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The Polls Probably Aren’t Lying


I feel the need to reinforce much of what Paul has said recently.

Joe Biden may very well lose this election and Donald Trump may very well be the 47th president of the United States.

It boggles my mind too.

Now, I grant you, polling is broken. There are reasons to be relatively optimistic. Democrats have turned out for special elections in great numbers. The overturning of Roe has driven a lot of energy.

But here’s the rub–voters are morons, or at least a lot of them are. I am not talking about those with any kind of ideological commitment. Say what you want about the far right, but at least they have a marginally cohesive understanding of politics in this country. No, I am talking about the average masses who don’t pay much attention to anything and exist on vibe politics. These are the kind of people who are nostalgic for Trump, who think the pandemic happened under Biden, who think that Biden is why Roe was overturned and don’t understand what the Supreme Court even is. These are people who completely ignore everything about policy. They think Trump is this vigorous badass dude and Biden is ancient, even though Trump’s mind is turning into pudding and Biden is barely any older than Trump.

This is a great example:

Benjamin Johnsen, a 37-year-old truck driver from Superior, Wis., said he has supported Mr. Biden since he was Barack Obama’s vice president, trusting him to defend the country against terrorism. But he said he wants Republicans to control the Senate and keep taxes low, so he is leaning toward Mr. Hovde, the Republican challenging Ms. Baldwin.

But more typical was Chris Myers, a 52-year-old union construction worker in Hartford, Wis. Mr. Myers said he had never seen more construction work than what was underway now in the state. In fact, he said, he was helping to build the $3 billion Microsoft artificial intelligence data center that Mr. Biden was trumpeting on Wednesday in Wisconsin as a promise delivered by his administration.

Yet Mr. Myers said he would split his vote by supporting Ms. Baldwin, whom he praised for doing “some good things for the state,” and Mr. Trump, saying: “I like his go-get-’em, take-no-crap attitude.” Mainly, Mr. Myers complained that Mr. Biden’s visit last week celebrating the creation of Mr. Myers’s job ended up slowing down the concrete trucks.

A Baldwin/Trump voter in Wisconsin? What do you even do with this? And this kind of nonsense is a ton of people!

I also want to push back against LGM’s favorite horse to whip–the mainstream media. Do you know who reads the New York Times? None of these people. None. They watch Fox News. Or they might watch a little bit of this and that. The most you can argue is that the kind of narratives that get created by the Times funnel down into other media and maybe there is some truth to that. But the idea that if the Times and Post was to do real reporting on the evils of Republicans and end their Both Sides crap, this would have a meaningful impact on voter behavior seems extremely projection-based to me. I don’t see it because, again, elites read this stuff, not the average person. The average person in this country reads nothing.

In short, Joe Rogan is way fucking more important to this country’s politics than Maggie Haberman. Rogan speaks very directly to a lot of young men of all races. One of the ways that people have criticized the polls is saying that the crosstabs by race don’t make sense with 2020. I agree that they are probably overstated. But not that overstated. I myself have known too many young men in Rhode Island who basically are dying to become Republicans, especially if they can vote for Trump. It’s all quite distressing.

Fundamentally, the problem is that we are a nation of adrift individuals who lack any kind of political education. Nothing has changed on this since 2016. Liberals or the left or centrists have not built anything like institutions that can do this. I’m not blaming them per se, it’s really hard. But there’s also very little attempt to actually do anything like this either. The union movement is the closest thing to it and we know that union members vote for Democrats at significantly higher rates than other working class people, but it’s too limited and as we see from our Trump/Baldwin moron up above, lots of union members just blow off their own unions anyway.

Also, Biden’s softness among young voters is at least partly because they literally have no idea what the world was like in 2015.

Now, sure, you can find reasons to believe. It’s a long way from the election, sure. The special elections have gone for Democrats overwhelmingly in recent years. Abortion choice is a real issue that will bring people to the ballot box. And, again, polling is deeply problematic in 2024.

But at the very least, you all need to get your heads around a second Trump administration because it’s at least highly plausible and possibly likely. If he wins, you are going to have to make a mental adjustment very quickly, avoid despair, and move forward. Me, I have been preparing for this since the moment of Biden’s election. We are all going to have to do something for ourselves here. You can tell yourself that the thing to do is to give money and if you want to flush your money down the toilet, give it to the grave series instead of the political consultant class. At least you get what you pay for. Do GOTV stuff of course, build your local parties.

But quit just denying that Trump can’t win. Biden is old after all, voters are stupid, and we don’t have the institutional capacity or the alternative media to do much about that.

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