Discover more from Hopium Chronicles By Simon Rosenberg
Yes, The NYTimes Has Biden-Trump Tied. Many Other Polls Have Biden Ahead.
We've had a good summer, and they have Trump. Who would your rather be?
Yes, the NYT dropped a new national poll today showing the election even, 43-43. But a reminder that in that other large sample, independent polls conducted in July, Biden has opened up a small lead:
July Biden-Trump (via 538)
Morning Consult 44-41 (new this week, Biden gained a point)
YouGov/Economist 44-40 (Biden has been gaining this weekly track)
So outside the NYTimes, Biden is leading by an average of 4 points in recent independent polls. A late June high-quality NBC News poll had Biden up 4, and a new AARP poll of battleground House districts also has Biden up 4.
So, my guess is that Biden is ahead right now, by 2-3-4 points. But it is really early, and we have a long way to go in this race and a lot of work to do. Is it likely that Trump keeps taking on water, and degrades over time? Yes. Is it likely that once Biden turns his campaign on for real and starts talking to voters about how much better things are today his standing improves? Yes. So I am okay with these numbers for now? Yes. I am very comfortable with all the polling we’ve seen in July. As we head into 2024, I would much rather be us than them right now. Our path to victory is much clearer than theirs, something we discuss in my new political briefing released last week.
All of this is a reminder that over the next 15 months, we cannot allow a single poll to drive our understanding of the election. We simply cannot fall into bad habits again peeps. See this post which talks about how to approach and interpret polls this early in the cycle and over the course of the election. Always start by looking at the averages and trends, and aggressively discount or dismiss partisan polls.
In a new Ron Brownstein CNN article just published, I get to lay out some of the ideas that I offer in my Get to 55 memo - that this year cycle needs to be about expansion, growing our coalition, taking political real estate away from them, Get to 55:
Simon Rosenberg, the long-time Democratic strategist who was proven right as the most prominent public skeptic of the “red wave” theory in 2022, argues that Trump, in particular, is unlikely to match his 47% of the vote from 2020 if the GOP nominates him again. “We are starting at a place where it is far more likely in my mind that he gets to 45% than he gets to 49%,” Rosenberg said. “And if he gets to 45%, we have the opportunity to get up to 55%. The key for Democrats is we have to imagine growing and expanding our coalition for it to happen.”
Beyond the personal doubts about Trump among voters outside the GOP coalition, Democrats such as Rosenberg and Anzalone see several other factors that give Biden a chance to widen his winning margin from the last election. Perhaps the most important of those are the slowdown in inflation, continued strength of the job market, and signs of accelerating recovery in the stock market – all of which are already stirring some gains in consumer confidence. Democrats are encouraged as well by recent declines in the number of undocumented immigrants attempting to cross the Southern border and the crime rate in big cities – two issues on which polls show substantial disappointment in Biden’s performance.
Another change since 2020 is the broad public backlash, especially in Democratic-leaning and swing states, against the 2022 Supreme Court decision ending the constitutional right to abortion, which Trump has directly claimed credit for engineering through his nominations to the court. Finally, compared to 2020, the electorate in 2024 will likely include significantly more young people in Generation Z, a group that is preponderantly supporting Democrats, and fewer Whites without a college degree, now the GOP’s best group.
All of these factors, Rosenberg said, create “an opportunity” for Democrats to amass a bigger majority next year than most consider possible. But to get there, he argues, the party will need to think bigger, particularly in its efforts to mobilize younger voters aging into the electorate. “It’s a man on the moon kind of mindset,” Rosenberg said. “We have to want to go there to get there. We have to build a strategy to take away political real estate from the Republicans because they are giving us the opportunity to take it away from them.”
Do all this worry you a bit? It’s okay. Sign up for a shift of calls or texts in Ohio for the August 8th election. Channel that anxiety into action. The work we do this year makes it more likely we are going to have the election we want next year.
We having a good summer, and just need to keep working hard everybody - Simon