At this point, with a 40-point lead on his nearest rival, Trump continues to be the prohibitive favorite, and the race for the GOP presidential nomination remains his to lose.

The fact that there’s no clear leader in the current match-up between Trump and Biden is also of concern to Democrats because their candidates generally require a bigger margin in the popular vote to win the presidency because of the pro-Republican distribution of Electoral College votes. As an example, consider the fact that in the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote by 2 points but lost the presidency to Trump by a substantial 74-vote margin in the Electoral College, 306-232.

Nevertheless, Biden and the Democrats are still counting on the ability of mainstream news media outlets and social media platforms to minimize and discredit the impact of the disclosures which have challenged Joe Biden’s reputation for honesty and integrity, and to marginalize the appeal of the third-party candidates to potential Biden voters.

Unfortunately, in recent years, many mainstream media outlets have abandoned their former reputation for practicing objective journalism. Instead, they have embraced the “woke” liberal narrative on such diverse issues as gender redefinition, the revisionist anti-American history behind Critical Racial Theory, the harsh lockdown response to the Covid pandemic, and the gross exaggerations of the secular cult of climate change. This has badly undermined the credibility of these media outlets in the eyes of those who have doubts about those narratives, but dare not express their doubts publicly for fear of being ruthlessly censored and condemned.

MAINSTREAM MEDIA’S “TRUTH DECAY”

According to a 2019 report from the Rand think-tank, unbiased reporting has become exceedingly rare due to the new trend in today’s journalism it calls “truth decay.” The long and proud journalistic tradition of fact-based research and rigorous verification of news stories, first established in 1908 by Walter Williams, the author of the modern American journalist’s creed, has now been largely replaced by an irresistible pressure to slant and edit the news to conform with the accepted political, ideological and pseudo-scientific opinions being ruthlessly promoted by the liberal-dominated power structures in our society. As a result, the current journalistic establishment has no tolerance at all for reasoned dissent and debate, which is instantly labeled as malicious misinformation, to be suppressed before it can influence the general public.

This trend has been accelerated by a demographic transformation of the journalistic profession itself. The previous generation of working-class reporters with close ties to daily life in their local communities is being systematical eliminated and replaced by the liberal-indoctrinated graduates of university schools of journalism, such as Columbia.

According to a recent Pew Research Center study, more than half of the journalists surveyed (55%), said that they do not believe that every side always deserves equal coverage in the news. A 2014 survey found that just seven percent of U.S. reporters at that time identified themselves as Republicans. Today, most reporters seem to feel that is their duty to selectively edit and slant their reporting in order to advance their own liberal “social justice” agenda.

Rigid control of journalism and the suppression of all dissenting thought and speech, as well as the Orwellian redefinition of keywords and the meaning of common phrases in the English language, has long been a characteristic of authoritarian governments such as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

THE GOVERNMENT-CORPORATE CENSORSHIP PARTNERSHIP

In our times, an increasingly visible partnership has developed between the federal government and the wealthy, liberal white corporate owners of the mainstream media and social platforms. They have increasingly been working together to silence all criticism of the government policies that are imposing the progressive “woke” agenda on the American people, starting with the liberal indoctrination of young children in school without their parents’ permission.

In reaction to the liberal-dominated news and media outlets, a smaller but quite vocal conservative news and media establishment has also grown up. It has been led by conservative talk show hosts, such as the late Rush Limbaugh and Tucker Carlson, and websites with an equally unfortunate tendency to slant their news coverage to promote traditional conservative positions as well as some conspiracy theories that are based upon the most malevolent assumptions about the motivations of liberals.

As a result, there are precious few major news media outlets left, such as the Wall Street Journal and the RealClearPolitics website, which still invite open debate and free discussion of the issues of the day from both sides of the political and ideological divide which will help voters to make informed choices in the upcoming 2024 presidential election.

Right now, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are dead even in the national polls that survey likely voters, according to the RealClearPolitics average. Many pollsters believe that the tie is more of an indication of Biden’s relative weakness as a president running for re-election, rather than Trump’s popularity, which has been badly damaged by the constant and often unfair attacks on his character by the liberal mainstream media news outlets since he entered national politics eight years ago.

MOST VOTERS HAVE ALREADY MADE UP THEIR MINDS

Because almost all likely voters have made their choice between Biden and Trump, and have split evenly, the mood of the unlikely voter — who is intentionally screened out of most surveys by pollsters — may have an outsized impact on the 2024 election outcome. Unlikely voters represent a massive block of potential voters in the U.S., with estimates ranging from roughly 90 to 100 million citizens.

