Your Monday Polling Pick-Me-Up

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Whether or not you have confidence in how the 2020 elections were conducted, the fact remains that, throughout the campaign, Biden ran way ahead of incumbent President Donald Trump, pulling a 7.2-point lead in the Real Clear Politics average of all polls by Election Day. Additionally, Democrats held outside-the-margin-of-error popular leads over Republicans at the same time. So the Democrats’ power surge was not completely out of the blue, since they had been leading decisively in the polls throughout the run-up to Election Day.

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My, how the tables have turned. Polling data that showed voters’ preference for Democrats four years ago has been inverted as of now to reveal a country much more confident in the Republican Party’s competence to govern the United States.

Opinion data giant Morning Consult released the results of its annual political parties survey last week, and they’re worth pausing to savor and enjoy. In a report titled “Voters Are Losing Faith in Joe Biden’s Democratic Party. How Much Will That Matter in 2024?” Cameron Easley delivers pleasing news: “The latest edition of Morning Consult’s annual State of the Parties survey [… shows] public opinion trending in the GOP’s direction since the Democratic Party took control of Washington in 2020.” Key takeaways are delivered in a box at the top of the article:

  • Voters are now more likely to see the Republican Party as capable of governing, tackling big issues and keeping the country safe compared with the Democratic Party.
  • By a 9-point margin, voters also see the Democratic Party as more ideologically extreme than the GOP.
  • The trends against the Democratic Party are largely driven by worsening perceptions among its own voter base, which suggests that the party will have to rely more than ever on negative partisanship to keep control of the White House.

Easley notes that “In a significant reversal from the last presidential election year, U.S. voters are now more likely to see the Republican Party as capable of governing, keeping the country safe and tackling the big issues compared with the Democratic Party.”

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Not only that, but the 2020 numbers had basically held steady since at least 2016, according to a 2020 Morning Consult analysis, which reported, “48% of voters said the Democratic Party is capable of governing and 44% said it is adept at handling the country’s major issues, compared with 42% and 38% who respectively said the same of the GOP.” So what we’re seeing now is a reversal of a public preference for Democrats that’s at least eight years strong, and that existed even back when Trump won.

More good news appears in a second Morning Consult analysis, in which author Eli Yokley’s first key takeaway is:

Since 2016, the GOP has closed its deficit against the Democratic Party on the question of caring about “people like me.” Additionally, Donald Trump’s party has taken a lead over Joe Biden’s on this question among middle-income households, people without a college degree and white people, and has cut the Democratic Party’s advantage among voters of color — most notably Black voters.

Yokley brings encouraging numbers regarding the Republican Party’s standing among black Americans during the Age of Trump: “The share of Black voters who said they think the Democratic Party cares about people like them has fallen from 71% to 64% since 2016, while the share who said the same about the Republican Party has increased from 12% to 21%.” I wonder if perhaps the Democrats flooding the country with asylum scammers, to whom they extend the benefits of our social safety net that we Americans paid for, is ticking off black Americans as much as it does white Americans.

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Yokley further says that the “Republican Party’s improvement on the personal attentiveness question among nonwhite voters isn’t fully surprising, given how Trump improved his standing among a range of nonwhite demographics between the 2016 and 2020 elections.” No wonder the left loathes and fears him.

Exclusively for our VIPs: Massive Trump vs. Biden Polling Swing From Four Years Ago to Now

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Single polls are useless, but trends are everything. And these Trump-era trends are profound and positive.

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