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The Primary Takes Shape-- Biden, Bernie, Elizabeth Warren

So many new polls! And they all pretty much say the same two big things, neither of which, so far out from the primaries, let alone the 2020 election day, should be taken as a sure thing:

Any Democrat could beat Trump
Status Quo Joe will be the nominee

Before we look at the newest polling data, let's take a quick peak at the RealClearPolitics national polling averages (which already include the Fox poll numbers).

Status Quo Joe- 32.2%
Bernie- 15.8%
Elizabeth Warren- 11.2%
McKinsey Pete- 7.8%
Kamala- 6.6%
Beto- 3.6%
ooker- 2.4%
Klobuchar- 1.2%
Yang- 1.0%
Gillibrand- 0.6%
Castro- 0.6%
Tim Ryan- 0.6%
Michael Bennet- 0.6%
Tulsi- 0.4%
Jay Inslee- 0.4%
Delaney- 0.4%
Frackenlooper- 0.4%
de Blasio- 0.3%
Marianne Williamson- 0.2%
Eric Swalwell- 0.2%

Fox's numbers are national and CBS' are of the early battleground states. We'll look at Fox first but one more thing before we do-- the Señor Trumpanzee internal polling numbers, you know, the ones that Trumpanzee denied even existed after they started leaking out. Yesterday, writing for NBC News Chuck Todd, Kristen Welker and Ben Kamisar reported that the Señor Trumpanzee campaign fired the pollsters of the "nonexistent polls," polls that showed Bernie and Status Quo Joe kicked Trump's fat ass. Trump is flipping out because all their internal leaked polls show him trailing across swing states seen as essential to his path to re-election and in Democratic-leaning states where Republicans have looked to gain traction and also show him "underperforming in reliably red states that haven’t been competitive for decades in presidential elections."

This morning, the Washington Post reported that "Trumpworld is trying to wave a red flag in front of the president to warn him that his 2020 reelection battle is going to be a tougher fight than he’s willing to acknowledge. That’s why, people close to the campaign, said that unflattering internal poll numbers leaked about matchups with Joe Biden and other Democratic contenders in key states. Trump at first denied the internal numbers existed (his campaign manager Brad Parscale confirmed they did indeed exist, but were from March) and his campaign then took action to dismiss those suspected of revealing them." Meanwhile a UT poll released by the Texas Tribune and mind-blowing results for the GOP: "Half of the registered voters in Texas would vote to reelect President Trump, but half of them would not. Few of those voters were wishy-washy about it: 39% said they would 'definitely' vote to reelect Trump; 43% said they would 'definitely not' vote for him. The remaining 18% said they would 'probably' (11%) or 'probably not' (7%) vote to give Trump a second term." Among independents, the news was even worse-- 45% said "definitely not" and just 26& said "definitely." Joshua Blank, manager of polling and research for the Texas Politics Project said that "Overall, Texas independents tend to be more conservative than liberal and tend to look more like Republicans than like Democrats ... and things have gotten worse among independents."

So... shoot the messenger, always the first sign of an executive with the worst leadership skills imaginable. Trump is down double digits in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan. Without at least 2 of those states, there is no path to victory for Trump in 2020. On top of that, he's down against Biden in Iowa by 7 points, in North Carolina by 8 points, in Virginia by 17 points, in Ohio by 1 point, in Georgia by 6 points, in Minnesota by 14 points, and in Maine by 15 points. That's an end-of-the-world scenario for Trump, although... it could get worse. Trump is only ahead of Biden by 2 points in Texas. The last time a Democrat won there, it was Jimmy Carter against Jerry Ford in 1976. Trump's response after being questioned about why he is losing so badly was to deny, deny, deny, calling polls showing him losing as "fake polls" conjured up out of thin air by his political foes and claiming his campaign has "great internal polling... We are winning in every single state that we've polled. We're winning in Texas very big. We're winning in Ohio very big. We're winning in Florida very big." The only thing big in his polling are the lies he tells about it.

After Brad Parscale, his campaign manager, tried explaining the bad results in rationale terms (they're old, they're incomplete, they were done before Mueller cleared Trump...), he was forced by the White House to issue a typically absurdist Trumpist statement: "All news about the President’s polling is completely false. The President’s new polling is extraordinary and his numbers have never been better." If Shakespeare were to write a play based on the statement would it be a tragedy or a comedy. How about Arthur Miller? Sam Shepard? Stephen Sondheim? Rodgers and Hammerstein? Andrew Lloyd Webber?

I'll guess that regular readers of Fox.com went into shock yesterday when they opened to the headline: Fox News Poll: Democrats want a steady leader, Biden leads Trump by 10 points. It wasn't so much that "Democratic primary voters want someone who will unite Americans, provide steady leadership, and who has high ethical standards," as it was that "Democrats best President Trump in hypothetical matchups and keep his support at 41 percent or lower... Biden tops Trump by 10 points (49-39 percent) and Sanders is up by nine (49-40) -- both of these leads are outside the poll’s margin of error. Warren has a two-point edge over Trump (43-41), and Harris (42-41) and Buttigieg (41-40) are up by one (within the margin of error)."

But... it is Fox, so a few words of encouragement for the racists and fascists who get their news from Trump-TV:

The president’s current standing is actually better than where he stood at this point in the cycle four years ago. In June 2015, Democrat Hillary Clinton was ahead of Trump by 17 points.

"Trump's current position in the polls is far from ideal," says Shaw. "But he's definitely in the game. His base is on board and he'll have ample opportunity to frame the choice set moving forward while the Democrats battle for voter and media attention in the debates."

A 60 percent majority doesn’t think a politician with low moral standards can be a good leader, yet voters say they will place greater importance on supporting a candidate who shares their views (55 percent) than one who is highly ethical (40 percent).