Five years ago, Suffolk University and USA Today partnered on a poll of unlikely voters exclusively and showed that by “getting out the vote,” the Democratic nominee could win the presidency in 2020. In the poll, a generic Democratic nominee was leading then-President Trump in a hypothetical general election matchup, by 35%-26%. The result: A Biden win.

A newly released update of that Suffolk University and USA Today national poll of unlikely voters, reverses the finding of the same poll taken five years ago. It finds that among unlikely voters who are not registered to vote, Trump now leads Biden in a hypothetical general election matchup by 28%-15%. That Trump lead expands to 32%-13% among those who are currently registered, but unlikely to vote.

Another change from the findings of that poll five years ago is that 68% of those registered but unlikely to vote now have a negative opinion of the mainstream news media, which is highly critical of Donald Trump, compared to the 55% of unlikely voters who said they distrusted the media in 2018.

UNLIKELY VOTERS DON’T LIKE BIDEN EITHER

The Suffolk University-USA Today pollsters also found a lack of widespread enthusiasm in support for Biden’s bid for his reelection. When respondents were asked the first word or phrase that came to mind when they heard the name Joe Biden, a total of 55% used a word or phrase with a negative connotation, such as “old” or “time to retire,” that he was “doing a poor job” or characterized him as a “puppet,” “corrupt,” or “confused.”

In addition, among registered but unlikely voters, the pollsters found that Biden’s approval rating was highly negative, with only 21% approving and 61% disapproving. The same group was asked if there was anyone that they would be certain to go to the polls for: 10% named Donald Trump, 2% mentioned Bernie Sanders, Michelle Obama, Robert F. Kennedy, Barack Obama, and Ron DeSantis, and just 1% named President Biden.

When the same unlikely voters were asked why they were registered but do not intend to vote next year, about 13% used the words “election is rigged/corruption/unfair/don’t like the voting process/mail-in ballots,” which are the same objections that Trump has been raising for the past five years,

DEMOCRATS FEAR THE THIRD-PARTY THREAT

Democrats are also worried that if next year’s election turns out to be as close as the current polls predict, then a third-party candidate such as the liberal black candidate, Cornel West, or West Virginia’s moderate Democrat Senator Joe Manchin, could act as a spoiler, siphoning off enough votes from Biden to cost him a victory in one of the battleground states, such as Georgia, Arizona or Wisconsin.

West is a leftist who is aligned with Senator Bernie Sanders and has a considerable grassroots and social media following. He is now running on the Green Party ticket. In the 2016 election, the Green Party candidate was Jill Stein who ran as a more liberal alternative to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and siphoned off enough votes to contribute to the surprise Trump victory in some states.

Manchin has been considering running as the presidential candidate for the new No Labels Party which primarily appeals to more moderate and conservative voters.

Ryan Clancy, the chief strategist for No Labels, said, “The CNN poll reinforces a truth we have known for a long time now at No Labels: most Americans do not want a rematch of the 2020 election,” Clancy told The Hill. “There’s growing enthusiasm for another choice who can bridge the partisan divide that is tearing our country apart.”

Democrats fear that most of the votes next November for third-party candidates like West and Manchin are likely to come at Biden’s expense, which could cost him the presidency. That is exactly what happened in the extremely close and hotly disputed 2020 presidential election in Florida. Liberal candidate Ralph Nader ran on the Green Party ticket, and attracted more than 97,000 votes, while Republican candidate George W. Bush defeated Democrat candidate Al Gore in Florida by an official margin of just 537 votes.

The poll released by CNN last week has put a fine point on the Democrats’ Biden problem. According to the survey, a whopping 67 percent of voters who identify as Democrats or lean left said that they’d prefer someone else as the nominee. Of those Democrats who said they would prefer another candidate, 82% admit they don’t have any specific Democrat alternative in mind. This is a reflection of the weakness of the Democrat bench of nationally known candidates, including Vice President Kamala Harris.

GROWING VOTER CONCERNS ABOUT BIDEN

The CNN poll paints a picture of a pessimistic and divided nation that is far from experiencing the return to normality that Biden had promised during the 2020 campaign. Nevertheless, the vast majority of Democrats believe that Biden will ultimately win the Democrat nomination, which will force the party to run next year on a ticket headed by a weak and unpopular president whom most voters find to be neither inspiring nor worthy of their confidence.

