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Westlake Legal Group > Quinnipiac

Hoo boy: New national poll shows Harris sliding further after second Dem debate

Westlake Legal Group kh-2 Hoo boy: New national poll shows Harris sliding further after second Dem debate warren Voters The Blog Quinnipiac poll kamala harris democrats debate black biden Bernie Sanders

It’s the second poll in five days to show her losing ground after the debate, a fate no other candidate has suffered. Virtually everyone else is right around where they were before the debate happened (with one notable exception, which we’ll get to). Only Harris has taken a hit.

Was it because of the exchange with Tulsi Gabbard over her criminal justice record in California? My new hot-take theory is that Gabbard is working deep undercover for the Trump campaign, on a mission to terminate Harris’s candidacy with extreme prejudice. If she’s successful, Secretary of Defense in Trump’s second term.

I base that on absolutely no evidence, I should stress, except for the fact that we live in a reality-show simulation now and that would be a simply awesome second-term plot twist. It’s crazy, therefore it’s probably true.

Anyway, it’s still Grandpa Joe’s race to lose, notes Quinnipiac. And unlike a month ago, it’s not Harris to whom he’s most likely to lose it.

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Biden: Steady. Bernie: Steady. Beto: Steady. Buttigieg (not pictured): Steady at five percent. Booker: Steady, unfortunately for him despite his best efforts to beat Biden up at the debates. It’s only Officer Harris who’s lost ground, with nearly half of her support drifting away. She also lost ground in last week’s Morning Consult poll, another survey that showed the rest of the field basically frozen in place. No one seems to have suffered from their performance at the second debate except for the senator from California.

The big difference between this poll and Morning Consult’s numbers is the notable exception I mentioned up top: Elizabeth Warren seems to have picked up Harris’s wayward supporters and now clearly occupies second place in the field. She pulls 40 percent of “very liberal” voters in this poll compared to just 20 percent for her progressive rival, socialist Bernie Sanders. She’s far ahead of Harris among women Democrats, pulling 24 percent to earn second place to Biden. She was also the easy winner in this survey when people were asked who did the best job at the recent debates, pulling 28 percent compared to just 15 for Biden, the next highest candidate. She now leads the entire field among college-educated Dems with 28 percent of that vote; by comparison, Biden leads her handily among Dems without a college degree, 38/26. “Gonna be hearing a lot of wine track/beer track punditry if this holds up,” said Ross Douthat about that divergence.

Back to Harris, though. On July 9, fresh off the first debate, she was in second place in the RCP poll of polls at 15 percent, narrowly ahead of Sanders and Warren. A month later she’s in fourth at 9.3 percent and trending downwards while Sanders and Warren are each in the mid-teens. (Combine Sanders’s and Warren’s totals and they’d be a hair ahead of Biden, a warning sign to Joe that he’s benefiting from an early split field here.) Why is Harris sliding? Pretty simple, really, per Quinnipiac. Note black voters:

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Harris and Cory Booker are complete nonfactors among black Dems, pulling a combined one percent of that vote. That’s a devastating result given that each of their strategies hinges on wooing black voters from Biden, particularly in South Carolina. Not only did their attacks on him at the second debate not help them with that but Harris appears to have lost ground after making some inroads with black Dems in polling after the first debate. The lesson seems unmistakable: Attacking Biden for Obama’s policies at the debate backfired, inadvertently reminding Dems of a politician they love. I bet we won’t hear another word from Harris or Booker anytime soon about their issues with Obama-era policies. Only Biden’s pre-O Senate record will be targeted from now on.

The other key to Biden’s lead comes from the numbers when Dems are asked who’s most likely to beat Trump. No contest:

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Democratic voters are even more likely now to say that they value electability in a nominee over agreement with them on the issues, rising from 45 percent in March to 50 percent now. So long as Biden looks like he’ll give Trump the toughest time, he’ll get the benefit of the doubt from swing voters.

As for Gabbard and America’s sweetheart, Marianne Williamson, they’re nowhere here despite their standout debate performances. Gabbard is at one percent and Williamson is an asterisk. They didn’t even do well on the question of who performed best at the debates, with Gabbard pulling three percent and Williamson two. Democratic voters seem pretty bottom-line about this race: Just win. Muttering about “dark psychic forces” is fun but doesn’t get them closer to the end zone of ousting Trump.

Exit question via Nate Cohn: Should billionaire impeachment fanatic Tom Steyer be included in these national polls? He’s been spending money on advertising in early states and, er, he’s right on Harris’s heels for entry into the top tier.

The post Hoo boy: New national poll shows Harris sliding further after second Dem debate appeared first on Hot Air.

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Quinnipiac: 51% believe Trump is racist

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They neglected to ask the key follow-up question: “If you answered yes, are you considering voting for him anyway?”

Another good one would have been, “Can someone be racist if they don’t use racial slurs?”

Lots of interesting splits here, and of course independents are always notable, but the gender divide may be the most interesting.

