When it comes to presidential elections, it’s always the economy, stupid. It’s also something else, though: to get through the front door of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue without a pass, you’ve got to get a sufficient number of voters fired up enough to cast their ballots for you. It’s dollars and endorphins, then, one might say. Does Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden measure up to President Donald Trump in either category? An unbiased examination of the pre-Coronavirus economy and a comparison of the two men in front of T.V. cameras surely suggests that, no, he does not. Polling results appear to indicate the same.
For years, the establishment media and the entertainment industry, aided and abetted by a majority of professional athletes too cowardly to do anything but go along with the left’s narrative, have beaten and bullied conservatives into mainly keeping quiet about their real political opinions. Thus, polls have always produced results that might lead people to believe that American conservatives have become a minority. The truth, though, is that conservatives are more reluctant to engage with pollsters and perhaps even reluctant to reveal their preferences of both policies and candidates.
If conservatives were a minority, however, President Hillary Clinton would currently be stomping around the White House, throwing lamps at the first gentleman. She would be screaming at her attorney general to destroy all evidence of the Steele dossier, the FISA warrants, and any document or email that contained her name – assuming this had not already been done.
The point is, survey results never look good for Republicans. Trump is certainly no exception to the rule. So demonized is he that a lot of Americans can barely bring themselves to say his name aloud. It is little wonder, then, that Biden is leading in most of the polls. Dig a little deeper into certain data sets, though, and one begins to see a pattern that does not bode well for Blue Collar Joe, or Uncle Joe, or whatever it is he prefers to be thought of as these days.
Not Enthusiastic About Uncle Joe
There’s no getting away from the fact that Biden has, in recent podcasts and video interviews, appeared to be verging on catatonic. Watch his performances carefully enough, and one can almost detect the sheer effort he puts into looking alert and engaged. Sometimes, he doesn’t even manage that and drifts off, momentarily, as if he had forgotten both the question he was asked and the pre-prepared answer he thought he had memorized. When he speaks in public, which is almost unheard of, these days, he rambles. His audience, which usually carpools – in just the one vehicle – to get to his speech, looks mostly bored.
The survey data reflects this. The Pew Research Center – not exactly a bastion of pro-conservative studies – has published a lot of numbers that should concern Democrats. While Pew gives Biden a decent lead in a theoretical matchup if the election were held right now, only 33% of people who say they will vote for Biden consider it a vote for the Democrat. An overwhelming majority claim they would be voting not for Biden but against Trump. By contrast, 76% of Trump voters consider their ballot a vote for the president. 37% of voters think Trump is a good or great president, while only 28% believe Biden would be a good or great president.
A recent YouGov poll found that 68% of Trump supporters are enthusiastic about voting for the president in November, and another 26% are satisfied but not enthusiastic. Just 31% of Biden supporters are enthusiastic about voting for Joe. Another 49% are satisfied but not enthusiastic.
A recent CBS News/YouGov poll shows that enthusiasm among Trump supporters is higher than among Biden supporters in Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Texas, and Arizona.
Equally as important, though – and perhaps more important – is that, even after COVID-19 cratered the economy, 51% of voters are still very or somewhat confident that Trump will make sound economic decisions. Biden is not far behind at 48%, but, again, most polls tend to give an edge to Democrats, so the fact that Trump is still ahead in this area speaks volumes.
Throw into the mix two huge questions: how satisfied were Americans with the pre-Coronavirus economy and how confident were voters in the nation’s economic future? The answer, as we know, is that a majority of Americans were pleased with the way things were going. How many, then, will blame Trump for the economic downturn? How many people, who were happy with the economy before COVID-19, are going to blame Trump for what happened to America’s burgeoning prosperity? State and local officials – some of them Republicans, granted – were the ones who shut down businesses and told people to stay home. Trump didn’t do that, and he clearly did not want it to happen. Are most Americans not going to get that?
It would be a bizarre thing indeed if a majority of voters completely forgot how well the economy did for the first three years of the Trump presidency. Even stranger that they would disregard the effects of Coronavirus entirely – and the rush by mostly Democrat governors to shut everything down – and blame Trump for ruining the economy. The discerning voter is going to look only at who is more capable of rebuilding prosperity when the virus is under control.
An honest and dispassionate look at the economic question, then, would likely give the win to Trump. As for the issue of enthusiasm, it is very hard not to suspect that Uncle Joe has become much more like the Sleepy Joe the president likes to invoke. Biden has failed, at least thus far, to fire up the base. Once again, then, the president probably racks up a W in that column. Indeed, the Democrats might be so gung-ho about mail-in voting because they do not believe many people would actually bother to leave their homes and travel to a polling station to cast a vote for Biden. Too much effort for too little reward.
Read more from Graham J. Noble.