Dem 51
image description
GOP 49
image description

Biden Adviser Tells Nervous Democrats: Calm Down

There have been endless news stories about Joe Biden's approval being 40% and two-thirds of Democrats preferring someone else as their presidential candidate. Democrats, being Democrats, are buying worry beads by the gross because they keep wearing them out. A senior White House adviser, Mike Donilon, is going around trying to calm the scared Democrats by telling them that two issues will propel Biden to reelection: abortion and Trump. Some Democrats think this is hubris.

Biden is ignoring all the controversy about impeachment, immigration, his age, and the auto strike and running a classic Rose Garden campaign so far (except for an aggressive television and digital presence in the swing states). Biden maintains that the big issues are democracy, abortion, and the economy. The latter has both offense and defense. Offense is talking about MAGAnomics, which consists of an assault on Social Security, Medicare, and the middle class. Defense consists of talking about low unemployment and steadily dropping inflation.

Donilon said that he doesn't follow the ups and downs on polls so far out. His team is playing the long game. One of those polls shows that only 34% of voters think Biden could complete a second term. In contrast, the Social Security Administration believes that an 80-year old man will live to be almost 88. That will get him past the end of a second term. However the actuarial table does not take into account two things. First, Biden has a stressful job (but he seems to handle it well). Second, he has the best medical care in the entire world. He can be flown by helicopter to Walter Reed Army Medical Center at any moment of the day or night if needed, and all the top specialists will drop whatever they are doing and rush to treat him if required.

Donilon and the others on his team note that the polls did not predict Biden winning the Democratic primaries in 2020, but they did predict a red wave in 2022. Also, no one really knows yet how independents will react if Trump is a convicted felon by Nov. 2024. It's one thing to ask a hypothetical question now. It is something else if Trump actually is a convicted felon on Election Day. His base won't desert him, but independents might. (V)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates