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As Trump Surges, Biden, His Campaign, and the Press Retreat Into a Bubble

Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2024
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by Walter Samuel
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44 Comments
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AMAC EXCLUSIVE

trump campaign

Want to know who is currently leading the race for president? Look at the behavior of the two campaigns. One is riding high, with enthusiastic crowds, solid polling numbers, and eager surrogates. The other is desperately explaining to the media why none of those things matter.

There is a saying in politics: “If you are explaining, you are losing.” Joe Biden’s campaign has a lot of explanations. It has next to zero answers for how to turn things around. Most likely, it can’t. Joe Biden doesn’t have a problem. He is the problem.

Let’s take a brief survey of the state of the race.

Donald Trump just held what is estimated to be the largest rally America has seen since the time of FDR. Somewhere between 80,000 and 100,000 supporters flooded into the town of Wildwood, New Jersey, to see the former President.

New Jersey voted for Joe Biden by 16 percent in 2020, 57 percent to 41 percent, and last went for a Republican candidate in 1988. There have been only two polls released of the state in 2024. Emerson College found Joe Biden ahead 46 percent to 39 percent at the end of March, while the Trafalgar Group released a poll almost simultaneous with Trump’s rally showing Trump ahead 43 percent to 38 percent.

It would be silly to believe that Donald Trump is suddenly going to win New Jersey based on one rally and one poll. After all, the campaign that holds the biggest rallies does not always win. The campaign that leads in the polls sometimes loses.

However, a campaign that is able to draw larger crowds, even in hostile territory, and which leads virtually all national polls and is ahead in key swing states, is much more likely to win than the campaign that is reduced to insisting that crowds do not matter and that polling six months out from an election is unimportant. That is precisely the situation in which the Biden campaign finds itself. And the problem is not confined to New Jersey. Joe Biden appears to uniformly be polling poorly everywhere, in everyone’s polls.

Biden is trailing in the Trump campaign’s polls, which, according to a briefing to donors, show Trump ahead by three points in Minnesota and Biden up three in Virginia. Biden is also collapsing in public polls, which show even worse numbers than the Trump campaign’s, with Biden up only one percent in a bipartisan poll of Virginia out last week. Lest the poll appear too Republican, the same sample also has Democrat Tim Kaine leading the senate race by 12 percent.

Biden is even losing in the Democratic Party’s own polls, or at least the few that we have. Earlier this month, Public Policy Polling found Trump leading Biden 57 percent to 34 percent in Nebraska, up from his 58 percent to 40 percent victory in 2020, and leading 46 percent to 43 percent in the state’s second congressional district, which Biden carried 52 percent to 46 percent in 2020. PPP conducted the poll for Dan Osborn, an independent challenging incumbent Republican Senator Deb Fischer with Democratic support, making this a de facto internal Democrat poll.

The New York Times’ latest poll of the key swing states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, conducted in association with Siena College, demonstrates just how hard it is to produce positive numbers for Joe Biden even when pollsters try to do so. They released two sets of numbers, both almost equally dire for Biden. The likely voter screen flipped a narrow Biden lead in Wisconsin among registered voters into a Trump lead among those likely to vote, and a lopsided Trump lead in Michigan, driven by non-white and young voters the NYT ruthlessly excluded from the likely voter sample, into a Biden lead of a single point. Reacting to the results, Jon Ralston, the dean of Nevada political journalists, declared that while he had doubts about the margin, the poll confirmed his belief that Biden is currently losing Nevada and losing it badly.

 

State

Registered Voters

Likely Voters

Arizona

49%-42% Trump

49%-43% Trump

Georgia

49%-39% Trump

50%-41% Trump

Michigan

49%-42% Trump

47%-46% Biden

Nevada

50%-38% Trump

51%-38% Trump

Pennsylvania

47%-44% Trump

48%-45% Trump

Wisconsin

47%-45% Biden

47%-46% Trump

 

The only polling that shows Biden in a strong position appears to exist purely in the mind of Joe Biden himself, who told donors last week, “the momentum is clearly in our favor, with the polls moving towards us and away from Trump.” Biden notably did not mention any of the polls to which he was referring – probably because they do not exist.

