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Is Biden in ‘Denial’ about the Polls?

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May 14, 2024 12:21 p.m.
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 07: US President Joe Biden departs after delivering the annual State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress in the House chamber at the Capital building on March 7, 2024 in Was... WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 07: US President Joe Biden departs after delivering the annual State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress in the House chamber at the Capital building on March 7, 2024 in Washington, DC. This is Biden's final address before the November general election. (Photo by Shawn Thew - Pool/Getty Images) MORE LESS

Axios has a new piece out today with the headline: Biden’s Polling Denial. It’s not spin, the article says. The President and his top advisors actually don’t believe his bad poll numbers. “That bedrock belief has informed Biden’s largely steady-as-she-goes campaign,” says Axios. The article notes yesterday’s NYT-Siena poll of swing states and another recent Bloomberg set of swing state polls as examples of bad polling numbers the White House refuses to believe, before then shifting gears to note that other polls actually show him doing significantly better.

The factual questions here aren’t terribly complicated and they’re not really the reason I note this article or write this post. Most polls currently show Biden just behind Trump in a tight race. Others show him either tied or just ahead. And there is a theory of the election that those polls, with a greater emphasis on high propensity voters and the concentrating effect of the final months of the campaign, will put Biden on top in November. I’ve tried to air these different arguments here in the Editors’ Blog. You can believe one or the other.

I note the article because of what it says about the group psychology of each party and the related and intertwined factor of how the political press treats those parties.

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