Take A Deep Breath
The 2024 election is 14 months away ... stop worrying and touch grass instead.
I’m Michael A. Cohen, and this is Truth and Consequences: A no-holds-barred look at the absurdities, hypocrisies, and surreality. If you were sent this email or are a free subscriber and would like to become a paid subscriber, you can sign up here.
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President Joe Biden faces continued headwinds from broadly negative job ratings overall, widespread concerns about his age and decreased confidence among Democratic-aligned voters, according to a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS.
…. Views of Biden’s performance in office and on where the country stands are deeply negative in the new poll. His job approval rating stands at just 39%, and 58% say that his policies have made economic conditions in the US worse, up 8 points since last fall. Seventy percent say things in the country are going badly, a persistent negativity that has held for much of Biden’s time in office, and 51% say government should be doing more to solve the nation’s problems.
Perceptions of Biden personally are also broadly negative, with 58% saying they have an unfavorable impression of him. Fewer than half of Americans, 45%, say that Biden cares about people like them, with only 33% describing him as someone they’re proud to have as president. A smaller share of the public than ever now says that Biden inspires confidence (28%, down 7 percentage points from March) or that he has the stamina and sharpness to serve effectively as president (26%, down 6 points from March), with those declines driven largely by Democrats and independents.
Roughly three-quarters of Americans say they’re seriously concerned that Biden’s age might negatively affect his current level of physical and mental competence (73%), and his ability to serve out another full term if reelected (76%), with a smaller 68% majority seriously concerned about his ability to understand the next generation’s concerns (that stands at 72% among those younger than 65, but just 57% of those 65 or older feel the same).
There is no way to polish this turd: these are ugly numbers. However, none of this data changes my overall view of the race. Biden is not popular. But this has been clear for a while. It’s not news. But the more important takeaway is that WE ARE STILL MORE THAN 400 DAYS AWAY FROM THE 2024 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.
Calm the f**k down everyone.
I can’t make this point enough — polling 14 months out from a presidential election is seldom predictive. This is precisely why my piece this week tried to focus on the big picture issues that could influence the election next year. Most Americans are not paying attention to presidential politics. There are still campaigns to run. It’s simply too early to take polls seriously.
One other point that is worthy of note — courtesy of pollster Cornell Belcher.
This is a crucial point. The trajectory of the presidential race is more likely to benefit the president than Trump. Biden will likely consolidate Democratic support (particularly among younger and minority voters), receive a modest political boost from an improving economy, Americans will be reminded that Donald Trump is a lunatic, and we will all be reminded that negative partisanship (i.e., voting against the other party) plays a disproportionate role in American politics.
Along those lines, Trump will spend most of the Spring in courtrooms and might be a convicted felon by the November election. If a tied race is Trump’s ceiling (and I suspect it is), that’s probably good news for Biden. If the race is still tied a year from now and Biden’s approval numbers are in the high 30s, then Democrats should probably commence a low-level panic. But until then, it’s not worth losing sleep over.
Semafor’s Benjy Sarlin interviewed a bunch of Democratic pollsters who basically said the same thing.
What’s Going On
In my post earlier this week, I skipped the usual news roundup … so today’s is an extra long version.
Yesterday, I wrote a piece for MSNBC on why I remain a hopeful Detroit Lions fan, even after years of heartbreaking defeats. Then, last night, the Lions went on the road and beat the reigning Super Bowl champs, the Kansas City Chiefs. Maybe these aren’t the Same Old Lions.
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