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White men are -20 on the question. White women are +9. The AP spent some time in suburban neighborhoods this past weekend interviewing women there about Trump’s recent outbursts at figure like Elijah Cummings and the Squad. On the one hand, man-on-the-street interviews touching on race would seem especially prone to social desirability bias, with participants keenly aware that they’re expected to give a particular answer in order to show their own sensitivity. On the other hand, the Quinnipiac numbers are scientific and they are what they are. A majority of white women see racial bias in Trump and they’re a key bloc in the suburban districts that helped Democrats to a new House majority next fall. Whether Trump’s wars with the Squad, Cummings, Al Sharpton, and other minority pols are winners or losers for him electorally may depend on how white women stomach them, but it’s not going well so far if you believe the AP:

In more than three dozen interviews by The Associated Press with women in critical suburbs, nearly all expressed dismay — or worse — at Trump’s racially polarizing insults and what was often described as unpresidential treatment of people. Even some who gave Trump credit for the economy or backed his crackdown on immigration acknowledged they were troubled or uncomfortable lining up behind the president…

“It was mainly when he got into office when my opinion started changing,” said [Emily] West, 26. “Just the way he treats people.”

“I did not think it was going to be as bad as it is — definitely narcissism and sexism, but I did not think it was going to be as bad as it is,” said Kathy Barnes while shopping in the Denver suburb of conservative-leaning Lone Tree. “I am just ashamed to be an American right now.”…

“I don’t think I should say those words in front of my daughter,” [Yael Telgheder] said, her 3-year-old next to her. “To be honest, there are certain things that — he’s a businessman — so I understand the reasons behind them. But all of the disrespect and lies and stuff like that, it’s just too much for me.”

“Trump fatigue” is a real thing, I’m sure. Trump fatigue specifically in the context of him picking fights with minority pols might be a real thing, if not now then eventually. Trump fatigue that’s so intense that people are willing to overlook steady economic growth and roll the dice on a left-wing Democrat is … less of a thing, I’m guessing.

In fact, Quinnipiac also asked voters about impeachment for its new poll. Between the Mueller hearing and the war with the Squad and Cummings, you might expect the majority of Americans who think Trump is racist to be newly eager to oust him. Not so:

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That doesn’t mean they want to reelect him, but nothing he’s done thus far is a firing offense to a solid 60 percent of Americans. As for whether the fight he’s picked with Cummings is off-the-cuff or strategic, sources tell the Times and WaPo that it’s the former. He’s not following some carefully scripted plan to bait minority pols in order to get working-class whites excited (yet?), he’s annoyed that Cummings’s committee issued subpoenas for texts and emails drafted sent to or from Jared Kushner and Ivanka. He was just lashing out.

Several White House officials expressed agreement during a staff meeting on Monday morning that the president’s attacks were a bad move, according to people informed about the discussion, but they were uncertain who could intervene with him — or if anyone would even dare try.

They privately scoffed at the idea that it was strategy rather than impulse, concluding that any political benefit he might derive by revving up his conservative, largely white base could be offset by alienating more moderate voters in the suburbs of states like Wisconsin and Michigan that he needs to win a second term.

Trump himself told reporters today that there’s no strategy, “zero strategy.” Watch below. And if you have time, skim through the rest of the Quinnipiac data to see how Americans responded to questions about conditions at immigrant detention facilities. Democratic attacks seem to be penetrating, with 51 percent of Americans saying conditions at the facilities are inhumane (just 35 percent disagree), 62 percent saying the feds aren’t doing enough to improve them, and 53 percent saying it’s better to release immigrants if facilities are overcrowded even if it means they won’t show up for their court dates versus 31 percent who say they should be held anyway. Americans prefer catch-and-release to what’s happening now.

The post Quinnipiac: 51% believe Trump is racist appeared first on Hot Air.

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Quinnipiac: Biden bounces back out to a big lead, up 12 points in a month, as Harris fades

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FiveThirtyEight noticed last week that, very quietly, Biden was recovering from the polling hit he took after the busing exchange with Kamala Harris at the last debate. Harris had zoomed up after that in some polls, even touching 20 percent in Quinnipiac’s June survey, but the trend didn’t continue. It was Biden who was once again on the rise while Harris dipped a bit.

Now here comes Quinnipiac’s July poll with even clearer evidence of the trend.

What happened?

Westlake Legal Group q1 Quinnipiac: Biden bounces back out to a big lead, up 12 points in a month, as Harris fades warren The Blog sanders rebound Quinnipiac poll harris democrats Black voters biden

Look back to the numbers from June. After a long slide in early July after the first debate, with Harris nearly passing him, Biden’s regained 12 points and now enjoys a bigger lead than he did before. And most of that 12-point surge has come at Harris’s expense. Check this out (“AA” is “African-American”):

A huge number of black voters migrated from Biden to Harris after the busing exchange … and now they appear to have come home to Joe. It’s not just happening in the Quinnipiac poll either. Over at RCP’s poll of polls, Biden has regained nearly all of the lead he enjoyed shortly before the first Democratic debate. In mid-June he stood at 32 percent with Bernie second at 15. Today Biden’s at 31.3 with Elizabeth Warren second at 14.8. Harris, the supposed breakout star of the last debate, is in fourth place at 11 percent — still several points higher than where she was before the busing attack on Biden but by no means threatening Uncle Joe for the lead.

