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That Scary Biden-Trump Poll

 Member Newsletter
November 6, 2023 2:05 p.m.

As many of you have likely seen, over the weekend The New York Times and Siena released a poll showing that President Biden is running behind Donald Trump in all the big swing states with the exception of Wisconsin. Meanwhile a “generic Democrat” is polling ahead of Trump basically everywhere. Not surprisingly this has again released flurries of questions about whether Biden should be running at all or whether he should be replaced with another candidate younger and with less baggage. TPM Reader LD wrote in to ask, “Is TPM’s position still that we need to sit down and shut up if we have doubts about Biden’s appeal to the coalition necessary to win?”

Let me first respond to LD’s grievancy gripe. The dynamics of the online world make us all reflexively assume the posture of fed up little guy in a battle with the elites. But the truth is that I never said any such thing. (By the way, LD and I talked it over and now I think we’re back to being best pals.) What I said is that I don’t think anyone but Joe Biden will be the nominee and I don’t think we have any realistic way to change that. (Just why I think that you can see in the earlier posts.) So I’m focused on getting this guy reelected rather than imagining some alternative, usually fantastical scenario. As I told LD in my initial, slightly volcanic response, by all means go out and advocate for Biden to step aside. I’ll be here in what I take to be the real world trying to get him reelected. I don’t control people. I certainly don’t control Biden. This is just my interpretation of the situation before us.

But this isn’t the whole story.

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