...Some 70 percent of Democrats don’t believe a politician with low moral standards can be a good leader compared to just 48 percent of Republicans.

Democrats prioritize supporting a candidate who is highly ethical over one who shares their views on major issues by 6 points. It is more lopsided, in the opposite direction, for Republicans, as they put issues over ethics by 42 points.

Perhaps more important than people-polling at this point might be banister polling-- and only checks count, Shane Goldmacher reported for NY Times readers that Wall Street has placed its bets: Satus Quo Joe, Kamala and McKinsey Pete (who speaks their language of deception). "The behind-the-scenes competition for Wall Street money in the 2020 presidential race," he wrote, "is reaching a fevered peak this week as no less than nine Democrats are holding New York fund-raisers in a span of nine days, racing ahead of a June 30 filing deadline when they must disclose their latest financial hauls... Among those spreading the money around is Brad Karp, the chairman of the Paul, Weiss law firm and a top attorney for Wall Street institutions. He is hosting Mr. Biden for a reception at 9 a.m. on Tuesday; he is a co-host for a “lawyer’s lunch” for Ms. Harris that same day, according to invitations obtained by The New York Times. Mr. Karp, who donated to Ms. Gillibrand and Mr. Booker in the first quarter, did not respond to a request for comment. The momentum of big money in New York toward Mr. Biden, Mr. Buttigieg and Ms. Harris is mirrored in contributor circles nationally, according to donors and campaign advisers, as well as in poll results: The trio is usually among the top five candidates in early primary states and national surveys... Biden made explicit at a fund-raiser last Monday in Washington that he does not plan to demonize the financial industry like some rivals have, saying that 'Wall Street and significant bankers' can 'be positive influences in the country.' (As a senator for Delaware, Mr. Biden was regarded as an ally of financial institutions in the state, such as the credit card industry.)"

What Goldmacher couldn't say but our own Skip Kaltenheuser did: "Considering that the greatest threat to our democracy is the rapidly increasing wealth and commensurate political power of the finance sector, and the likelihood of it ushering in another economic debacle, it’s very easy to winnow the democratic party candidates for President. The chaff to be removed are those candidates, tin cups in hand, doing a kowtow to an approving Wall Street. All that primary voters need to know to make their first cut is who is in the pocket of the Big Money, and who isn’t. The short list of major players who will owe nothing to the finance sector is Sanders and Warren, both of whom terrify Wall Street. We want candidates who terrify Wall Street, not who are terrified by it."

CBS' polling was about early states, not about the even less useful national surveys.

Democrats across the early contests say their field is too big, so they're focused on a narrower list of options. They're hoping to find the person who can beat President Trump, which is their top criteria.

Democrats have different thoughts on what "electability" entails, on what swing voters will want, and there is some division over what the party's message ought to be. They are split on whether the party's message should emphasize returning the country to how it was before Mr. Trump (47%), or whether they should argue for an even more progressive agenda than they had under President Obama (53%.) This something-known-versus-something-new dynamic helps explain some of the candidate preferences across key states.

Former Vice President Joe Biden does extremely well with those preferring the return argument, and he is in much tighter competition with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in the group who want a more progressive argument. In fact, a slight majority of those who want a more progressive agenda are not considering Biden at all, and most of them are considering Warren.

Democrats are already assessing each candidates' chances against Mr. Trump and what specifically they believe it will take to win: they think their nominee ought to be a known national figure, not someone new to politics; someone who can motivate other stay-at-home Democrats to turn out.

When Democrats imagine what will appeal to America's swing voters next November, they believe the swing voters who'd consider gender would prefer a man more than a woman; that swing voters who'd consider race would prefer someone white more than someone of color; and those who would consider ideology would pick a moderate centrist more than a progressive.

Seventy-eight percent of Democrats say it's extremely important that a nominee must convince them of their ability to beat Mr. Trump to earn their primary vote. And when they assess the chances for candidates they like actually doing so, Biden stands out. Seventy-five percent of those considering Biden think he probably would beat Mr. Trump, a far higher number for Biden than among those considering other candidates.

Thirty-nine percent of those considering Warren say she'd probably win. More-- 50%-- would put her chances at "maybe"-- and 51% of those considering Sanders say he'd probably win.

But what exactly makes a candidate "electable"? Seventy-four percent say that starts with someone known in national politics, and 67% say that involves motivating their fellow Democrats who stayed home in 2016, even more so than trying to win over Trump voters.

Biden backers are a bit more likely than those supporting Warren or Sanders to say that a nominee needs to win over some 2016 Trump supporters.

The 2020 Democratic field is the most diverse in history, but we asked these Democrats what they believe swing and undecided voters would ultimately want in a candidate in terms of race, gender, age and ideology.

Many Democrats felt race or gender won't matter to others. But they think swing voters who do consider those factors would lean toward a white male, moderate candidate: a white candidate over a candidate of color by a by a six-to-one ratio; and that a man would be preferred by swing voters over a women by a four to one ratio, among those who'd care about gender.

Voters have some different reasons explaining their candidate picks. When voters in these states considering Biden are asked why, almost nine in 10 pick his time as vice president as a reason (86%), outranking his policy stances (57%), his time in the U.S. Senate (54%), and that he's familiar to them (49%).

In the survey, respondents were permitted to pick more than one reason. But voters considering Warren and Sanders are more likely to cite these candidates' policy stances as a reason why. A third of Democratic voters considering Warren say they are considering her because she is a woman (a similar percentage of those considering Kamala Harris say the same about her.)

Buttigieg stands out in that six in 10 of those considering him like his style of campaigning. Most also like his background before entering politics, and his policies.

Source: 
Down With Tyranny

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