What are the other 62 percent watching that they don’t think so?
Two noteworthy numbers here. One is the percentage of Democrats who share the suspicion that Grandpa Joe has “lost a step,” which is more sizable than you’d think. Bear in mind, though, that Biden is consistently polling in the neighborhood of 93/5 lately within his own party. There are Dems out there, it seems — many Dems — who think he’s losing his marbles and yet are perfectly willing to hand him the nuclear codes in order to get them away from Trump.
The other is the fact that 38 percent is just about equal to the share of the vote that Trump gets head-to-head with Biden in the latest round of dismal polling for him. It’s a big number in a raw sense but it’s not that big in an election-moving sense. If Trump and the GOP have only managed to convince most of their own voters plus some Democrats who are sticking with the team anyway of Biden’s senescence then it’s not really getting them anywhere.
Yet. There’s promise here for Republicans. Overall it’s just 38/48 on whether Biden has dementia, but…
Twenty percent (20%) of voters in his own party think Biden has dementia. But that compares to 66% of Republicans and 30% of voters not affiliated with either major party.
Critics contend that Biden’s frequent gaffes and confusing statements suggest he has dementia. Sixty-one percent (61%) of all voters believe it is important for Biden to address the dementia issue publicly, with 41% who say it is Very Important. Thirty-six percent (36%) say it is not important for Biden to speak out on the issue, including 19% who feel it is Not at All Important…
Seniors are the most likely to believe Biden has dementia. The older the voter, the more likely they are to believe that it is Very Important for the White House hopeful to speak about the issue publicly.
The detail about seniors being especially likely to believe Biden has dementia is interesting given that (a) Biden is polling notably well with them over the past few months and (b) one thing Republicans are worried about in attacking Biden’s mental wherewithal is possibly angering senior citizens. Run around screaming that the old guy’s not playing with a full deck anymore and older Americans might get indignant on Biden’s behalf — or so the theory goes. If you believe Rasmussen, though, attacking Biden’s capacity to do the job may be just the thing Trump needs to start pulling older voters back into his camp.
The White House is reportedly planning a messaging offensive along these very lines:
The emerging strategy is to claim Biden’s mental faculties are diminished and say he can’t rein in protesters’ most controversial excesses, including toppling a Ulysses S. Grant statue, looting stores, burning buildings and vandalizing St. John’s Church…
A growing number of Trump’s advisers say their best shot is to convince voters that the avuncular Biden won’t really run the show if elected…
“You’ve got to make it so that a vote for Joe Biden isn’t a vote for Joe Biden, it’s really a vote for his radical left-wing puppet masters,” the source said.
Picture grandpa, asleep in his rocking chair, while his grandson and his antifa friends smash up the house. That’s a fruitful contrast to Trump’s “law and order” message for Republicans — but it runs into the same problem as this Matt Gaetz tweet from earlier today:
In Joe Biden’s America your job is illegal, you are locked in your home, borders don’t exist, MS-13 lives next door and the police aren’t coming when the mob arrives.
This is all of us. pic.twitter.com/qS5ZeZQyU8
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) June 29, 2020
That photo of two St. Louis lawyers defending their home after protesters broke into their gated community was taken this weekend. Trump’s president right now. If homeowners are already being put in the position of having to defend their homes from would-be rioters because the cops can’t keep the peace, the argument that President Biden won’t keep the peace is … diminished, shall we say.
Meanwhile, Biden’s planning his own messaging offensive and that one has special resonance with senior citizens too:
The Biden campaign plans to focus its messages this week on “the difference between what Joe Biden called for and what Donald Trump did at crucial inflection points” since the pandemic arrived in America, according to a Biden adviser.
What we’re hearing: Expect the Biden campaign to use footage of Trump golfing, holding rallies, complaining about being mistreated by the media and saying he wanted testing slowed down…
Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said that Trump’s “streak of failure to protect or even prioritize American lives and jobs is one of the most catastrophic mistakes made by any commander in chief in modern history.”
The pandemic is a liability for Trump with every demographic but obviously one that weighs especially heavily with the group that’s most likely to have a bad outcome if they’re infected. A choice line from the NYT’s latest story on Trump’s struggles with seniors: “In The Times poll, seniors in the battleground states disapproved of Mr. Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic by seven points, 52 percent to 45 percent. By a 26-point margin, this group said the federal government should prioritize containing the pandemic over reopening the economy.” In a way, Biden and Trump are offering the same argument to older voters: The other guy won’t protect you. It’s just that they’re referencing two different forms of protection.
Needless to say, the debates this fall will be very important. For many voters that’ll be the acid test of whether Biden’s fit for the job. Trump was in the same position four years ago, not in terms of his mental wherewithal but in terms of whether he was just too … Trumpy to vote for. He was not, voters decided. Biden needs three crisp debates against the president to put to rest some of those doubts identified in the Rasmussen poll about his acuity. If he falters, that’s a potential eleventh-hour game-changer in the campaign. If Trump gets some good economic news in September and October on top of it, that may be all it takes to make another 2016 “inside straight in the Rust Belt” scenario possible for POTUS.