It also found that 58% of those polled believe that Biden’s policies have made economic conditions worse and only 33% describe him as someone they are proud to have as president.

In addition, 61% of those polled now think that Joe Biden was knowingly involved while he was vice president in the influence-peddling schemes of his son, Hunter Biden, but only 42% think that the elder Biden actually did something illegal.

The poll also suggests that voter concerns that at the age of 80, Biden is far less robust in mind and body than he was when he took office are overshadowing his achievements as president. Only 26% say he has the stamina and sharpness to serve effectively as commander-in-chief, and 76% of Americans say they fear that his age could limit his ability to serve another full term if he is reelected.

The only silver lining in the CNN poll is that 44% of those surveyed feel that any Democratic candidate would be a better choice than Trump.

Democrat strategists are also worried by recent polls showing the continued defection by black and Hispanic voters to the Republican party, particularly those who identify in the working class and no longer believe that today’s progressive-dominated Democrat Party is still devoted to supporting their best interests.

WHY LIBERAL DEMOCRAT CONVENTIONAL WISDOM MIGHT BE WRONG

Current polls are also suggesting that the conventional wisdom of liberal Democrats holding that Americans could never elect Trump again could be wrong. That narrative argues that Trump is now damaged political goods due to his multiple indictments which will prevent him from focusing on his campaign. In addition, the Democrats also believe that swing voters, suburbanites, and women will not vote for Trump, and that his obsessive focus on challenging the results of 2020 will distract him from running on a platform dedicated to providing Americans with hope for a better future.

However, so far Trump’s legal problems have only served to increase his support from the Republican grassroots voter base, and are also likely generating some measure of sympathy and support for him from independent voters who believe that he is the victim of an unfair, politically motivated double-standard of justice.

Trump’s ratings as a one-term president (52% approve, 44% disapprove) are close to 10-points higher than Biden’s current ratings (44% approve, 54% disapprove). That has prompted some Democrat political analysts to realize that Trump’s upset victory in 2016 could well be repeated in 2020.

The CNN poll also suggests that Biden could end up like Jimmy Carter, who was the last Democrat president to be defeated after a single term in office.

The polls also show that the voting public has rejected the Democrat claim that Bidenomics has been a great success. They are much more concerned about how the inflation and high interest rates that Biden’s policies caused have impacted their quality of life than the administration’s success in generating new jobs and keeping the economy growing.

While some indicators show an improving economy, life is still tough for many Americans. High interest rates introduced by the Federal Reserve to fight inflation have made it hard for many to buy a house, move, or purchase a new vehicle. Small businesses that rely on borrowing are seeing profit margins squeezed. Food prices still seem high and gasoline prices are going up again.

MOST VOTERS BELIEVE THAT TRUMP WAS A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN BIDEN

According to Democrat pollster Douglas Schoen, “Despite people’s doubts about Donald Trump personally — and the doubts are substantial — they believe that he was a better president, on balance, than Joe Biden has been. Plainly speaking, the emphasis that the Biden administration has put on selling ‘Bidenomics’ has fallen flat, and the administration’s ratings on economic management remain stuck below 40% and have even shown slight erosion in some national polls.”

Schoen also notes that if the 2024 election is a rematch of Trump vs. Biden it will be the first time that an American presidential election will involve “two candidates with favorability ratings below 40% and deep-seated skepticism about the nation’s future and its leadership.”

He suggests that Biden’s best shot to win the election will be to try to turn it into a referendum on the trauma and disruption that a second Trump term might bring.

However, elections involving a president running for a second term usually become a voter referendum on the performance of the incumbent during his first term. That means that in the 2024 election, Biden will not be judged by voters solely by comparison to Trump — as he was four years ago. Biden’s own presidential record will be a major factor this time. That means that if his job approval rating is still hovering around 40% on Election Day 2024, he will be in serious trouble.

Democrats at this point believe that if there’s an upset in the race for the GOP nomination, and a candidate other than Trump becomes the party’s presidential candidate, the prospects for Biden’s re-election could become even weaker.

Pollster Schoen also agrees with this analysis. He believes that “Ultimately, should Biden decide, for whatever reason, not to be a candidate, it would strengthen, not weaken, the Trump candidacy and increase the likelihood of his return to the Oval Office.”

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