Via Mediaite, I feel like the host of the most notoriously inside-the-Beltway chat show on American television should probably tread lightly in accusing others of living in a bubble.
And speaking as someone who almost never watches Fox anymore, I don’t know what he means when he says, “They have no idea what’s coming in November.” What’s coming in November, Joe? A Trump defeat?
That’s possible. But the way he says it in the clip below, it sounds like he thinks we’re headed for a momentous landslide repudiation of Trump and Trumpism. Which, unless the economy veers off into a recession, just isn’t happening. In fact, while a close election is the likeliest outcome, I’d say a comfortable Trump win is as probable at this point as a comfortable Democratic win. And the nastier the Biden/Bernie/Warren brawl gets, the more likely it is.
I think he’s going by the national polls that show Trump routinely trailing most of the Democratic top tier. CNN was out with a new data set this morning, in fact. All blue:
POTUS looks headed for another defeat in the popular vote. But what about the vote that actually counts? Read the fine print at CNN and you’ll see that’s a little different:
The poll included an oversample of those living in 15 battleground states, defined as those where the race between Clinton and Trump in 2016 was decided by 8 points or fewer. In those states, the poll finds consistently tight races regardless of the nominees, with Democrats ranging from 46% to 49% support and Trump from 47% to 50%. In none of the six tested matchups does either candidate hold a significant advantage.
Total toss-up in the battlegrounds right now, with Trump trailing Biden by two points, tied with Bernie at 49, and ahead of Warren by a point. If that sounds familiar, it’s because the New York Times conducted its own poll of battlegrounds in October and found Trump either barely behind Biden and Sanders in various states or ahead. Matched up with Elizabeth Warren, he led in five of six states and tied in the sixth. A subsequent Times poll posted a few weeks later found that swing voters who opted for Trump in 2016 and then switched to Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections were leaning towards switching back to Trump in 2020.
So who’s in a bigger bubble? The MAGA fans who’ve been led by Fox to believe that Trump will win 40 states next year or the liberals who look at the national head-to-head polling and think Biden’s gaudy advantages mean a Democratic blowout is on the way? It’s not, not in a gangbusters economy. Not with Trump enjoying the advantage of incumbency. Not when Republicans have barely laid a finger on Biden or Bernie yet.
By the way, it may not be Grandpa Joe or Sanders whom Trump is most worried about. This is interesting:
Spoke with a veteran Republican strategist this morning and asked about the 2020 Democratic field/the latest headlines. Dismissed the headlines. Said their entire focus, privately, is on Bloomberg. Said $$ he's spending is the big story, regardless of whether he's the nominee.
— Robert Costa (@costareports) January 21, 2020
The Times also reported last week that POTUS is watching Bernie — and Bloomberg — closely. In Bloomberg’s case, it’s not so much that he fears “mini-Mike” will win the nomination, it’s that Bloomy’s made good on his promise to spend blockbuster amounts of money on the effort. He’s up to a quarter of a billion dollars(!!) already and has vowed to spend big to defeat Trump in the general election whether or not he’s the nominee. Whether he’d keep that promise if the socialist Sanders is nominated is in question; there’s less of a question whether he’d do it to help Biden. And a billion dollars spread across 10 or so battleground states is serious influence. Not only that, but CNBC noticed a few days ago that the Democratic field collectively far outraised Trump in 2019, something that didn’t happen to either Bush or Obama in their reelection bids. That portends big grassroots fundraising for the eventual nominee during the general election on top of whatever Bloomberg kicks in. Hard to believe Dems are going to get routed with all of that in their favor. But it’s easy to believe Trump might squeak through to a second term in a tight race.