Newsmakers with JR
Three Tuesdays to Go: How Trustworthy Are the Polls Showing a Big Biden Lead Over Trump?
In 2008, Barack Obama's unflappable campaign manager David Plouffe famously derided neurotic and anxiety-ridden Democrats and liberals with a memorable phrase now embedded in the nation's political lexicon.
Commenting on a small polling bump by Obama rival John McCain, Plouffe at the time framed the situation this way:
“We’re sensitive to the fluid dynamics of the campaign, but we have a game plan and a strategy,” said Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe. “We’re familiar with this. And I’m sure between now and Nov. 4 there will be another period of hand-wringing and bed-wetting. It comes with the territory.”
Three weeks before Election Day, it's bed-wetting season for Democrats again.
From a pure data perspective, Democratic nominee Joe Biden looks strong. He holds steady, substantial and, in some cases, increasing leads over Donald Trump, both nationally and in key battleground states. According to Real Clear Politics, which calculates and averages the latest polling data every day, Biden is beating Trump:
Nationally by 10 points, 51.6-to-41.6.
In three crucial Midwest states, where Trump pulled an inside straight to grab the election four years ago: Biden is +7 in Michigan and Pennsylvania and up 6.3 percent in Wisconsin.
In states that Trump won four years ago -- Arizona, Florida and Ohio -- Biden also is ahead, by 2.7, 3.7 and 0.6 points respectively.
Despite such favorable numbers, pro-Biden and anti-Trump voters, terrified by the specter of a second term for the most polarizing president since Lincoln, still live with the PTSD imprinted by the shocking outcome of the 2016 election.
"Keep your rubber sheets on," is the advice to Biden Bedwetting Battalions from Phil Trounstine, longtime California political writer and founder of the Survey and Research Institute at San Jose State, who checks in with Newsmakers to dissect the latest polling.
Although the numbers look good for Biden, Trounstine said, "one thing that is worrisome" is that the Democratic ticket and campaign, in the name of responsible pandemic behavior, are not doing the precinct walking and door knocking that ordinarily would take place at this stage of the race -- while Trump and the Republicans, who have normalized the notion among their voters that Covid is not that dangerous. are aggressively using such tried-and-true ground game tactics.
In an informal and irreverent conversation, Phil and Jerry also delve into the political impact of the Supreme Court nomination and Senate confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett, the import of the bitter debate over "court packing" and recent biting criticisms of California Senator Dianne Feinstein, the lead Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.
Watch our discussion with Phil Trounstine via YouTube below, or click to it here...and the podcast version is here.