Again, what happened?

Nate Silver speculated last week that the post-debate polls were affected by a burst of enthusiasm from Harris supporters. As that enthusiasm cooled a bit, the polling equilibrium was restored:

[O]ne contributing factor may be nonresponse bias — after a good debate for Harris and a poor one for Biden, for instance, Harris supporters may be more likely to respond to polls and Biden ones less so. I tend to think this phenomenon is a little overstated and that an easier answer is simply that a lot of voters don’t have deep convictions about the race until much later, and so bounce around among whichever candidates have gotten favorable press coverage recently.

The latter explanation about the lack of deep convictions makes more sense to me. Voters liked what they saw of Harris at the debate but they haven’t seen or heard much lately unless they’re so attuned to daily political news that they’re following the rollout of her Medicare for All plans, so they’re back in default mode. If I had to float a theory for why they’re reverting to Biden it’d be pure, clean, simple electability: Uncle Joe blows the field away when Dems are asked who stands the best chance of beating Trump, taking 51 percent of the vote when no one else does better than 10. Every day that Democratic voters are focused on the latest Trump outburst instead of the daily squabbling among Dem candidates is probably a good day for Biden inasmuch as Trump’s antics remind liberals that winning next fall is all that matters, which naturally leads them back to the safest, supposedly most electable choice.

The most frequently recurring narrative about the primary in political media this past week is Biden vowing to get his game face on for the upcoming debate. Literally every four hours or so, some media outlet regurgitates another “no more mister nice guy” piece about Uncle Joe. He’s been taking shots at Harris and Cory Booker too, partly to preview the battle to come on Wednesday night and partly to reassure nervous Biden fans who thought he looked a bit … frail at the first debate that he’s up to the challenge. I hope for his sake that that’s true. Because Philip Klein’s right that he’s staring down the barrel of a “Pawlenty moment” if he wimps out again when he’s face to face with Harris:

For those who need a reminder, Pawlenty was a governor of Minnesota who ran a failed bid for the 2012 Republican nomination. From the get-go, he was hindered by the perception that he was too boring and too much of a nice Midwesterner to survive the brutal world of presidential politics. Seeking to disabuse people of this perception, he used the run up to a summer 2011 debate as an opportunity to attack Romney’s Massachusetts healthcare law that provided the model for Obamacare. In interviews leading up to the debate, he deployed the phrase “Obamneycare” and talked about his sharp elbows from playing hockey. Everything was teed up for Pawlenty to swing at Romney’s biggest vulnerability. Yet when he was given the opportunity to challenge Romney on the debate stage, he totally bungled it. He didn’t merely wiff, he backed off his attack altogether. Pawlenty wouldn’t formally drop out of the race until August, but effectively, his chances were doomed once he blew his chance in the June debate.

Romney analogies usually aren’t good for Harris but she’ll take that one. Exit question: Will Biden wimp out? I think he’ll wimp out.

The post Quinnipiac: Biden bounces back out to a big lead, up 12 points in a month, as Harris fades appeared first on Hot Air.

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Q-poll: Six in ten Americans reject impeachment, majorities in almost all demos

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Consider this a measure of House Democrats’ impotence, and perhaps of Nancy Pelosi’s wisdom. Despite Democrats’ 24/7 hyperbole in demanding impeachment, the needle has not moved at all among voters, according to the latest poll from Quinnipiac. Six in ten American voters oppose impeachment, just as they have for the last six months, although they’re far from convinced that Robert Mueller exonerated Trump in any way.

Take a look at just how opposed voters are to impeachment across almost all demos, and how stable the overall response has been since December:

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The most amazing takeaway here is that the Mueller report doesn’t appear to have had any impact on the popular trajectory on impeachment. That would have likely changed if Mueller found a smoking gun on collusion, but even the whiff of smoke on obstruction hasn’t changed minds. Opposition to impeachment has ranged between 59% and 66% for six months in this series, and it doesn’t appear to be gaining any traction now despite the histrionics from the House Judiciary Committee and their subpoena fights.

Next, take a look at the demos. Only two support impeachment: Democrats and black voters, by roughly identical margins. Every other demo has a majority opposed to impeachment, and it’s not even a close call in any of them. The narrowest majority against impeachment is among Hispanics, where impeachment still fails by double digits, 39/53. Young voters, most likely to be progressive activists in the making, oppose it by 23 points. And considering that Democrats usually get around 90% of the African-American vote in elections, that 63/31 in their demo looks weaker than the numbers suggest on their own.

Small wonder that Nancy Pelosi wants to talk about anything else but impeachment. It’s an electoral loser and she knows it, even if the rest of her caucus hasn’t figured it out.

That’s not to say that the poll is chock full of good news for Trump. Fifty-seven percent think Trump committed crimes before he took office, and it’s an even 45/45 split on whether he committed crimes in office. Sixty-nine percent think the Department of Justice should be able to indict a sitting president, and 55% say Mueller didn’t clear Trump of anything.

In other words, it’s not as if Quinnipiac got a Trump-friendly sample as an anomaly. It’s that voters take undoing an election extremely seriously, and with another one on the way, they overwhelmingly oppose Congress from taking that action. Perhaps Jerrold Nadler should start listening to them.

