Biden's Soft Support Should Worry Dems Despite Polling Lead

It is no secret that former Vice President Joe Biden is winning the national polls by a comfortable margin. And nobody is denying that. However early polls do not always indicate the correct end result, and in fact they usually do not. Many people say things such as "this is not 2016" or "incumbents usually poll high if they are going to win." This is true to an extent, but Trump is Trump and we have never experienced many of the unprecedented events that have occurred during his presidency.

Make no mistake, there is a lot of panic that is happening down at the DNC as we speak. Even my horrible, turncoat "moderate" representative Elissa Slotkin does not believe that Biden is up by 8-9 points nationwide. My personal gut tells me he is up 4-5 right now (which can and probably will change), but even if true that is no guarantee he can actually pull off a win in the Electoral College. Plenty of this has to do with the fact that Biden's support is virtually unenthused.

One can look to primary turnout and say that Biden is potentially going to break Obama's 2012 record for turnout, and this is very true. However, primary turnout increases every cycle. Trump has over 17 million votes, placing him a couple hundred thousand votes behind Biden. If he is lucky, he will possibly hit 18 million as several states have not yet voted. This is more than double Bush's uncontested 2004 primary and nearly triple Obama's uncontested 2012 primary. Trump would probably have more than Biden's total had the RNC decided to not cancel primaries in states such as Nevada, Arizona, New York, South Carolina, Virginia, among others. In fact, he may have hit 20 million votes. This shows Trump's base is very energized to turn out in the primaries, even when there is no reason for them to.

Biden probably would not have as nearly as many votes as he currently has if it was not for the dropouts of many establishment candidates before Super Tuesday. As Bernie moved left on cultural issues and his platform was under scrutiny for four years by the right and the left, many people settled on "electability" for Biden. Yet, that is kind of a red herring as Biden seems to lack enthusiasm. Yes, many people hate Trump and will vote for Biden no matter what if they do. Yet, the share of voters who seethe with anger at Trump are down from 2016, and are not the majority of Americans. Even in the brutal 2018 midterms, the exit polls indicated that around or less than 40 percent of voters across many swing states "strongly disapproved" of Trump. This held true in many states with massive Democrat turnout.

In the latest Economist/YouGov poll (which largely oversampled dems compared to 2016), Trump has a 25% "strong favorable" rating. This is up 3% from 2016. He also has a 45% "strong unfavorable" rating. This is down 7% from 2016. Biden has just a 17% "strong favorable" rating. Hillary Clinton actually had a 25% "strong favorable" rating back in 2016. Biden's support base is weaker than Hillary's. I would not expect everyone in the "somewhat favorable" to stick with him or turn out for him. You need to give people something to vote for in order for them to go to the polls. Even so, his "somewhat favorable" is still only 26%, bringing his total favorable rating up to 43%. Trump sits at 41%, the difference being that there are more Republicans in the proportion of the "somewhat unfavorable" for Trump that are more likely to come home than there are for Biden in the Dem column for his.

Biden is less hated than Hillary Clinton, this is true. That does not mean he is a stronger candidate. This can be chalked up to the "Nickelback Effect." Just because you are the most hated individual does not mean you have a base strong enough to bring out the numbers (hence how the most hated band in history has had plenty of top 40 and number 1 singles). He is also less hated than Trump, by 5 points. But will this stay, and for how long? Biden has been in hiding for a while now. He cannot hide forever. Trump must debate him, and he can easily effectively make him stumble the same way Kamala Harris did in the first Democratic debate (which sent him spiraling down the polls for a while). Biden has shown little signs of raising his favorability. Trump has shown little signs as well, but Biden's floor is deeper. His net approval at the end of Obama's term was in the ballpark of +13. Now, it sits at -2, but would sit around -5 without outliers. His mental decline coupled with his adoption of plenty of far-left policies will ensure that he will never be "strongly favored" to win the presidency. At least not the way the polls are showing right now.


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