Biden’s campaign has been trying to spread the message that every poll with Trump doing well just so happens to be an outlier, with Geoff Garin, a Biden campaign pollster, telling The New York Times, “Drawing broad conclusions about the race based on results from one poll is a mistake.”

As has become habit in this administration, Garin was soon undercut by his boss, who reminded us that a Joe Biden gaffe is when the president accidentally tells the truth.

In an interview with CNN, Biden lashed out at polling in general. “The polling data has been wrong all along. How many — you guys do a poll at CNN. How many folks do you have to call to get one response?” he asked Erin Burnett.

In other words, Biden suggested all polling was wrong, and the clear implication was that it was wrong because it did not show him what he wanted to see. He spoke not like a man who had access to a better mirror at home, but like a man who had smashed his own mirror and had declared a vendetta against mirrors for daring to show reality as it was.

This level of denial would be newsworthy in any public figure, and especially for a political candidate. After all, it is bad news for any campaign when your principal is incapable of listening to information that contradicts his or her preconceived notions. It is a potential calamity when that man is the President of the United States.

Joe Biden, to quote Jon Lovitz’s Michael Dukakis on Saturday Night Live, cannot understand how he could be losing to this guy. Rather than try to understand, Biden has chosen to conclude that he is not in fact losing.

Biden is nearly 82 years old and in clearly deteriorating health, both mentally and physically. He can be forgiven for not wishing to reckon with disturbing truths, even if it makes his decision to run for president again reckless, and the willingness of those around him to indulge it a betrayal of their duty both to Biden and the country.

A president who cannot bear to look at his own campaign’s polling numbers without bursting into rage against the entire practice is not someone able to calmly analyze the latest intelligence on Hamas, or assessments on the state of Ukraine’s military. A man who cannot bear to look at his own political standing in a mirror cannot properly assess the Chinese threat to Taiwan.

In failing both their candidate and their country, Biden’s campaign team has no excuse. What for Joe Biden is intellectual exhaustion is for them mere laziness. Rather than try to change the polling, they continue to insist that at some point in the next six months voters will suddenly wake up and realize Biden is running against Donald Trump – a revelation which would hardly be news to the 100,000 who traveled to hear Trump speak in New Jersey.

The result is a contrast. The Trump campaign, while clearly seized with a new optimism, is still playing defensively. Locking down the swing states and expanding the map into Minnesota, New Jersey, and Virginia, with the New Jersey play in some ways a result of the lawfare waged against the candidate. The Trump campaign is not trusting all the data to be correct, but it doesn’t need it to be correct to win.

The Biden campaign, by contrast, is betting that almost all of the data is wrong. That is not where you want to be in politics.

Walter Samuel is the pseudonym of a prolific international affairs writer and academic. He has worked in Washington as well as in London and Asia, and holds a Doctorate in International History.

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Gil
Gil
3 days ago

They didn’t explain last time either and Biden, who never had enough votes to secure the nomination (3 times), won with overwhelming numbers that succeeded the number of registered voters. I wonder how that happened. Trump supporters were sure then as well, with Biden staying out of sight and getting zero turnouts at his speaking/rally engagements while Trump’s appearances/rallies had recording breaking numbers. So, I say “don’t count your chickens before they hatch” because I believe anything anymore from this corrupt administration and democratic party. It can win again, not legitimately but effectively because nothing is done to rectify the matter. There are very wealthy people behind this that hate America and I am greatly concerned that should they win again, we will lose our country entirely. In four years, we have seen drastic change and not for the good. Four more and we are sunk.

Stephen V.
Stephen V.
3 days ago

All these polls do is let the democrats know how many “newly discovered” votes they need to manufacture beforehand.

Allen B
Allen B
3 days ago

When asked about polling, Biden’s response ” depends…”, When asked about arms for Israel, his response “depends…”. When asked about securing the border, his response “depends…” When asked by Jill after the press conference what he needs now, his response “Depends!”

Rick
Rick
3 days ago

If the Democrats are going to cheat, then it is true, polls don’t matter. The only thing that matters is the vote count. And a reminder, And in 2020, Hillary made it very clear to Biden . . . she told him not to accept defeat at any cost . . . in other words . . . wait until the fix was in.

