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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Biden and Polls: Confidence? Denialism? Delusion?

Hans Nichols and Alex Thompson at Axios:
President Biden doesn't believe his bad poll numbers, and neither do many of his closest advisers, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The dismissiveness of the poor polling is sincere, not public spin, according to Democrats who have spoken privately with the president and his team.That bedrock belief has informed Biden's largely steady-as-she-goes campaign — even as many Democrats outside the White House are agitating for the campaign to change direction, given that Biden is polling well behind where he was four years ago.
The public polling simply doesn't reflect the president's support, they say.

Driving the news: In public and private, Biden has been telling anyone who will listen that he's gaining ground — and is probably up — on Donald Trump in their rematch from 2020."While the press doesn't write about it, the momentum is clearly in our favor, with the polls moving towards us and away from Trump," Biden told donors during a West Coast swing last week.

A few days earlier, confronted with some of his bad poll numbers in a rare interview with CNN, Biden offered a more sweeping indictment of polling methodology."The polling data has been wrong all along. How many — you guys do a poll at CNN. How many folks you have to call to get one response?"

Zoom in: The latest polling in the six battleground states likely to decide the presidential race — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — doesn't paint a rosy picture for Biden.A new New York Times/Siena survey, which sampled more than 4,000 people across the swing states, had Trump winning five of them among registered voters.
A Bloomberg News poll last month similarly found Biden trailing Trump in six of seven swing states (they also polled North Carolina).

Reality check: Some national polls have shown Biden ahead or tied with Trump — and in several other polls the president is within the surveys' margins for error. That's given Democrats and Republicans alike ammunition to claim they have momentum.Biden likes to cite his numbers in a recent PBS/Marist poll, which show him ahead.

A  Substack called "Hopium Chronicles" focuses on survey data that reinforce optimism.