What the Polls Tell Us About the White House Race

 

The race for the Presidency is statistically too close to call, according to media, but former President Trump is clearly doing better than he did in either 2016 and 2020.  The media is not saying that second part out loud, but a check on the last two cycles shows that to be so.

RealClearPolitics shows Trump with 45.9% average support over nine current polls, compared to 45.0% average support for Biden.  Trump ranges from 41% to 51% support, while Biden ranges from 39% to 49% support.  That narrow lead, with an average Margin of Error of 2.7%, comports with the ‘too close to call’ description.

But looking at the same nine polls, in 2016 Trump averaged 39.1% support against Clinton’s 43.2% support, and in 2020 Trump averaged 42.0% support against Biden’s 48.4% support.  That is, in the last two Presidential elections Trump was trailing his opponent by an average greater than the Margin of Error, while he has consistently led Biden throughout this cycle.  What’s more, when Trump’s actual results in 2016 and 2020 versus the June polling of those years is considered, and that variance applied to this year’s polls, Trump would be projected to win 49.8% of the Popular Vote against 47.0% for Biden.   If that happens, Donald Trump would likely enjoy an Electoral Vote landslide.

The hope for Biden lies in the shadow, that part of the poll showing non-support for either candidate.  For the nine polls published in the RCP average, 9.1% of voters do not support either candidate, which is significantly more than the 0.9% range between the two candidates’ level of support, not to mention the 2.7% average MoE in the polls.

Ironically, this may also explain why the Biden camp does not seem all that interested in dropping Biden as the Democrats’ nominee.

All those people suggesting the Democrats absolutely will dump Biden may be forgetting why Biden was the nominee in the first place in 2020.  At the end of February in 2020, Joe Biden was pulling between 17 and 22 percent support among Democrats for the nomination.  Politico, for example, had Biden trailing Bernie Sanders by a dozen points at that time, yet it was Biden who claimed the nomination, despite his famous ‘campaign from the basement’ strategy.  If you want to know how that happened, consider the major ‘accomplishments’ for Biden’s term so far:

The ‘American Rescue Act of 2021’, a $1.9 Trillion handout to selected local governments;

The ‘Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’, a $1.2 Trillion plan which did not improve employment or actually do anything for roads, schools, bridges or anything else commonly considered infrastructure;

Appointed Kentanji Brown to the US Supreme Court, despite her inability to define simple words like ‘woman’;

The ‘Build Back Better Act’, a steaming pile of pork for democrat-run cities which – again – did nothing for regular Americans, at a cost of $2.2 Trillion (CBO);

Abandoned hundreds of American citizens and billions of dollars of important military equipment in Afghanistan in a mindless panic to flee the country;

 

And so far has spent well over $100 Billion in supporting Ukraine, with little to no accounting for how the money was spent.

The short version of all that is that Biden got to be President by agreeing to be a puppet for the DNC.  This matters, because the DNC is not going to just give up control of the White House.   Letting someone replace Joe Biden is only going to happen by the DNC making a deal which keeps them in control, especially since the person receiving the nomination would claim it without so much as a day of primary campaigning.

But that’s where things get sticky.   VP Harris would play along with that arrangement of course, and it’s easy to justify the switch – just have Joe drop out for ‘health’ reasons and Harris serves the summer as POTUS and the support of the Nation going into the fall … except of course that Harris has support as bad or worse than Joe Biden, and no one seriously imagines she has any campaign skills.

Frankly, while there are a number of Democrats with national name recognition, there really is no one that has broad national support at this time, much less someone who could win a major election while agreeing to play along with DNC control.  So as long as it looks like Biden has a chance, the Democrats are likely to stick with him as their best option.

The Democrats are likely also working up a script for a possible second Trump term.  Just as the Democrats whined and moaned after losing the 2016 election, and leveraged an artificial outrage into rallying their base for 2020 after winning control of Congress in 2018, they certainly would try to do the same in 2026/28 if they lose the White House this fall.  And Joe Biden could be counted on to play along in that effort, especially if he left office and camped out in a nursing home, as seems likely.   A different Democrat would be less likely to agree to that plan, if it required them to step down from national contention, as happened with Hillary Clinton.

From the viewpoint of controlling the government, the Democrats may well believe their best opportunity is backing Biden even as he demonstrates mid-to-late stage dementia.

 

 

Winners Wizbang Weekend Caption Contest™ Week of June 21, 2024
Wizbang Caption Contest™ Week of June 21, 2024