Polling unreliable, WashPo says, as Trump neck-and-neck with Biden

 August 3, 2023

A new Washington Post analysis of next year's presidential election shows former President Donald Trump even with President Joe Biden, but argues it's too early for polling to be accurate and predicts trouble ahead for Trump because of his legal woes.

Philip Bump chronicled the unusual circumstances of Trump's indictments actually boosting his support, while Biden has reaped the consequences of spending way more than is reasonable and nearly throwing us into a recession, then holding us over the edge of one for the last year.

He then cites a new New York Times/Siena College poll that showed Trump and Biden about even in the general election, which bodes well for Trump and badly for Biden. Typically, the Republican candidate is always behind this early in the race, unless it is an incumbent, and sometimes even then.

Bump's analysis claims that most voters today are partisans, so each side is supporting that party's candidate with very little dissension. While that analysis might be true, it is particularly true 16 months before an election, when most voters are not even paying much attention to the election unless they are hard partisans.

Will Trump run out of cash?

The trend is why elections are increasingly decided by a small group of independents, and why pollsters pay so much attention to independents as the election gets closer.

Bump seems to think that Trump will run into a serious cash crunch as he seeks to defend himself against three, and probably four indictments while still running his campaign.

As evidence, Bump points to a much smaller spike in contributions to Trump's campaign after the second indictment, just when he will need all the money he can get.

Maybe he is right, but did he forget that Trump is a billionaire. Somehow, I don't think money is going to be a problem for him.

Biden too old

If that's all Bump's got, it's not very impressive. When he deals with the polling that shows most people think Biden is too old to be president for a second term, then he might be getting somewhere.

If Democrats were smart, they would take Biden out of the 2024 race now and replace him with someone else (not Kamala Harris or RFK Jr), but they won't do it because they don't have anyone they consider strong enough and don't want Harris to call them racist for leaving her out.

If Republicans were smart, they would tell Trump he's too damaged to be president again and throw all their support behind DeSantis, but they won't do it because the people seem to want Trump and the party is afraid of what will happen if they tell the truth about him.

If the two worst candidates end up running for president again, the parties deserve what they get--which might be a third-party surge like has never been seen before.

Third party?

In a Quinnipiac poll released in July that hasn't gotten much attention, 47% of voters in both parties said they would consider voting for a third-party candidate.

If even half of them end up doing so, both Biden and Trump are in a world of trouble.

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