The post Q-poll: Six in ten Americans reject impeachment, majorities in almost all demos appeared first on Hot Air.

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Trump Gets an Unlikely Assist On Why National Polls Are Useless Right Now

Westlake Legal Group Trump-620x362 Trump Gets an Unlikely Assist On Why National Polls Are Useless Right Now Volatile Polls sanders Quinnipiac Polling Politics meaningless Joe Biden Irrelevant Hillary Clinton harris Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump democrats Democrat primary 2020 Race 2016

Yesterday, a poll from Quinnipiac came out which showed Donald Trump getting trounced by essentially everyone in the 2020 Democratic field. Unsurprisingly, Joe Biden had the largest lead at 13 points.

There was also a story circulating that Trump got some bad internal polling news. It was then spun as some kind of scandal that he wouldn’t want his surugotes talking about it public, because politicians normally share internal polling or something. The rules are always changing, obviously.

Is all this really the devastating news the media is making it out to be? Donald Trump made his opinion be known.

No doubt, his response isn’t meant to be a scientific rebuttal for why current polling is wrong. He doesn’t need to do that though. As a snapshot in time to help strategic decisions, states polls may hold value. It’s acceptable to say “we’ve got some work to do there.” Trump’s campaign isn’t out there polling right now just for fun. But as a predictive measure, they are completely irrelevant and will remain so for a very long time.

To help with this point, the President got an unlikely assist from a normally staunch critic.

Speaking of Quinnipiac specifically, here’s a reminder of why it’s probably best to not even pay attention to what they are putting out right now.

And here’s Quinnipiac’s final polling of the last Presidential election, taken on the 11/3/16.

A number of Quinnipiac University polls released on Tuesday also put Clinton ahead in four key swing states. In Florida, Clinton has 46 percent to Trump’s 45 percent; in Ohio she leads by 46 percent to Trump’s 41 percent; and in Pennsylvania she leads Trump 48 percent to 43 percent. In North Carolina, Clinton has 47 percent support to Trump’s 44 percent.

If you were keeping score, Trump ended up winning every single one of those states.

If polling was this volatile less than a week out, what value is polling 17 months out? Again, as a predictive measure, it’s completely meaningless and even Nate Silver is admitting that. There is so much that’s going to happen between now and the end of the general election. Joe Biden is not going to remain in witness protection forever. No candidate can maintain a campaign by giving low-energy speeches every two weeks. Hillary tried that after her health issues escalated in 2016 and she fell flat down the stretch.

If it’s not Biden, then Trump will most likely be facing an admitted socialist with zero charisma, whether that be Warren or Sanders. The attack ads start to write themselves at that point, especially regarding the economy, where Trump maintains an approval rating over 50%. The race, regardless of who Trump is facing, will compress greatly. In the summer of 2015, Trump was trailing Clinton by 17 points and 24 points in two separate polls.

In short, the landscape today is nothing like what it will be in late 2020. That doesn’t mean you sit on your hands and just ignore polling and the Trump campaign isn’t doing that. We are seeing them make moves behind the scenes already. But the breathless coverage yesterday about the “bad news” for Trump was mostly wishful thinking.

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The post Trump Gets an Unlikely Assist On Why National Polls Are Useless Right Now appeared first on RedState.

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Quinnipiac: Biden leads Trump head to head by 13

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Is it time to worry? Why, er, no, says political scientist Brendan Nyhan, who pointed on Twitter today to this piece he wrote in 2014. Hypothetical match-ups this far out from Election Day turn out to have no predictive power. In fact, according to one study, match-ups polled just 300 days out from Election Day — a moment that won’t arrive for another six months — also have virtually no predictive power. You’re free to ignore this buzzworthy Quinnipiac survey along with every other “Trump vs. X” poll between now and January that I mine for cheap content.

Except in one respect. In an election cycle in which Democrats are paying unusual attention to electability, polling that indicates that Biden would fare best against Trump next year may become a self-fulfilling prophesy. If you’re a liberal who prefers Elizabeth Warren on the merits but whose first, second, and third priorities next year are getting Trump out of office, surveys that show Biden leading Trump by roughly twice the margin Warren leads him may be powerful reason to think hard about nominating Uncle Joe instead. I can’t imagine how Team Biden might come up with a more effective campaign ad than numbers from a respected pollster showing their guy blowing Trump out of the water.

Westlake Legal Group a-2 Quinnipiac: Biden leads Trump head to head by 13 warren Trump The Blog sanders Quinnipiac poll dermocratic biden 2020

Those numbers among independents are something else. Other Dems tested head-to-head with Trump also do well with indies but not like Biden does. (Overall, Bernie Sanders leads Trump by nine head to head while Kamala Harris leads him by eight and Elizabeth Warren by seven.) One interesting number not shown here suggests that there may be less to Biden’s lead than meets the eye, though: When Quinnipiac asked people if they’re paying a lot of attention to the campaign, some attention, or very little/none, it turned out that the more closely they’re watching the race, the tighter the margin between Biden and Trump got. Among those who are paying a lot of attention, it’s Biden by seven; among those who are paying some attention, Biden by 12; and among those paying little to none, Biden by 25(!). That trend repeated in Trump’s head-to-head polling against other Democrats like Sanders and Warren. Each one led Trump by around five points in the group that’s following the race closely and by blowout margins in the group that’s not following it at all. Presumably members of that latter group are less likely to vote next fall.

