Bernie fan Joe Rogan: I'd rather vote for Trump than Biden

A leftover from the weekend. It’s ironic that Rogan’s going full kamikaze against Biden at the very moment that members of Bernie’s own inner circle are nudging him to accept reality and get behind Joe. There’s a stray F-bomb here in case you’re watching with kids around:

Meanwhile, at Sanders HQ:

A small group of Bernie Sanders’s top aides and allies — including his campaign manager and his longtime strategist — have encouraged the independent senator from Vermont to consider withdrawing from the presidential race, according to two people with knowledge of the situation…

Sanders himself has become more open to the prospect of dropping out, according to one of the people with knowledge of the situation and another close ally, especially if he suffers a significant defeat in Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary, which polls suggest Joe Biden will win handily.

Beyond Shakir and Jayapal, longtime strategist Jeff Weaver has privately made a case that exiting the race more quickly and on good terms with Biden would give Sanders more leverage in the long run, according to one of the people; the other said Weaver has used a light touch in presenting his case. Weaver and Jayapal did not return calls and messages seeking comment. Shakir declined to comment.

One Bernie insider predicted that he’ll quit if he loses tomorrow’s primary in Wisconsin, which Sanders won four years ago, by more than 15 points. What happens if the primary isn’t held tomorrow? Stay tuned.

Another irony of Rogan opting for Trump over Biden right now is that there are signs lately that Trump’s coronavirus “bounce” is beginning to fade. His average job approval jumped straight up from 44 percent to 47.3 percent last month but finally slipped half a point in the last few days. Weirdly enough, that’s largely due to Rasmussen, which has one of the strongest pro-Trump tilts of any pollster. Rasmussen has had Trump’s approval index (the number who strongly approve minus the number who strongly disapprove) at -12 and -11 the past two days, the first time he’s been underwater by double digits on consecutive days since all the way back in November, while the Ukraine matter was raging. A left-wing pollster, Navigator Research, also saw some bad trends for Trump this weekend:

There’s been a lot of damning reporting lately on the administration’s early coronavirus response. Maybe it’s starting to bite.

Here’s the poll that’s most worrisome, though. New from Florida, which is supposed to be a reddish state now:

The poll, administered by online survey, was conducted Tuesday, March 31 through Saturday, April 4. Only 45% strongly or somewhat approve of the job Trump is doing to address the pandemic, with 53% disapproving. By contrast, a narrow majority, 51%, approve of the job DeSantis is doing while 46% disapprove…

Pollsters also asked if the election were held today, who voters would support for president. Former Vice Presidet Joe Biden outperforms Trump 46% to 40%, the survey found — but Binder cautions that the survey includes only registered voters, not likely voters and “the campaign season has screeched to a grinding halt and people are rightly less focused on politics.”

I don’t think Biden’s number there is significant. The worrisome part is Trump at 40 percent, a weak showing even allowing for the fact that registered voters lean more Democratic. DeSantis may be hurting Trump too even though his job approval on coronavirus is a bit higher. Although 51/46 sounds decent , bear in mind that DeSantis had an overall job approval of 65/21 as recently as six weeks ago. He’s been pulling big numbers like that ever since becoming governor — until now, when his mishandling of COVID-19 appears to have damaged him. Whether he rebounds, and whether Trump wins a second term, depends on how Florida does in holding down deaths going forward.

I think the most useful thing about the Rogan clip for Republicans is his ongoing concern about Biden’s mental acuity. He brings it up every time he goes off on him; it’s his most basic objection to supporting the moderate, more so even than policy disagreements. If you’re wondering how much the GOP should attack Biden’s competence this fall, here’s anecdotal evidence that the answer is “a lot.” In fact, for some Bernie fans the competence concerns may be a fig leaf for their real reasons for wanting to stay home. If you’re a committed socialist trying to talk yourself into boycotting the election because Biden’s a squish and you keep running up against your visceral dislike for Trump, a “neutral” argument about Biden not being fit for the job might be all the persuasion you need. It’s difficult for a hard leftist to justify not supporting a center-leftist over a right-winger. It’s much easier if that center-leftist has disqualified himself on other grounds.