When it comes to polling, of course it’s all about the numbers. But the funny thing is that there are so many numbers in most modern, capable polls,  what with tabs, and sub-tabs, and cycle-to-cycle comparisons that it’s easy to lose the trees in the forest.

But with the newest batch of polls, dealing not only with the presidential race, but the US Senate races in critical swing states as well, I’m starting to see some patterns starting to emerge, both recent as well as long term, that, at least for me, tend to bring the 2024 race into a little narrower, clearer focus.

We’ll start with the Senate, for the simple reason that what I explain here will feed into the national narrative that comes next. And what interests me is that when it comes to these critical Senate races, the two parties are like Alice through the looking glass, polar opposites.

On the Democratic side, Biden is struggling. In most battleground states, Biden is anywhere from +1 to -4 against Trump. But when you look at what are being called vulnerable Democratic Senators in states like WI, MN, PA, and AZ, these candidates are running mostly +4 to +7. This not only gives Biden room to grow, but it also raises the possibility for Biden to ride the coattails of a more popular Senate candidate.

On the GOP side, it’s the polar opposite. In most polls Trump is anywhere from -1 to +4, within the margin of error. But his handpicked mental midgets are already running anywhere from -3 to -7, outside the margin of error. This is a redux of 2020, when misfit toys like Masters, Oz, and Walker cost the GOP a realistic chance at flipping the Senate. And in 2024 the GOP has nominated the same old MAGA kitty litter candidates, once again providing the Democrats a better than expected chance to retain the Senate.

Now on to the national presidential polling numbers. As I said earlier, when it comes to polling, there are numbers, and then there are numbers. But there’s something else there too, different categories of numbers. And when you blend the different parts of the two together, a pattern begins to emerge.

The 2016 presidential election, featuring two unusually unpopular candidates, was a low voter turnout election. And in that election, which Traitor Tot lost by almost 3 million votes, he garnered 46.1% of the national vote. In 2020, in a much higher intensity election with a near record turnout, His Lowness actually raised his vote total to 74 million, but still was stalled out nationally at 46.9%. And in the 2018 midterms, with Trump not even on the ballot, they assayed out nationally at 46.4% of the vote.

Seeing the pattern here? The GOP has lost the national popular vote in the last four elections, and in every one they have capped at between 46.4 and 46.9%. Biden has all the room in the world to grow voter intensity in the Democratic base, as well as with undecided and independent voters. But the GOP has been stalled at about 46.5% for the last four cycles, and while they shed voters instead of attracting new ones, and the actuarial tables doing its number on their aging base, I see no reason for anything to change.

When you look at polls going forward, both nationally as well as battleground states, keep two simple thiings in mind. The first is 46.5%. That seems historically now to be their ceiling. Second, Biden has all the room in the world to grow, while to know Trump is to not want to know Trump. And popular Democratic Senate candidates crushing MAGAt’s can help drag Biden over the finish line.

I thank you for the privilege of your time.

 

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3 COMMENTS

  1. How the hell is it that 46 out of 100 voters will vote for a two-time popular vote loser, twice impeached, adjudicated rapist, sexual offender, lying, dementia demonstrating, fraudster, felon over the most productive president in the last four decades?

    Do that many people watch Fox ‘Not News’ for their news?

    Is stupidity on this level really this rampant?

    17
    • It’s not necessarily just Fox “News” at fault but rather the so-called legitimate news sources (CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC) for not doing a better job at vetting the bullshit coming from the right-wing noise machine. Every single time something pops up from Fox “News” (or any of the other fake-news sites), it will wind up on the “legitimate” news without so much as a “Hold up! Did anyone double-check this?” because of those vaunted ratings. NONE of the “legitimate” news channels wants to risk losing out (especially to Fox) on a “juicy news” story (in fairness, you can’t really fault ABC, CBS and NBC that much since they’re “24-hour news channels”) and so, something crops up in their feed that sounds plausible or even just possible, and they jump right on it.

      Two weeks later, after some poor hapless reporter who’s still dedicated to the truth finally uncovers the whole thing was faked or out of context or whatever, but, by that point, there have been another dozen stories doing the same thing and none of the “legitimate” news sources have bothered to change their behavior (even after those dozen stories are shown to be just as faked). Nope. The “legitimate” news sources–especially on TV–have been forced to make money and earn ratings just like the “entertainment” programming (i.e., the daytime soaps and game shows and the primetime dramas and sitcoms) and they’re subjected to the same harsh economic realities (low ratings won’t mean the show gets cancelled but it can lead to “talent” getting fired or moved to some other job; of course, local affiliates might feel that slot would be better filled by another half-hour of “Wheel of Fortune” or “The Big Bang Theory” or something that will keep THEIR viewers on THEIR station).

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