Before you dismiss Biden’s lead as fake news, note that the Times reports today that Trump has conducted his own polling and that didn’t look so hot either — to the point where POTUS told his deputies to just go ahead and lie about it if asked:

After being briefed on a devastating 17-state poll conducted by his campaign pollster, Tony Fabrizio, Mr. Trump told aides to deny that his internal polling showed him trailing Mr. Biden in many of the states he needs to win, even though he is also trailing in public polls from key states like Texas, Michigan and Pennsylvania. And when top-line details of the polling leaked, including numbers showing the president lagging in a cluster of critical Rust Belt states, Mr. Trump instructed aides to say publicly that other data showed him doing well…

Unlike nearly every recent modern president who sought re-election, Mr. Trump rarely if ever speaks to aides about what he hopes to accomplish with what would be a hard-won second term; his interest is entirely in the present, and mostly on the crisis of the moment.

It’s not just his own internal polling. A Fox News poll taken last month had Biden ahead by 11 nationally, 49/38. Part of the reason he’s dogging Biden so frequently in public is because he’s worried, which ironically may be boosting Biden’s chances among Democratic undecideds. If Biden’s the one whom Trump fears, some Dems might reason, then he’s whom we should nominate. Reading today’s Quinnipiac poll and mindful that Trump’s job approval is rarely above 42 percent for long, Josh Kraushaar goes so far as to call him an underdog for reelection. I’d say he’s no worse than 50/50, but he’s probably the most vulnerable incumbent since Bush 41 in 1992.

I mean, it’s not a good sign if he’s looking at Oregon as a possible pick-up.

Never mind that, though. The real action in the Quinnipiac poll is in the Democratic primary:

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Warren’s surge looks increasingly like it’s for real. This is the fourth straight Quinnipiac poll in which she’s gained ground, now tying Bernie among self-described very-liberals. It’s younger adults, men, and, weirdly, nonwhites who are keeping him a few points ahead of her but it’s hard to see why that would last. All of the intellectual energy on the left side of the campaign is coming from Warren. Voters know Sanders well from 2016 but many are still getting acquainted with her via her “I’ve got a plan” weekly policy rollout. If you’re a lefty who hasn’t yet committed to Bernie, what’s going to pull you into his camp instead of Warren’s? I think she’s going to overtake him, and once she does, some “soft” Berniebros might defect to her. A new poll of Massachusetts today shows Sanders at a measly six percent, in fact, one of the poorest showings of either of his presidential runs. Granted, that’s Warren’s home state, but she’s only at 10 percent there. The electorate simply seems cooler to him and his message this time around.

Exit question via Philip Klein: How much can we trust a poll that places the Republican nominee one point ahead of the Democrat among white voters, as Quinnipiac’s Trump/Biden match-up does? Not since 1996 has a Democrat come within single digits of winning the white vote, notes Klein. Trump and Romney each won it by around 20 points. If Biden truly is that competitive among whites, Trump’s goose is cooked. And if he isn’t — and he probably isn’t — then Quinnipiac’s poll isn’t very useful.

Update: We’re not really going to elect a man who’d plagiarize Michael Avenatti, are we?

The post Quinnipiac: Biden leads Trump head to head by 13 appeared first on Hot Air.

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Biden leads Trump by four in Quinnipiac poll of … Texas?

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I’m as skeptical as you are. Scarcely a year passes anymore without hype for some momentous Democratic upset in a statewide race and it never, ever happens — although Beto got too close for comfort against Ted Cruz last fall. It almost certainly won’t happen next year either. And if it does, Texas won’t matter. Trump losing the Lone Star state would only happen if he’s taking an unholy beating nationwide.

But before you dismiss this poll out of hand, note three things. One: This isn’t the first poll to show Texas competitive, or even the first to show Biden ahead. Emerson had him leading Trump 50/49 there a month ago.

Two: Trump’s job approval in Texas has been chronically lukewarm. In all five Quinnipiac polls of the state dating back to last April, he’s been no better than 47/47 there. Today Quinnipiac has him at 48/49. Morning Consult has him at 49/46. Texas just isn’t Trump country the way the deep south or heartland states like Wyoming are. In fact, although Biden’s the only Democrat who actually leads him head-to-head here, the president’s advantage against a variety of other Democrats tested is within the margin of error.

And three: Although Quinnipiac didn’t ask specifically about the new tariffs on Mexico, this poll was conducted mostly after Trump announced them. (The announcement was made on May 31, the survey was in the field from May 29-June 4.) Texas will likely suffer more economically than any other state if the tariffs take effect, which is why even Cruz is pounding the table about them. The numbers on Biden vs. Trump may be an early warning sign to POTUS not to mess with Texas.

