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The Left Is Paralyzed by Biden Denial as Election Day Draws Near

It’s not the polls they should worry about, but the issues behind the responses.

You know things are bad when an ostensibly stern article in a leading progressive news outlet asserting that President Joe Biden is a “problem” for Democrats exhibits all the same levels of denial as the administration it attempts to skewer. Less than six months away from Election Day, the blue camp is fiddling as its November hopes burn.

“The Democrats Have a Joe Biden Problem,” reads the bold headline to Alex Shephard’s May 13 piece in The New Republic. “It might be time for a drastic change,” the subhead follows. Yet Shephard’s diagnosis of Democrat woes is designed more to defend or play down the very policies that have made Biden so deeply unpopular than to seriously ding the reeling face of the party.

Voters “really don’t like Biden,” Shephard concedes, citing a May 13 New York Times/Siena poll that found the president trailing presumed Republican opponent Donald Trump in key swing states. “They do not trust him. They think he is not fit to be president.” Shephard, however, dismisses all this as mere “perception.”

“There are legitimate reasons to gripe with some of the arguments for why Biden is so unpopular,” Shephard writes. “He has not been given credit for a strong economy and has taken unfair blame for post-Covid inflation that he and his administration have handled relatively well…. He has passed arguably the most progressive legislation since Lyndon Johnson’s presidency despite slim (and now nonexistent) congressional majorities – but few voters seem to care.”

With critics like this, who needs defenders?

If Shephard demonstrates the progressive capacity for rigorous self-assessment, it’s going to be a long and dreary summer for Democrats. It’s particularly telling that the author never once references immigration in his article.

‘On Three Top Issues, He’s in the Toilet’

Other Democrats are more honest.

“Let’s cut through the BS, on the three top issues – inflation, immigration and the war in Gaza — he’s in the toilet,” an anonymous ‘Democratic strategist’ said of Biden,” The Hill reported May 15. “[L]et me ask you this: Would you want to stand side by side with him?”

New banner Perpective 2Polls have shown that Americans identify immigration as the number one issue facing the nation today. Combine that with the new surveys showing Biden lagging in key battleground states, and the recipe for electoral disaster is ready for the kitchen.

How is Team Biden responding to this? By denying any of it is real.

“President Biden doesn’t believe his bad poll numbers, and neither do many of his closest advisers, according to people familiar with the matter,” big-box media news site Axios reported May 14. “The dismissiveness of the poor polling is sincere, not public spin, according to Democrats who have spoken privately with the president and his team,” Axios relates.

In fact, Biden is leaning on it while courting big-wheel campaign donors.

“While the press doesn’t want write about it, the momentum is clearly in our favor, with polls moving towards us and away from Trump,” Biden said at a reception for financial backers in Silicon Valley on May 10. It was an odd thing to say right before he proceeded to trash the reliability of polling altogether.

“But I, quite frankly, don’t think the polls mean anything today,” Biden exclaimed. “It’s awful hard to get a read of a poll….. My pollsters tell me that you have to contact an enormous number of people just to get a response. And there’s hardly… anything other than cell phones.”

Another Bad Omen for Biden

Whereas there is much truth in his words about the meaninglessness of polling overall, Biden and his fellow Democrats seem more determined to slough off the issues identified in these surveys as driving opposition against them. Biden went on to devote a substantial amount of his Palo Alto, California, address to excoriating Trump on immigration.

And then there is another significant issue that Democrats would dearly love to ignore in 2024. It was not mentioned by Shephard in The New Republic or by the Democrat staffer quoted by The Hill. Yet it reaches American voters literally where they live. And those pesky, unreliable polls see it as another advantage for Trump.

“[A] Philadelphia Inquirer/New York Times/Siena College poll… shows about half of Pennsylvania voters think crime is a major problem in the state and that the electorate favors Trump over President Joe Biden on the issue,” The Inquirer reported May 14. “When asked whether they trust Trump or Biden to do a better job on crime – regardless of for whom they might vote – 51% of respondents said Trump compared to 42% who said Biden,” the paper notes.

Democrats appear frozen in place on their very real Joe Biden problem. But how long can this last? Crime has dominated news headlines in major US cities during the summer months for several years now. The economy and immigration debacles are not going away.

“Some Democrats think the Biden team is in denial about the polling and sleepwalking into defeat,” Axios concluded. For the party at large, similar wishing away of the issues that Americans care most about is not likely to prove an effective wake-up call.

Read More From Joe Schaeffer

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