Home / General / Reasons to Be Cheerful, Pt. 1

Reasons to Be Cheerful, Pt. 1

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Anti-fascists who are very worried about the elections in 2024 have very good reason to be. Barring a massive polling error, or a post-Dobbs shift in the valence of the Electoral College polls are not yet detecting, if the election were held today, Biden would lose. On the other hand — whether driven by the SOTU or some other factor — Biden’s head-to-head numbers have finally improved enough to have pulled (slightly) ahead of Trump in the aggregate.

Noting this, Brian Beutler suggests there are some more impressionistic reasons to be optimistic. From the pro-Biden standpoint, the most important is simply the strong economy, which matters less in an era of calcified politics than it used to but is certainly better than the alternative. The bad news for Trump is more extensive:

As I see it, to the extent that there’s a path to Biden pulling enough ahead to carry the Electoral College, the keys are 1)the combination of Dobbs and Trump suggesting he’s open to the massively unpopular cuts to Medicare and Social Security House Republicans have unambiguously proposed, which will allow Dems to run on policies that can both mobilize the base and appeal to the small but important group of persuadable moderates and 2)Trump spending more time saying unhinged things in public. I don’t think it’s coincidence that Trump’s better-than-usual polling was concentrated in a period in which he was in the public eye a little less.

The last point I’d make is that I don’t think there was any question that if Biden were consistently losing 20% of the primary vote to candidates who had dropped out it would be a much bigger story. But the fact that it’s happening — I don’t know how big a deal it is, but it’s not nothing.

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