Westlake Legal Group q Biden leads Trump by four in Quinnipiac poll of … Texas? Trump The Blog Texas Tariffs Quinnipiac o'rourke Mexico cruz biden beto

The difference between Biden and every other Democratic candidate: Independents. Among the various other Dems tested against Trump, the best anyone can do is a 13-point lead with indies. (That’s Bernie Sanders.) Biden, though, enjoys a 22-point lead and is the only candidate to win a clear majority of that group (55 percent). Is that due to sheer name recognition or on the merits? We’ll see.

The most interesting numbers from this poll don’t involve Trump, though. They’re from the Democratic primary. Note the “very liberal” column:

Westlake Legal Group q-1 Biden leads Trump by four in Quinnipiac poll of … Texas? Trump The Blog Texas Tariffs Quinnipiac o'rourke Mexico cruz biden beto

Warren is eating up Bernie’s base. Sanders still leads her thanks to “Democratic leaners,” who favor him 28/10 over her, but I wonder if that’s a function of name recognition or due to far-left progressives drifting into the “leaner” category due to their dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party. Also worth noting, though: Among Dems who say they’re paying “a lot” of attention to the primary, Warren leads Sanders 15/10. She’s catching on among the voters Bernie’s targeting. How much is that split going to end up helping Biden to the nomination?

The good news for Trumpers is that, per another poll today, there’s been a notable shift nationally in the share of Americans who think he’ll be reelected. Last March, just 40 percent thought he would be; now 54 percent do. That 54 percent isn’t promising to vote for him, but if they’re more able to see him winning now, with Russiagate in the rearview mirror, some of them are certainly more willing to consider voting for him. A hopeful sign, even if the Texas numbers are bad.

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Support for impeachment craters: Now at 29/66 in new Quinnipiac poll

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None of the data sites are tracking impeachment polls so there’s no handy list of numbers for me to compare this to. But 29 percent is the weakest support for impeachment I can recall seeing from any major pollster. Less than a week ago, ABC/WaPo found 37 percent in favor of impeachment — another bad number for Democrats and the Resistance, but one that’s nearly 10 points higher than what Quinnipiac’s seeing today.

I’ll say again here what I said in that post: For most of the public, collusion was clearly the whole ballgame as far as Mueller and Russiagate went. If you don’t have POTUS conniving with Putin to try to rig the election then you’ve got nothing. The obstruction material, although sleazy, just isn’t enough to warrant cutting Trump’s term short.

Support for impeachment had been holding steady in Quinnipiac’s surveys at 35 percent in December and March, a figure far too low to convince Democrats to go through with it but a solid base potentially on which they might build if Mueller came back with evidence that Trump had conspired with Russia. Now that the report is in, impeachment is beneath 30 percent.

Westlake Legal Group 1 Support for impeachment craters: Now at 29/66 in new Quinnipiac poll Trump The Blog russiagate Quinnipiac obstruction mueller impeachment impeach conspiracy collusion barr

Indies are at 70 percent opposition. The only subgroups in favor are Democrats and blacks and each is below 60 percent support. Even those numbers are more easily explained by residual default anti-Trumpism than some sharp new concerns about POTUS raised in the Mueller report. Worse yet for lefties, when Americans are asked whether Congress should at least continue to investigate Trump with an eye to potentially impeaching him, a majority is against that idea too — 47/51, with independents split at 45/53. Most people seem to be done with Russiagate.

And they don’t appear to be under any mistaken impressions about what Mueller found. A majority of 51/38 say correctly that Mueller did *not* clear Trump of all wrongdoing, the president’s claims to the contrary notwithstanding. When asked whether Trump tried to obstruct the investigation, the answer is a pretty solid yes:

Westlake Legal Group 2 Support for impeachment craters: Now at 29/66 in new Quinnipiac poll Trump The Blog russiagate Quinnipiac obstruction mueller impeachment impeach conspiracy collusion barr

Democrats have spent the past 48 hours insisting that Bill Barr gamed public opinion for Trump in his summary by declaring that POTUS didn’t obstruct justice. If that was his intent, he obviously did a poor job. The 54/42 split here is in line with the results to this same question in many previous polls, suggesting that Barr’s verdict didn’t do much to dissuade people who already suspected Trump of obstruction. (Clearly Mueller’s detailed findings on obstruction didn’t do much to persuade them either.) The ABC/WaPo poll this week that found support for impeachment at 37 percent also found a plurality of Americans saying that Trump obstructed justice, further proof that it’s not any belief about Trump’s alleged innocence on obstruction that’s driving opposition to impeaching him. On the contrary, in response to another question from Quinnipiac, 57 percent (including 60 percent of independents) said they believe he committed crimes *before* becoming president. People think he’s a shady character. Just not shady enough to justify tossing him out of office.

If there’s any remaining impulse by Pelosi and Schumer to pursue impeachment after all that, this should get rid of it:

Westlake Legal Group 3 Support for impeachment craters: Now at 29/66 in new Quinnipiac poll Trump The Blog russiagate Quinnipiac obstruction mueller impeachment impeach conspiracy collusion barr

It’s one thing to do something unpopular like impeaching Trump if you’re enacting popular policies otherwise. It’s another thing to do it if most people would consider it a form of dereliction of duty by shirking more important work, of which there’s already anecdotal evidence. There’s just no way reluctant congressional Democrats are going to pursue impeachment, at this point probably even if Bob Mueller were to come before them and state explicitly that he viewed his obstruction findings as an impeachment referral to Congress. That’s the only thing that could conceivably force their hand, but with the polling this bad, even that’s likely not enough to build majority support for getting rid of Trump.

