ROD THOMSON: Biden cannot win reelection

A painful reality is setting in for the Democratic establishment nationwide: Joe Biden cannot win reelection. As evidence builds almost daily from polls, policies, investigators and Biden’s own age dysfunction, it’s not just conservatives saying so. It’s a rapidly growing array of influential Democrats saying so.

And even the most divisive, shouty, ugly State of the Union address did little to change Americans’ minds, beyond assuaging the short-term anxiety of the Democratic base. It won’t last because it cannot because it isn’t as post-speech polls continue to show Biden drowning in minus-21 approval ratings and losing often outside the margin of error in battleground states.

But it’s the Democrats’ leading luminaries trying to pull the party’s head out of the ground.

Leftist Democrat Ezra Klein, one of the biggest Biden apologists, spent much of a New York Times column praising Biden as fictionally able to accomplish so much more than pundits expected. It’s jarringly worshipful from a pretty smart guy who thinks Biden is still definitely up to being president. But then he gets to the nut:

“We had to wait till this year — till now, really — to see Biden even begin to show what he’d be like on the campaign trail. And what I think we’re seeing is that he is not up for this. He is not the campaigner he was, even five years ago…The way he moves, the energy in his voice. The Democrats denying decline are only fooling themselves. But even given that, I was stunned when his team declined a Super Bowl interview. Biden is not up by 12 points. He can’t coast to victory here. He is losing. He is behind in most polls. He is behind, despite everything people already know about Donald Trump. He needs to make up ground. If he does not make up ground, Trump wins. The Super Bowl is one of the biggest audiences you will ever have. And you just skip it? You just say no?”

Yikes, Ezra. The only thing Democrats are triple crossing their fingers for is that the political lawfare against Trump will pay off and make the anti-Trump vote larger than the anti-Biden vote. Thing is, almost all of that potential reputational damage is already baked in. In fact, it is pretty hard to see what could happen to make the anti-Trump sentiments more severe than they are — and Trump is rising in the polls against Biden.

Progressive polling sage Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight is so concerned that Americans are seeing Biden’s rapid decline in real time that he said Biden should do four long-form interviews with mainstream (friendly) media outlets to prove to Americans he is up to the task:

“This really isn't too much to ask. These are the sorts of interviews that every other recent president has done…And the timing is urgent because he and his inner circle have to make sure that he's really up for a second term and that this is the best option for Democrats. If Biden was willing to take five hours to speak with (Special Counsel) Hur, he ought to take five hours for this. And if he can't, it's awfully audacious to ask Americans to make him president for another four years.”

Double yikes. Silver surely knows this would also be political suicide. Biden can barely go a few minutes at a time without another viral blunder dribbling from his mumbling mouth. Such a task as Silver proposes would be a colossal blow-up.

Klein and Silver are simply seeing reality screaming at them in the polls, and it is ugly for Democrats.

The Border

The border is an absolute disaster for America and Americans are rightly attaching the disaster to the machinations of Biden and his White House puppeteers.

It’s well-known that most Republicans consider the southern border a crisis, but a Pew Research poll this month found that 73 percent of Democrats consider Biden’s handling of the border as very or somewhat bad. And that number is rising rapidly, up 11 points from last year and 17 points from two years ago. When three out of four Democrats disapprove of the biggest issue in the campaign right now, red flags are flapping furiously.

That poll was done before some high-profile killings and violent crimes by recent illegal immigrants were reported. These are ramping up the emotional response to Biden’s open border policies.

In Athens, Georgia, a 22-year-old nursing student Laken Riley was killed allegedly by an illegal immigrant with an “extensive” criminal record in multiple blue jurisdictions since crossing over in 2022. Athens is, naturally, a “sanctuary city,” as is New York where the alleged killer was previously arrested and released for endangering a five-year-old child. This was made worse when Biden butchered her name in the SOTU and then apologized for calling the illegal an illegal.

In Colorado, an Illegal immigrant who was deported four times is charged with killing a teenage boy and his mother while driving drunk.

In Louisiana, a 19-year-old Honduran illegal immigrant raped a 14-year-old girl at knifepoint and repeatedly stabbed another man before being arrested.

