Rasmussen tends to be one of the more Trump-friendly pollsters so when they deliver a warning shot the Administration, Republicans should pay attention. That is the case with a new poll released today that helped to explain why Trump’s attacks on Joe Biden are not taking gaining ground.
The new Rasmussen poll found that 44 percent of voters are likely to vote for President Trump while 51 percent say that they plan to vote against him. Remember that, at seven points down, this is one of the better polls for Trump. The Real Clear Politics average currently gives Biden an 8.7-point advantage with many polls showing the Democratic challenger with a double-digit lead. Trump has not led in a poll since February and there has not been a tie since April.
When the Biden votes are considered more closely, 63 percent said that there vote was more against Trump than for another candidate. Only 32 percent said that their vote was intended to be for the challenger. This is good news for Democrats and presents a challenge for Republicans.
While Joe Biden was the overwhelming choice of Democratic primary voters, polling shows that many voters have reservations about him. Last week, another Rasmussen poll found that 38 percent of voters think Biden has dementia. That includes 20 percent of Democrats.
Yet, the astounding truth is that a candidate who is widely believed to be suffering from dementia is holding an average nine-point lead over the incumbent president. The two polls can be explained by the intense dislike for President Trump from a majority of voters. Even Rasmussen’s Trump approval index shows the president 10 points underwater (which is better than the 14.8-point deficit in the Real Clear Politics average).
Team Biden seems to have made the right choice (or perhaps the pandemic made it for them) in keeping the Biden campaign as a low-key affair. If Joe Biden stays out of sight, he can’t make any (or at least as many) embarrassing gaffes.
Meanwhile, the Democrats just have to bide their time until November as Donald Trump destroys himself and the Republican Party on a daily basis. The Trump Administration faces three simultaneous crises in the pandemic, its associated economic problems, and the racial divide. The president is not handling any of these crises well.
Pew polling gives an edge to Biden on every issue except the economy. Even there, Trump has lost ground and now clings to a bare, two-point majority in the Real Clear Politics average.
The verdict is in: Voters don’t like Trump. Of course, that isn’t really news since he lost the popular vote in 2016 even as he won the election. The news flash is that the more voters see of Donald Trump, the less they seem to like him.
The best-case scenario would be if the Trump campaign could adopt the Democratic tactic of being neither seen nor heard. Unfortunately for the GOP, that is much more difficult to accomplish for a sitting president in a time of crisis than it is for his challenger. In any case, Donald Trump is a man who is as unable to stay out of the limelight as he is to change his behavior.
I wrote back in March, “The good news for Republicans is that the focus has been on Donald Trump. The bad news is that the focus has been on Donald Trump.” That has proven to be true. With the multiple crises keeping President Trump at the forefront of the news, voters are not liking what they see and are voting with their feet as they move to support Biden.
The problem is simple. The solution is not. What are Republicans to do with the most unpopular incumbent of the last half-century, a man who not only threatens to cost the party the White House but control of the Senate as well?
I could point out that the Republican convention has not formally anointed Trump as the party’s standard-bearer yet, but it wouldn’t do any good. Republicans had their chance to dump Trump back in January and didn’t take it. By November, they will probably wish they had.
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