Still, Pelosi has an angry Trump-hating base to appease. What do you do if your own supporters are hungry for impeachment but the polls are telling you that going after Trump would backfire politically? Well, you might … try impeaching one of his deputies instead.

Democrats are rightly concerned about the optics of impeaching Donald Trump. “There’s a valid strategic theory among Democrats that a presidential impeachment, particularly one that fails to convict in the Senate, aids the re-election of President Trump,” Steve Israel, the former chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told me. With just 39 percent of Americans in favor of impeaching Trump, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, the fear is that Democrats will appear overzealous—just as Republicans did in 1998 when impeaching Bill Clinton.

Impeaching the attorney general, on the other hand, could be a creative way for Democratic leadership to placate the progressive and activist wings of the party. Because Barr is a lower-value target, Democrats argue, impeaching him would come with fewer risks. Still, Israel cautioned, Democrats must tread carefully to avoid being labeled the “the impeachment party.” “What’s revealed at [a Barr] impeachment trial may actually increase the pressure to go higher,” he said. “For some, he could be the appetizer to the main course. Which is why impeachment as a political strategy instead of a constitutional imperative is a bad idea.”

They could scapegoat Barr for Mueller’s failure to deliver Trump on a silver platter. Barr’s earned a lot of brownie points on the right over the last few weeks but he’s not some core MAGA figure from 2016 whose impeachment might energize Republican voters. House Dems could impeach him for “lying” or for not releasing Mueller’s executive summaries when Mueller requested that he do so (Mueller’s testimony would be useful to this effort), trust that Barr would easily win a removal vote in the Senate, and expect that MAGA Nation won’t be too angry or motivated to vote by the process since, after all, Barr isn’t Trump and he won’t end up losing his job in the end. Think of it as a “token impeachment.” Wouldn’t surprise me if Democrats strongly consider it, especially if Mueller has something disparaging to say about Barr when he finally testifies.

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Did Bernie’s support for letting prisoners vote hurt his campaign?

Westlake Legal Group did-bernies-support-for-letting-prisoners-vote-hurt-his-campaign Did Bernie’s support for letting prisoners vote hurt his campaign? warren voting Tsarnaev The Blog Suffolk Quinnipiac Prisoners New Hampshire felons Boston bomber Bernie Sanders

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I mentioned in this post that I’d have more to say later about his surprising downturn in Quinnipiac’s new poll, slipping to third place behind Elizabeth Warren(!) at a meager 11 percent. You might dismiss that as an outlier, noting that Sanders was at 22 percent and ahead of Warren by double digits in Morning Consult’s new poll today. Or you might chalk it up to a Biden effect: Since Sanders and Biden are the most well-known candidates in the race, Biden’s entry might reasonably be expected to steal away some “soft” Bernie supporters. For now.

But there’s another possibility. This was tucked away at the end of Quinnipiac’s poll.

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A disaster, even though Quinnipiac phrased the question about as charitably as they could to Sanders’s position. They could have emphasized “felons,” “violent felons,” even the Boston bomber by name. Not only is the public against this at a two-to-one clip, even Democrats are evenly split. How many casual Democratic primary voters woke up last week to news that Bernie had gone to bat for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s right to vote from death row and concluded that Trump was right — “Crazy Bernie” actually was crazy, or at least close enough that it was time to rule him out? How many progressives, like Ro Khanna, who are squeamish about letting violent felons vote decided that Elizabeth Warren was plenty progressive enough for them instead? How many lefties who are okay in principle with Bernie’s position nonetheless were cowed by the backlash and concluded that, for all his virtues, critics were right that Sanders simply couldn’t win a general election?

After all, if he was willing to lob this political grenade in the heat of a primary, what other sorts of outre positions might he surprise the party with as their nominee next summer?

This isn’t the only recent poll showing strong opposition to letting prisoners vote. Business Insider reported yesterday that 75 percent of people it surveyed online were against the idea, although that poll wasn’t weighted by race or income so it might not be truly representative of public opinion. And it’d be easy to dismiss the Quinnipiac data as one bad survey for Bernie if it had been the only bad poll for him this week — but it isn’t. New from New Hampshire:

Sanders is now tied for second, again right around 11 percent, in a state which his home state borders and which he won easily over Hillary Clinton in 2016. Again, you might see a Biden effect there, preferring to blame Bernie’s slide on Biden’s entry into the race rather than on a backlash to Sanders’s answer on prisoners voting at last week’s CNN town hall. But Biden’s only polling at 20 percent here, not indicative of a campaign-launch bounce. If anything, that’s a bit below where he typically polls in early surveys of New Hampshire. Remember too that Buttigieg also held a town hall on CNN that night and made a point of disagreeing with Sanders about prisoners voting. Now he’s tied for second — although the 12 percent he’s pulling is in line with other pre-CNN surveys of the state. It could be, in other words, that all of this is a coincidence and that Sanders is suddenly struggling for “organic” reasons, like Buttigieg’s surge and growing attention on the left to Warren’s policy slate, rather this his answer on letting prisoners vote. New Hampshire is right next door to the only U.S. states that allow the practice, after all. (Vermont and Maine.)

