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A Quick Survey of Numbers, Vibes and the Inner Lives of Campaigns

 Member Newsletter
May 16, 2024 3:28 p.m.
A grown woman standing on a mountain at sunrise

In yesterday’s podcast Kate and I discussed that NYT-Siena poll (way overplayed and exaggerated but still not great for Biden) and the debate story which was literally continuing to break and change while we recorded the pod. The two stories intersect in some interesting ways.

The Times said: “The early-debate gambit from Mr. Biden amounted to a public acknowledgment that he is trailing in his re-election bid, and a bet that an accelerated debate timeline will force voters to tune back into politics and confront the possibility of Mr. Trump returning to power.”

A public acknowledgement!

In recent days I’ve been in a running conversation with several Times staffers about Times coverage, some private, some on social media, trying to both keep it real and keep it calm. When I saw this line it struck me as part of that subtext of so much Times coverage, at least going back months and in many ways much longer, of “Joe, stop playing games and admit you’re behind. Admit you’re behind, Joe!”

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