By Dave Andrusko
Those of who were NRL News Today readers back in 2016 may recall that I wrote article after article after article on one theme: that Hillary Clinton was (and is) a deeply flawed candidate and to not believe what you read in the Major Media which confidently told everyone she would cruise to a victory over Donald Trump.
Coincidentally, in light of the never-ending barrage of hate masquerading as news stories bashing President Trump, I was going to refer today to a post I wrote a week out from the 2016 presidential election. But then I read a post at Hotair by Allahpundit which confirmed everything I believe about how the current crop of Democrats stacks up a year out from the 2020 elections.
Here’s the headline: “Major NYT poll of six battleground states: Trump leads Warren, within just a few points of Biden.”
I read his story and the NYTimes poll he was referring to, written by Nate Cohn, and you can hardly believe (or at least I can hardly believe) that 12 months out, President Trump is in far, far better shape than the nonsense you see peddled everywhere.
How that can be? For many reasons, but largely because of the same two fundamentals as was the case in 2016: the fact that we have an Electoral College, so we vote by state; and the weakness of his rivals.
Thus, as Allahpundit explained,
[N]ational polls, which reflect the popular vote, ultimately don’t matter, of course. If they did, we’d be in year three of the Clinton presidency. The NYT’s Upshot site [Nate Cohn] drilled down on the polling that does matter — swing states, where the balance of the electoral college will be decided. Result: Biden’s alleged 12-point lead is more like a two-point lead among likely voters in those states. And Warren’s alleged lead isn’t a lead at all.
[The 12-point lead refers to a poll released over the weekend by Fox News, but it could have been any number of national polls.]
But this does not come as a huge surprise to anyone who follows these things. However here are four tentative conclusions coming out of Cohn’s work, many of which are astonishing.
For example, first, Biden’s lone alleged advantage (besides being laughably labeled the “moderate” or “centrist” candidate) is that he supposedly has a greater appeal among white working class voters. than do Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders .
And as Cohn (through Allahpundit) found, that is true but only in the most inconsequential sense. Biden
does outperform Warren among that group here, but only slightly: He and Bernie Sanders trail Trump by 24 points among them whereas Warren trails by 26, exactly as Hillary did.
As Cohn observes
In contrast to recent national surveys, the Times/Siena polls find that the president’s lead among white, working-class voters nearly matches his decisive advantage from 2016. This group represents nearly half of registered voters in these states, and a majority in the Northern battlegrounds that decided the last election.
Second, what about Black and Latino voters? It’s even worse for the leading Democrats:
Meanwhile, Biden, Warren, and Sanders all fall short of Clinton’s advantage with black and Latino voters, with Warren more than 10 points behind Hillary’s pace in both groups. There’s no evidence in this poll that she’d be any stronger a candidate against Trump than Clinton was and some reason to believe that she’d be a weaker one. She even trails Trump in Iowa by the widest margin of any top-tier Democratic candidate (six points) even though she leads the Democratic primary there in other NYT polling.
Third—and the strongest evidence yet how Sen. Warren is scaring the bejeepers out of many people who are by no means conservative—is
There’s another interesting result buried in the second half of the story. A lot has been written about how progressives might balk at voting for another centrist-y establishmentarian dinosaur like Biden as nominee, but the NYT found that it goes both ways. There’s a group of centrist Biden supporters who’d prefer Joe over Trump but will take Trump — or a third-party candidate — over Warren if that’s the choice next fall. The party writ large may prefer any Democrat to Trump as president but voters at the margins in swing states do not. And that’s where the entire election will be decided. [My underlining.]
And fourth, having demonstrated that Warren is in big trouble in the swing states, Allahpundit keenly observes
Problem is, national polling ultimately doesn’t matter anymore in the primary than it does in the general election. Biden trails (narrowly) in most recent polls of Iowa and hasn’t led in a poll of New Hampshire since early September. If early-state voters decide to vote based on who gets them excited rather than who stands the best chance against Trump, the party may find itself saddled with Warren as nominee despite the evidence that she’s shaping up for another Clintonesque performance in the general election. [My underlining.]
Cohn offers some additional very interesting conclusions:
The Times/Siena results and other data suggest that the president’s advantage in the Electoral College relative to the nation as a whole remains intact or has even grown since 2016, raising the possibility that the Republicans could — for the third time in the past six elections — win the presidency while losing the popular vote. [My underlining.]
But (you can almost hear the “but”), what about the 2018 elections where Democrats fared well? Cohn observes
Democrats appear to have made little progress in reclaiming their traditional advantage in the Northern battleground states, despite their sweep there in the 2018 midterms. Respondents in these states said they voted for Democratic congressional candidates by an average of six points, all but identical to their actual winning margins.
Nearly two-thirds of the Trump voters who said they voted for Democratic congressional candidates in 2018 say that they’ll back the president against all three named opponents.
One other important point, something we’ve also written about a lot. President Trump is going to do better among African American and much better among Hispanics than he did in 2016. There is this almost throwaway line near the end of Cohn’s story which explains why Democrats are so worried about Warren:
Yet nonwhite Biden supporters are likelier than white Biden voters to say they would choose Mr. Trump over Ms. Warren.
The obvious—and needed—caveat. We’re a year away from an election and things can and will change. The most interesting development to look out for is this. Whether, at some point in time, the Media Mob concludes its 24/7 attack on President Trump has become counterproductive to its goal of defeating him in 2020 and begins to taper off.
Not predicting it, but wouldn’t it be fascinating if it did?
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