Nate Silver’s wry response to this new Morning Consult poll showing Biden’s lead holding steady made me laugh.
A lot of people expected Biden to drop but, to be fair, it's hard to think of any recent examples where a candidate continuously held on to 30-35% of the vote in the primaries by capitalizing on support from older non-college voters when the media constantly predicted his demise. https://t.co/LCViESTc5m
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) June 25, 2019
Surely a guy whose support rests on a diminishing cohort of working-class Boomers can’t get elected president in America. Anyway, the new numbers:
Uncle Joe hasn’t lost so much as a point after days of media coverage of his “civility” as a young senator towards segregationist colleagues like James Eastland and Herman Talmadge. He’s actually gained a few points in the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, rising from 40 percent last week to 43 percent now with Bernie Sanders a very distant second at 21 percent. A larger share of likely primary voters said Biden’s comments made them *more* likely to vote for him (29 percent) than less likely (18 percent) — and that includes black voters (30/20). America loves legislative compromise, even with farking segregationists! The only sign of slippage for Biden is in net favorability, where he’s lost five points or so since June 10th. But given that his lead over the field hasn’t declined, those points must have come from voters who were already leaning in another direction or are so pro-Joe that they’re sticking with him even though their personal views of him have slipped a bit.
Steve Kornacki dug even deeper into the data. Last week, before the kerfuffle about segregationists, Biden stood at 45 percent support with black voters. This week, after attacks by Kamala Harris and Cory Booker and days of unflattering news reports, his support with black voters is at … 46 percent. They don’t care. And they’re willing to tell reporters who come asking:
“They need to leave it be,” said Cheri Reed, a 66-year-old Democrat from Columbia as she waited in line with friends for fish at Clyburn’s event on Friday night. She chided Democrats like New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who criticized Biden for his remarks and called on him to apologize.
“We don’t need a rookie in the game right now. Because it’s the anti-Christ that we’re up against,” Reed said, referring to President Donald Trump. “He’s despicable. He’s destructive. He’s a liar. He’s trigger-happy. He’s everything that you don’t want in a President.”…
“Like Biden said, you’ve got to work with everybody to get along,” [Isaac] Moore said. “Back in those days, that’s all there was — segregationists. So what he’s saying is perfectly all right with me, because it’s still that way. You still have to go across the aisle and work with those types of people today to get anything done.”
Bloomberg got same of the same responses in interviewing black South Carolinians (“You have to be able to work with everybody”) and noted, as CNN did, an age gap in views of Biden. Older black voters who experienced segregation seem more willing to shrug off Biden’s comity with segregationists than younger black voters do. Which is good news for Biden on balance: “[T]he generational split may not matter much in South Carolina, where primary voters skew older, according to exit polls from 2016, which show that 47% of voters were between the ages of 45 and 64. The next largest group, 20%, was between the ages of 30 and 44, while voters 65 and older accounted for 19%.” Whoever ends up as the alternative to Uncle Joe in SC will need to turn out younger Democrats en masse or they’re on track to get crushed.
Exit question: Will political media, me included, learn anything from this latest reminder that the only Democratic subgroup that seems to care much about crimes against wokeness is educated white progressives who are Very Online? Exit answer: No way. There’s too much easy bloggy content to write about by pretending otherwise!