What Biden’s Debate Performance Will Mean for Trump’s Second Term

AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

There's no doubt that Joe Biden's performance at the presidential debate last month has the Democratic party panicking. Biden's poll numbers are down, the liberal media is calling on him to drop out, and even some elected Democrats are saying he should step aside. Donors have cut off the cash flow to the campaign in the hopes of forcing him out. Trump seems as close as ever to a massive victory in November, and yet, it's almost too bad it had to be this way.

I hope Donald Trump wins big in November, of course, but Biden's debate performance threatens to be a drag on his second term. It would be similar to what Trump's losing the national popular vote or the bogus Russian collusion narrative did to his first term in 2017. 

There's no denying that the debate has had a tremendous impact on the race, but the fact is that Trump was headed for victory even before it happened. Heck, his lead in the polls was likely why Biden challenged Trump to debate him in the first place. Literally nothing else was working to swing the polls back in Biden's direction. That strategy may have backfired in spectacular fashion, but the bottom line is that Trump was winning before the debate. Now, assuming Trump wins in November, Biden's debate performances will likely be credited with giving Trump his victory — not the fact that voters had already decided that they trusted him more than Biden on virtually all of the issues that mattered most in the election, particularly the economy and immigration.

Related: Biden Said to Judge His Performance at the NATO Summit. Let's Do That.

In fact, Biden's numbers on the economy were so bad, he stopped promoting "Bidenomics." As for immigration, his rating was so terrible that he publicly pivoted on the border crisis. After years of pretending there was no crisis, he not only admitted there was one, but pretended that he was the one who wanted to secure the border while MAGA Republicans did not. 

Of course, the pivot didn't work.

Even on the issue of protecting democracy, a pre-debate poll of swing-state voters found that most voters trusted Donald Trump — that's despite Biden and the Democrats making "protecting democracy" a key message of their 2024 campaign.

Polls also showed that Biden was bleeding support from key Democratic constituencies, including Hispanic/Latino voters, black voters, and even young voters. This was all before the debate, before Democrats far and wide were calling on him to drop out of the race.

Many of us on the right have been calling attention to Biden's cognitive decline for years, and polls also showed that bipartisan majorities believed he wasn't fit for office, but the debate really opened the floodgates for widespread calls from the left to cut Biden loose. Whether Biden stays in the race or not, the Democratic Party has been brutally weakened by this, and Democrats will no doubt use Biden's age as an excuse for Trump's victory, rather than admit that Americans trusted Trump more than Biden to get the economy back on track, secure the southern border, and restore faith in "our democracy."

So it's on us not to let it be forgotten that the issues put Trump ahead of Biden before the debate did. 

Because Democrats will quickly try to make the public forget it.



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