July 9, 2020 | Opinion by Arick Wierson and Bradley Honan | Original Article
One need not listen hard these days to hear the sound of Democratic pollsters and pundits gleefully cheering that the end of President Donald Trump’s term in power is finally in sight — Joe Biden’s Inauguration Day on January 20th, 2021.
It seems Democrats are all too keen on taking a victory lap before they pass the checkered flag.
Americans usually don’t fire sitting presidents
Trump’s numbers are down by a lot less than one would expect given, well, everything
Let’s state the obvious: America has been turned upside down over the last few months. The country has been all but shut down during the Covid-19 outbreak, and ongoing efforts to combat racism are fundamentally changing America. Sure — Trump’s numbers have taken a hit — but the problem for Democrats is that they are not down as much as his abysmal performance deserves.
The latest Fox News poll shows Biden is leading Trump by 12 points, up from a lead of eight points back in May. Bottom line, the country is in tatters and Biden’s lead has grown by a paltry four points. No typo — Biden’s lead has increased by just four points as a surge of coronavirus is gripping large swaths of states that typically vote red.
How is Biden doing today among the White voters without a college degree in the swing states that Trump won in 2016? Biden’s support, according to The New York Times / Siena College Poll, has him rising by a single point with this group since October — that’s the extent of the momentum Biden has gotten by winning enough delegates to secure the Democratic nomination in reaction to Trump’s poor performance over the last four months. A single point!
How about non-White voters — many of whom are taking to the streets and demanding justice and equality? Biden, according to the New York Times/ Siena College poll, has made virtually no gains whatsoever — up only two points among Black voters from 74% in October 2019 to 76% in the most recent poll and up just one point among Hispanics, from 35% in October 2019 to 36% today.
In fact, according to an early June NPR / PBS / Marist Poll, 3 in 10 non-White strongly approve or approve of the job Trump is doing as president — a number that has only declined by a single point since mid-March. And the poll finds that 9% of Black voters are supporting Trump today — essentially the same level of support The Donald enjoyed in 2016.
And Biden’s margin with the critical emerging Latino segment of the population is not where it should be. He leads by 24 points compared to the 38 point margin Hillary Clinton won them by in 2016.
Summertime polls are not predictions of November results
Polls conducted over the summer can be unreflective of the general election’s outcome. Recall that in July 1988, then-Vice President George H. W. Bush was trailing Michael Dukakis by 17 points and went on to win the election by eight points that November.
In early September, President Harry Truman was down about 13 points against Thomas Dewey, a race Truman would go on to win.
And four years ago, polling in June 2016 showed Hillary Clinton ahead of Donald Trump by 12 points, a similar lead to what Biden enjoys today.
Strong economic marks for Trump
Biden is lackluster
Democratic pundits love to fill the airwaves with praise for Biden who has been running a campaign that is mostly about letting Trump be Trump and not getting in the way of things like his botched US Covid-19 response, refusal to wear a mask in public and his threats against those protesting systemic racism.
The other way to read that is that the Biden camp seems to have settled on the 2020 election being a referendum on Trump — Biden simply doesn’t need to promote or advocate for his agenda for change. The Lincoln Project — a coalition of Never Trump GOP consultants — is running a far more effective campaign to sway public opinion against Trump than the Biden camp at this point.
Biden isn’t a strong enough candidate to win by himself — he still needs a big assist from a flailing Donald Trump.