Biden Gains 4 Points In New Poll, We Are Better Off (again), Anderson Clayton Tonight at 7pm EST
Grateful for the cease fire, the return of hostages, the flow of aid - hopeful it continues
Friends, got a few things for you today, and a reminder that we gather tonight to talk North Carolina, the most important 2024 expansion opportunity in the battleground…..
Tonight, 7pm EST - NC Dem Party Chair Anderson Clayton Joins The Hopium Community - Come meet the dynamic new chair of the most important 2024 battleground expansion state. Register here, and learn more about Chair Clayton here. Video of our discussion will be posted on the site for those who can’t make it live. We have a great crowd coming tonight and hope you will join us. Excited for this one!
New Morning Consult Weekly Track Has Biden Gaining 4 Points, Up 43%-42% - In the first major poll taken since the cease fire/pause began, President Biden has picked up 4 points over the past week and now has a slight lead, 43%-42%. Trump led in this poll last week 44%-41%. We have a long way to go in this conflict, and in the election itself, but this is welcome news.
Note that Trump is outperforming Biden with Republicans and his 2020 vote and still trails, suggesting that of the two candidates Biden has more room for growth and expansion in the days ahead.
We Are Better Off, 11/28/23 Edition: In an excellent new and free to read MSNBC column, Republicans’ views on the economy are detached from reality, Paul Waldman does a very good job at reminding us that given the intense partisan divides over whether the economy is good, we cannot allow this measure to be seen as the arbiter of our understanding of how people feel about the economy. It’s a political construct, not something that can be said to capture people’s lived experience.
By most standard measures, the American economy is going gangbusters. GDP grew at a nearly 5% annualized pace in the third quarter, the best since late 2021. Unemployment sits at just 3.9%. Inflation, which had peaked at a 7.5% annual rate in January 2022, has fallen to 3.2%. Joe Biden can trumpet the fact that just under 14 million jobs have been created since he took office, a record for an American president. Over the comparable period in Donald Trump’s term — before the Covid-19 pandemic — fewer than 6 million jobs were created.
And people are certainly acting like the economy is good: Consumer spending is strong, and Americans are starting new businesses at the highest rates since the Census Bureau began tracking this data in 2006. Yet when pollsters ask people how they think the economy is doing, they don’t just express concern. They say the economy is terrible.
It’s hard to know whether Republicans actually believe this.
Every day, more ink is spilled exploring this “disconnect,” this “mystery,” this “puzzle.” Many of the factors analysts suggest as they try to explain are perfectly reasonable, and probably contribute to dim views of the economy. But most of the time, the most obvious and important explanation is overlooked: The polling data doesn’t show that Americans think the economy stinks so much as it shows that Republicans say it stinks.
The response to this kind of argument is usually that we should not question the inherent truth of Americans’ lived experiences. Bandy about your economic statistics all you want, you snooty elitist; what matters is what people really feel, and you won’t convince them things are great by denying what they’re telling you about their own lives. But there’s evidence to suggest that Americans have a rosier view of the economy the more personal their experience gets. As already noted, Americans aren’t shying away from spending or starting businesses — two things that are usually less common if people feel their economic situation is precarious. And a recent Bloomberg/Morning Consult poll of swing state voters, for example, found that while just 26% think the American economy is on the right track, that number nearly doubles — to 49% — when they’re asked about their city or town.
When you break poll results on the economy out by party identification, you see how eager Republicans are to say the economy is terrible. For instance, in the latest Economist/YouGov poll, a full 75% of Republicans said the economy is “getting worse,” an assertion that is false by almost every conceivable measure.
It isn’t hard to figure out why. The conservative media and the associated echo chamber is relentless in its insistence that with a Democrat in the White House, America is a land of unending misery and despair. And with the country as polarized as it is, even Republicans who don’t spend their evenings watching Fox News will be loath to say anything that might reflect well on Joe Biden. Telling a pollster “The economy is terrible!” isn’t much different than saying the same thing on X or Truth Social, a handy way to give Biden the finger if you’re so inclined.
