CNN poll: Beto 52, Trump 42

The first genuinely good campaign news O’Rourke has had since his first-day fundraising total. It had been all downhill since then, capped by the pitiful turnout for his rally last weekend at UNLV. He has no apparent campaign strategy yet, and his biggest hire, his new campaign manager, still hasn’t started full-time despite having signed on a month ago.

And yet: A 10-point lead over an incumbent president in head-to-head polling.

Can’t believe this skateboarding cuck’s going to be president!

He’s not going to be president. My guess is that Beto has the gaudiest numbers because he’s the most generic candidate among the six tested — straight, white, male, middle-aged, blandly acceptable to Democrats of all stripes. Biden meets most of that description too and, go figure, he polls next best among the six. When you drill down into his and Beto’s numbers against Trump, you find mostly only slight differences. Trump does a few points better with men and with women against Biden than he does against O’Rourke, probably due to Biden’s name recognition, which I assume explains the difference in the topline results. Biden does better with indies than Beto does but O’Rourke does quite a bit better among white college grads, oddly enough. He beats Trump 52/44 among that group whereas Trump leads Biden 49/46.

As for the two progressives, Bernie and Elizabeth Warren, their respective fates here are mainly a function of how much Republican voters like them. Sanders does reasonably well in attracting crossover votes from GOPers, pulling 10 percent from Trump; by comparison, Warren takes just five percent, worst among the Democrats tested. Relatedly, Bernie trails Trump by “only” 17 points among whites without a college degree, 39/56, whereas Warren gets blown out of the water among the same group, trailing by 34 at just 31/65. (Biden did the best against Trump among that group at 42/55.) Again, that’s the worst of any Democrat tested, and probably explains why she’s the only Dem among the six to actually trail Trump overall. We’ll need more polling before drawing any firm conclusions, especially given the small sample size here, but it’d be ironic if Warren ran on an ostentatiously class-conscious redistributive program and finished at rock bottom among poorer whites anyway. You’re left to wonder if the Fauxcahontas saga has left her such a laughingstock among Trump’s base that they’re just not gettable for her the way they are for Bernie and Biden.

As for Beto, Margaret Carlson has his number. This passage was shared widely among the commentariat yesterday, although 99 percent of the public surely doesn’t care or even know half the details she mentions here. And to the extent that they do, if it’s true that Beto stands the best chance of beating Trump regardless, they’ll nominate him anyway:

You can thank, or blame, women who make up almost 58 percent of the primary electorate for Beto’s decline. Disproportionately, they don’t like him.

According to my unscientific poll asking every woman I see, Beto reminds them of the worst boyfriend they ever had: self-involved, convinced of his own charm, chronically late if he shows up at all, worth a meal or two but definitely not marriage material. When he should be home with the kids or taking out the trash, he’s jamming with his garage band or skateboarding at Whataburger. He’s “in and out of a funk” which requires long and meaningful runs to clear his head. Every thought he has is transcendent, worthy of being narrated, videotaped, and blogged. He is always out finding himself. At age 46, the man asking to run the country is currently lost.

She’s citing Quinnipiac’s latest poll. The CNN poll I’ve written about here actually has Beto performing *best* among women of all six Democrats who were tested against Trump. Beware of too-perfect narratives. I think he’ll end up being squashed in the end, not because of Peter Pan Syndrome but because his campaign has no reason for existing apart from O’Rourke’s own personal charisma. That might be enough in a small field, but in a very large one you have to believe Democrats will order something else on the menu that’s more to their liking.

Exit question via Liam Donovan: Any other president sitting on jobs numbers this robust would have an approval rating of ______. I’m going to say 55 percent. Which, if true, means Trump’s Trumpiness is costing him double digits in job approval.