Joe
Joe
3 days ago

“The campaign that holds the biggest rallies doesn’t necessarily win.” This is spot on, when we look back at 2020 when Trump had thousands going to his rallies and bozo Biden either campaigned from his basement (“If you don’t know whether to vote for Trump or Biden, then you ain’t black”) or in public forums with several circles 6 feet apart for attendees to sit in. Masks were mandatory. This strongly suggests that the election was stolen.

GTPatriot
GTPatriot
2 days ago

Forever burned on my brain is that we had this exact same choice in 2020
and picked Biden. I have no faith that this electorate will make the correct
choice in 2024. We have all the facts and reasons we need to elect Trump but
that means nothing We are foolish enough to assume we have a sensible electorate.
Why do we think that ?

Allen B
Allen B
3 days ago

“Can’t we just skip the debates and return to campaign from the basement ? That strategy worked last time.”

uncleferd
uncleferd
3 days ago

Very good article, and it shows some of “President” Biden’s shallowness. He should be put in brightly-colored prison garb, with ankle bracelets attached, and be forced to do manual cleanup labor.

Craig in Houston
Craig in Houston
2 days ago

Public Policy Polling found Trump … leading 46 percent to 43 percent in the state’s second congressional district. This is so important and under-recognized. Dems may well steal MI, WI and PA. In this case Omaha will choose out next President.

Thomas
Thomas
2 days ago

Joey Sniff and his Democrat cabal exemplify the problem our country has faced these past six decades at least.

doug
doug
2 days ago

Emerson College?!!!! LOL!!!! A leftist cesspool…you can’t believe the pathological liars on the left.

Reacher
Reacher
2 days ago

Corn Pop and a few of the kids that Joe loved for jumping on his lap were seen at a Trump rally…just say’n.

John Shipway
John Shipway
2 days ago

We need to face facts. Regardless of which candidate garners the most legitimate votes, Biden or whoever the Dems trot out to replace the brain dead, demonic pedo with, will end up taking the oath of office in January and may God help you and anyone you know should you think you can use your First Amendment rights to complain AGAIN about the rigged outcome.
We are not living in any semblance of a democracy any more. The nation is gone and its people enslaved.

Vietvet6769
Vietvet6769
3 days ago

The problem policies set Obama and executed by Biden old age personalities

Vietvet6769
Vietvet6769
3 days ago

As time creeps closer there will more attack Trump make walk away from debate! More fire storm of deception on the part O Biden

Jeri
Jeri
3 days ago

I vote we pop the bubble

Melinda
Melinda
3 days ago

Polls are not reliable. After all, they ask different people each time, and the questions may be phrased differently.

JMC
JMC
1 day ago

brings to mind the massive rallies for Bolsonaro in Brazil before Da Silva took power.

Elise
Elise
2 days ago

It IS a Biden problem, and the DEMs/DNC know it; but they don’t seem to want to or seem to be able to fix that — the easiest way would be to replace Biden/Harris; BUT, they are afraid of dumping Harris, and they aren’t too sure about Gavin and they are afraid of RFK, Jr.

David Millikan
David Millikan
2 days ago

Excellent article. Even as the RNC Convention is coming up the Chicken Secret Service won’t protect the Convention by letting protestors be practically at the door which they are intentionally pushing for violence and then be Cowards about it and try to blame Republicans for their inept to change the protesters line farther back to avoid any problems. The Secret Service is CLUCKING since they are playing politics instead of doing their job.

Dawn
Dawn
3 days ago

Yeah know, as a caregiver, it’s really interesting how the common sense adults in the room, believe it’s beneficial to continually attack a man that obviously is in the midst of the descent of alzheimer’s over all our national and international crisises as if he actually has the cognitive capability to be answerable for these issues. It would be more productive and responsible to go after those in the administration (etc.) that are making the decisions he can’t possibly be making, who are actually propping him up, are negligent and guilty of senior abuse.

John K
John K
2 days ago

I’m a fan of hard work and responsibility and doing things the right way.

To the American public, thanks for nothing for nominating terrible candidates.

Biden, wrong on most issues, not a good person, not all there, terrible for the country and a poor leader.

Trump, an election denier, in the dirty gambling business, not a good person, can’t stay married and many allegations against him for inappropriately touching women.

The only option is libertarian. To the two party’s, stop nominating garbage candidates.

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