That isn’t to say we should throw every poll about the economy in the trash. But it does mean that every report about Americans’ perceptions ought to include an extended discussion of how those perceptions are shaped by partisanship. It’s not the whole story, but you can’t tell the story without it.
Let me tease out something Paul references here. In that Economist/YouGov poll he cites, here is how the partisan breakout of the question of whether the economy is getting better or getting worse:
Dems Getting Better/Staying The Same 69% Getting Worse 23% 69%-23% (+46)
GOP Getting Worse/Staying The Same 25% Getting Worse 75% 25%-75% (-50)
Hard to conclude these two groups are living together in the same country…..and yes this kind of data certainly undermines all the “lived experience” assertions we hear about why people are so down.
A few more “we are better off” posts:
Bibi Is The Worst Leader Israel Has Ever Hard, Part A Million - From Ben Samuel’s new Ha’aretz column, Israel’s repulsive embrace of Elon Musk is a cynical betrayal of Jews, dead and alive:
Welcoming such a toxic mogul with open arms and taking him around sites of a massacre that has been belittled, demeaned and denied on his watch should be a stain on Netanyahu’s legacy……
Elon Musk received a hero’s welcome from Israel’s leaders on Monday. The same Elon Musk who recently told a far-right user on his X social media platform that he spoke “the actual truth” when the poster explained why he was “deeply disinterested” in Jewish concerns over spiking antisemitism.
Both Musk’s visit and the proverbial red carpet being laid out for the man who has overseen the proliferation of misinformation and disinformation regarding the October 7 attack – and actually at the site of the deadliest attack on Jews since the Holocaust – come at a time where many are finding it hard to check their cynicism.
The Israel visit comes just weeks after Musk, adopting rhetoric used by the far right’s most prominent figureheads, directly engaged and platformed the antisemitic conspiracy theory cited by Robert Bowers, the assailant behind the deadliest massacre of American Jews in U.S. history.
This is not the first time Benjamin Netanyahu has, for the sake of political expediency, plummeted to the depths of sycophancy regarding Musk. Visiting the United States in mid-September, at the height of the controversy surrounding his government’s plans to gut Israel’s judiciary, the prime minister visited Tesla HQ after failing to score a White House invitation. At the time, he defended Musk against allegations of antisemitism while implying that the entrepreneur was more powerful than the U.S. president.
Those comments came during Musk’s then-nadir on trafficking in antisemitic tropes, after he participated in and amplified an antisemitic social media campaign targeting the Anti-Defamation League.
Hamas infiltrated Israel’s borders under Netanyahu’s watch some three weeks after that fawning performance, massacring 1,200 men, women and children. Musk’s public rhetoric around the attack has hopscotched from urging Israel to commit performative kindness to granting Hamas a moral victory after saying he would install Starlink satellites in Gaza, leading the charge on some of the most bilious conspiracy theories – all while profiting from his failure to combat wildly false accounts of the Israel-Hamas war.
He has also attempted to beat back criticism of antisemitism by vowing to combat pro-Palestinian advocacy on his platform, threatening to suspend users posting phrases like “From the river to the sea…” and “decolonization” – as if banning certain expressions and combating only one side of the free speech debate nullifies his own culpability in antisemitism’s proliferation.
This backdrop makes his visit to October 7 massacre sites all the more repulsive. Israel’s leaders, yet again, have fashioned themselves as judge and jury on global antisemitism, at a time when Jews worldwide are being targeted at previously unimaginable rates.
Welcoming such a toxic mogul with open arms and taking him around sites of a massacre that has been belittled, demeaned and denied on his watch should be a stain on Netanyahu’s legacy – alongside the growing list of failures associated with the tragedies of the past eight weeks.
Be sure to catch my recent conversation with Israeli journalist Amir Tabon for more on how Israelis see Bibi after his historic failure to keep the country safe.
I remain deeply grateful for the cease fire, for the hostages coming home, for the aid to be flowing. Let us hope we can build on this promising moment in the days ahead.
Keep working hard all - Simon