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Advantage, Biden: Big Score from New York Fundraiser

We took note of two bits of positive news for the Republican Party heading into the 2024 elections (see above). So, how about two bits of positive news for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden?

First, Biden has an advantage that Republican rival Donald Trump does not: His predecessors. That is to say, there are two living Democratic ex-presidents who are good campaigners, and who are happy to hit the campaign trail for the current president, as needed. That would be Barack Obama and Bill Clinton (Jimmy Carter, of course, is not physically able to join them on the hustings). By contrast, there is only one living Republican ex-president other than the current presumptive presidential nominee, and George W. Bush is a mediocre campaigner who is not popular with voters. Oh, and he and Trump also hate each other.

Exactly how much is that advantage worth to Biden? At very least, in Obama and Clinton he has access to two of the shrewdest political strategists of the last half-century (and indeed, Biden is in regular contact with Obama, in particular, for campaign advice).

On top of that, Team Biden put on an object lesson in the value of a little star power last night in New York. The three Democrats made a joint appearance at Radio City Music Hall, supported by a gaggle of celebrities (e.g., Lizzo, Lea Michele, Ben Platt, etc.) meant to appeal to the kiddies. The event, which attracted more than 5,000 people paying anywhere from $225 to $500,000 a head, raised a staggering $26 million for the Biden campaign and the Democratic Party. That is the highest tally ever for a single-day fundraiser. Donald Trump happened to be in town, as well, but was not in attendance, for some reason. Too bad, they probably would have let him set up a table in the back to hawk some Bibles.

The second bit of good news for Biden (admittedly, it is a backhanded compliment of a sort) is a new poll from AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Since we all know that a huge percentage of the electorate is not enthused about Biden OR Trump, the pollster decided to ask a slightly different question, namely "How fearful will you be if the other party's candidate wins?" While 49% of Republicans are fearful of a second Biden term, a sizable 66% of Democrats are fearful of a second Trump term.

In an ideal world, a party would prefer that people get to the polls to vote FOR its presidential candidate. But, in the end, a vote AGAINST the other party's presidential candidate counts just as much. If more Democrats fear a Trump presidency, then theoretically more of them will put aside their lack of enthusiasm for their party's candidate and get to the polls to vote. And once they are there, well, other Democratic candidates will get to come along for the ride. And so it is another tea leaf that suggests that the decisive factor in 2024 could, once again, be the anti-Trump vote. (Z)

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