But maybe it isn’t a coincidence. Maybe Sanders really did confirm suspicions that he’s a wild-eyed radical with his prisoner answer and is suffering as a result. If he did, it’d be half comic and half tragic inasmuch as this is a boutique issue that really has nothing to do with Bernie’s core message. If he’s going to choose a political hill to die on, you would think it’d be related to redistribution, passing Medicare for All, for instance, or taxing the very rich to fund new entitlements. Instead he decided to go with his gut on letting prisoners vote and, at best, it’s done nothing for him poll-wise. At worst, well, just look at the numbers above. Exit quotation:

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Yikes: Biden leads by 26 in new Quinnipiac poll

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What the hell? The commentariat had collectively decided that this week would be “Joe Biden Flop Sweat Week,” when he jumped into the race and his polls immediately began to crash when everyone was reminded that he’s a gaffe machine with all sorts of unabsolved sins against wokeness on his record.

Instead it’s turning into “Bernie Sanders Flop Sweat Week.”

In fact, I don’t know if the lead story from this Quinnipiac data is Biden’s big, bouncy lead or Bernie’s ominous fade into third place. Note the nonwhite column too, as that’s very much part of a trend and a not-so-secret secret to Biden’s success:

Westlake Legal Group q Yikes: Biden leads by 26 in new Quinnipiac poll The Blog socialism Quinnipiac poll Elizabeth Warren democrats biden Bernie Sanders 2020

A month ago it was Biden 29, Sanders 19, O’Rourke 12. Uncle Joe has picked up nine points while Sanders has shed eight — but I’m not so sure the latter’s loss is the former’s gain. There’s another big gainer and loser, respectively, here. That’d be Elizabeth Warren, who’s suddenly up eight points, and Beto O’Rourke, who’s down seven. It may be that Biden has siphoned off some of Beto’s support among mainstream Democrats while Warren, against all odds, is beginning to pull progressives away from Sanders. Bernie no longer leads among self-described “very liberal” Democrats, who are normally his bread and butter. He trails Warren among that group 26/19, with Kamala Harris right behind at 15 percent. This may be the single most deflating poll he’s experienced as a presidential candidate, either now or in 2016.

I’ll save my thoughts on Bernie’s problem for a separate post but it’s easy to see why Warren is moving up. Love her policies or hate them, she’s been dogged in branding herself the Big Ideas candidate of the primary so far. She’s rolling out major new policy proposals seemingly every week, the latest being her awful student-loan bailout scheme. My first inkling that Democratic voters were noticing was at the She The People event last week, where she was well received and came armed with specifics in response to policy questions (“I got a plan!”). Nothing’s going to tear hardcore Bernie cultists away from the socialist messiah but if you’re a progressive who’s not as devoted to him as the far left is, it’s understandable why you’d prefer Warren’s multifaceted wonkishness to Sanders’s charismatic populism. Even her student-loan idea is polling at 57/40 here (although that drops when payment mechanisms are mentioned). When Dems were asked by Quinnipiac who has the best policy ideas, Warren finished a narrow second to Biden, 23/19, and topped Bernie among the “very liberal” by 14 points. That one-two punch, with Biden swiping voters from his right flank and Warren now swiping some from his left, is a tough jam for Sanders.

But Warren has a long way to go to threaten Biden. Here’s the response to the question about who stands the best chance of beating Trump. Hoo boy:

Westlake Legal Group m-10 Yikes: Biden leads by 26 in new Quinnipiac poll The Blog socialism Quinnipiac poll Elizabeth Warren democrats biden Bernie Sanders 2020

That has to change, a lot, or Uncle Joe is unbeatable. Democrats aren’t going to gamble on 2020 by nominating someone whom a majority of the party believes is weaker against Trump than Biden is, no matter how many neon-light policy proposals they float. If I were Biden, I’d take Dan McLaughlin’s advice: “Biden’s obvious play now is to ignore the rest of the field and constantly bait Trump (who is incapable of refusing bait), which rallies Democrats around him and makes it hard for his rivals to get free airtime. Trump will be Biden’s human shield.” Right — the more Biden and Trump are engaged early, the more Trump’s attacks will “elevate” Uncle Joe and crowd out other contenders like Warren. Just the fact that Biden seems to be in Trump’s head may impress Democratic voters and influence how they view Biden’s electability. And swinging at Trump spares Biden from having to swing at Sanders or Warren, which is destined to alienate some progressives. Biden may proceed at this point as though he’s already the presumptive nominee and stick with that approach unless and until some other candidate threatens him to the point where he has to pay attention to them.

Just one question: Why would Trump want to elevate Biden? By all accounts, he views Uncle Joe as the biggest threat to him in the Rust Belt. If that’s so, why not starve Biden of attention? You’re doing him a favor by attacking him. Here’s NYT reporter Maggie Haberman noticing.

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