'Shocking' new poll that doesn't 'make sense' to MSNBC panelist shows independent voters think Trump is better for 'democracy' than Biden

 May 10, 2024

For the past eight years, an oft-repeated refrain from Democrats and media pundits has been that former President Donald Trump poses a unique and particularly dangerous threat to American democracy -- but that tired narrative appears to have lost traction.

A recent poll found that a majority of independent voters believe that it is President Joe Biden, and not Trump, who presents a bigger threat to American democracy -- a result so surprising that it left one MSNBC pundit admitting that she "can't make sense" of the numbers, according to the Daily Caller.

"Shocking" poll numbers that don't "make sense"

NPR and Marist teamed up to survey nearly 2,000 Americans in late April and asked whether a second term for either President Biden or former President Trump would serve to strengthen, weaken, or not make any difference to American-style democracy.

Overall, 30% said Biden would strengthen democracy and 46% said he would weaken it, while for Trump, 37% said he would strengthen it while 48% said he would weaken it.

Yet, among independent voters, just 24% said Biden would strengthen democracy while 53% said he would weaken democracy. In comparison, however, 40% of independents believe that Trump will strengthen democracy while just 42% think he will weaken it.

"I can’t make sense of that number"

Those poll results were unfathomable for MSNBC political analyst Susan Del Percio, according to Mediaite, when they were highlighted for a panel discussion by network host Ana Cabrera on Wednesday.

"I find it shocking, honestly. I can’t make sense of that number. I wish I could," Del Percio, an anti-Trump Republican strategist, said of the Marist poll's results for independent voters on the question of which of the two major party candidates would prove better or worse for democracy in a second term.

"I wish I could have some really great insight to it, but I don’t know if it’s an outlier or not, because the other numbers of independents are going in the right direction. So, that may be it," she continued and also suggested that a lack of TV coverage of Trump's ongoing criminal trial in New York may have something to do with the stunning result as well.

Independents breaking for Trump

It is unclear what "other numbers" for independents were headed in the "right direction" for Biden in that poll, as the Marist survey also revealed that, among that cohort of voters, 61% disapproved of Biden's job performance, 63% had an unfavorable opinion of him -- compared to 57% unfavorable for Trump -- and, if the election were held today, independents would break for Trump over Biden by a margin of 51-44%.

Interestingly enough, given Del Percio's suggestion that the Marist poll may be an "outlier," a not-too-dissimilar result was found in a recent ABC News/Ipsos poll that asked respondents who they trusted more between Biden and Trump to handle a variety of important issues, including "protecting democracy."

Despite all of the talk for years about how Trump is a threat to democracy while Biden is a champion of it, the pollsters revealed that Americans were evenly split at 38% as to which of the two was more trustworthy to protect democracy -- with 23% saying neither of them could be trusted on that issue.

Trump wins big on most important issue -- handling the economy

Of course, as is usually the case in most election cycles, it is concern about the economy that is the top issue, and in the ABC/Ipsos poll, 46% said they trusted Trump in that regard as compared to just 32% for Biden -- a massive 14-point difference.

The pollsters at Gallup discovered similar results as well when they asked Americans about who they had the most confidence in to serve as an effective steward of the economy, as 46% named Trump as the best equipped to handle things.

That beat out the 38% who named Biden, 39% who pointed to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, 38% who said congressional Democrats, and 36% who claimed congressional Republicans were up to the task.

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