In Maryland, five men, apparently all illegal immigrants, have been arrested and charged in connection to the murder of a two-year-old boy. At least one of them had been arrested twice before on theft and other charges but when ICE placed a detainer on him, the “sanctuary” city released him.

The Swing States Problem

Biden won six of the seven swing states in 2020. He is currently behind in all seven of them, and some are not even close anymore. The Bloomberg/Morning Consult has the following findings.

Pennsylvania: Trump (+6)
Nevada: Trump (+6)
Wisconsin: Trump (+4)
Georgia: Trump (+6)
Arizona: Trump (+6)
North Carolina: Trump (+9)
Michigan: Trump (+2)

Michigan is particularly problematic for Biden. Detroit’s huge Muslim community’s opposition to Biden’s support of Israel is gaining steam. The group pushing for 10,000 “uncommitted” votes as a protest in the Tuesday primary ended up with 100,000. The Biden administration’s EV mandates and green push are killers for Michigan auto workers. And every major Michigan Democrat has criticized Biden’s signature CHIPS and Science Act for cutting out Hemlock Semiconductor, a giant Michigan tech employer.

In short, there is zero Michigan enthusiasm for Biden and considerable animosity from several vectors in a state that has 15 electoral votes.

And the bright star of Georgia for Democrats seems to be turning into a short-lived shooting star burning out in the atmosphere. The senseless murder of the young Athens student allegedly at the hands of an illegal immigrant highlights the border disaster while the RICO case against Trump is seriously tarnished and may fall apart under the weight of corruption in the prosecutor's office. All this makes Georgia’s 16 electoral votes a very difficult climb for a guy who can’t walk up steps.

The Polls

Biden’s poll numbers remain the highlight of the calamity. We are close enough to the election that presidential approval ratings matter and Biden’s are stuck at historic lows of just 39 percent. And in head-to-head polls against the most polarizing figure in modern American politics facing 91 indictments, a sexual assault lawsuit loss and his company in danger of being taken from him, Biden is still losing.

Between 70 and 75 percent of Americans say Biden is too old to be president. That number gets as high as 86 percent in an ABC News poll. In a highly polarized country such as America is right now, that is a stunning amount of agreement. Almost 30 percentage points fewer think Trump is too old. This confirms the special counsel conclusion that Biden is too old to stand trial because he would come off as a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

While Biden is getting older and more doddering with every public appearance, Trump seems to be gaining steam in the eyes of Americans. He continues to roll through the Republican primary against an aggressive, well-funded opponent. In what remains a delicious shock to Democrats, his approval ratings are going up despite their unified efforts. He was at 38.7 percent in January, but is now at 42.6 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight’s aggregate.

The Democrat/media/lawfare complex has thrown absolutely everything at Trump, and he is pulling away from Biden. So the strategy that appeared sound — let Trump implode from the Democratic institutional machine and waltz to reelection — now looks like a non-starter.

Biden’s Options

So what are Biden’s strategic political options? Precious few. If he goes for lengthy interviews as Silver suggests, it will be a catastrophe as anyone observing him knows. But if he doesn’t do something like that, his numbers are bound to erode further.

And debate Trump? That would compound disaster on disaster.

Biden will undoubtedly have a giant financial war chest, and already does, while Trump’s is eaten up with legal problems. But Trump was severely outspent in 2016. His brand allows him to far exceed his finances. And in our current bizarro world, those legal problems may ultimately backfire on Democrats and benefit Trump. They definitely did among Republicans and polls suggest they are among independents.

If a huge money advantage, a Biden media advantage, a deep state advantage, a culture-mover advantage is all adding up to Biden falling yet further behind, then it will be up to Biden himself. And Democrats know that to be a losing proposition.

Centrist billionaire Bill Ackman said on Lex Fridman’s podcast of Biden refusing to step aside: “Every day he waits, it’s handing the election to Trump.”

Rod Thomson is a former daily newspaper reporter and columnist, Salem radio host and ABC TV commentator, and current Founder of The Thomson Group, a Florida-based political consulting firm. He has eight children and seven grandchildren and a rapacious hunger to fight for America for them. Follow him on Twitter at @Rod_Thomson. Email him at [email protected].
 

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