The latest head to head general election poll released by the Washington Post and ABC News shows that President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are in a statistical dead heat among registered voters, 47 percent to 49 percent respectively. However, those numbers are not the only ones that jump out from the poll.
USA Today is reporting that only 80 percent of Bernie Sanders supporters intend to vote for Biden in the fall. 15 percent of the Bernie bros will vote for Trump. Presumably, the other five percent will stay home or vote for a third-party candidate.
Most pollsters will tell you that polls of registered voters are not very predictive of the actual outcome. Who is likely to turn out, which is to say, likely voters, would constitute a poll that points to who is likely to win in November and by how much. The Washington Post/ABC News poll has some disquieting information for Team Biden, according to the Washington Examiner.
“It also showed that Biden’s supporters aren’t exactly crazy about him. Just 28% of Biden’s supporters are “very enthusiastic” about him as a candidate, whereas 46% are “somewhat enthusiastic,” the Washington Post reports. This compared to registered voters who support Trump, an astounding 55% of whom say they are “very enthusiastic” about him, with 32% saying they are “somewhat enthusiastic” about their candidate.”
In other words, Trump supporters are more likely to turn out for their guy than are Biden supporters. The Examiner suggests that the reason is that Biden people are supporting the former vice president because he is the “least bad” candidate. Bernie Sanders people should take note.
Hot Air puts it another way.
“That was always the risk with Biden, who generates a lot more nostalgia than enthusiasm. Biden didn’t win the nomination so much as having it handed to him by an intervention, assuming he wins it at all. He’s not leading some national political movement like Bernie Sanders is with progressives-cum-socialists. Democrats are settling for Biden as the most electable against Trump and the least dangerous to their down-ballot prospects.”
If the goal is to lose gracefully and not catastrophically (by running Bernie) Hot Air goes on to suggest that the gambit may be a failure. If enough Democrats stay home because of a lack of enthusiasm for Biden, the House majority comes into play and the Senate is more likely to remain in Republican hands.
Hot Air also looks at the crosstabs of the polls and finds that Trump is winning suburban voters and is really winning rural voters. The enthusiasm gap in both areas is pronounced as well. Biden does win urban voters by a two to one margin but does not do very well in enthusiasm even in traditional blue cities.
The regional numbers are also pronounced.
“Biden wins Northeast voters 59/38, but Trump wins very enthusiastic voters 21/14. In the West, Biden leads 55/40 but trails among high-enthusiasm voters there too, 12/16. The Midwest is a virtual tie (48/47 Biden), but Trump more than doubles Biden among high-enthusiasm voters 26/12.”
Trump has also seen a significant bump in his overall approval rating. The Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that he has a 48 percent approval rating and a 46 percent disapproval rating, the first net positive that he has enjoyed in this particular poll.
Most analysts suggest that the coronavirus pandemic has pretty much inhibited the ability of candidates to campaign. Biden has tried to Livestream a series of “shadow coronavirus” briefings that have turned out to be disastrous.
In the meantime, Trump has held the real briefings every day on TV, flanked by respected experts, conveying what the government is doing about the worst pandemic since the Spanish Flu.
Trump’s occasional jousting with members of the media during these conflabs, while they have caused some reporters to set their hair on fire on Twitter, has boosted his regard among his base. The -president is essentially a wartime leader against a foe that no one can see but kills without discrimination.
Neither the media nor the Democrats have ceased their opposition to the president and joined in the fight, unlike Republicans after Pearl Harbor. Americans have noticed this phenomenon and, most observers note, do not like it one bit.
The upshot is, with the rally around the president phenomenon, the revolt of the Bernie Bros, and the fact that Trump has a hardcore of supporters, it looks like, as Hot Air notes, the Democrats are in for another bad night in November.