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Benny
Benny

Biden Shores Up Democratic Support, but Faces Tight Race Against Trump

President Biden is heading into the 2024 presidential contest on firmer footing than a year ago, with his approval rating inching upward and once-doubtful Democrats falling into line behind his re-election bid, according to a New York Times/Siena College poll.

Mr. Biden appears to have escaped the political danger zone he resided in last year, when nearly two-thirds of his party wanted a different nominee. Now, Democrats have broadly accepted him as their standard-bearer, even if half would prefer someone else.

Still, warning signs abound for the president: Despite his improved standing and a friendlier national environment, Mr. Biden remains broadly unpopular among a voting public that is pessimistic about the country’s future, and his approval rating is a mere 39 percent.

Perhaps most worryingly for Democrats, the poll found Mr. Biden in a neck-and-neck race with former President Donald J. Trump, who held a commanding lead among likely Republican primary voters even as he faces two criminal indictments and more potential charges on the horizon. Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump were tied at 43 percent apiece in a hypothetical rematch in 2024, according to the poll.

Mr. Biden has been buoyed by voters’ feelings of fear and distaste toward Mr. Trump. Well over a year before the election, 16 percent of those polled had unfavorable views of both Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump, a segment with which Mr. Biden had a narrow lead.

John Wittman, 42, a heating and air conditioning contractor in Phoenix, is a Republican but said he would vote for Mr. Biden if former President Donald J. Trump were the Republican nominee. Credit…Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times

“Donald Trump is not a Republican, he’s a criminal,” said John Wittman, 42, a heating and air conditioning contractor from Phoenix. A Republican, he said that even though he believed Mr. Biden’s economic stewardship had hurt the country, “I will vote for anyone on the planet that seems halfway capable of doing the job, including Joe Biden, over Donald Trump.”

To borrow an old political cliché, the poll shows that Mr. Biden’s support among Democrats is a mile wide and an inch deep. About 30 percent of voters who said they planned to vote for Mr. Biden in November 2024 said they hoped Democrats would nominate someone else. Just 20 percent of Democrats said they would be enthusiastic if Mr. Biden were the party’s 2024 presidential nominee; another 51 percent said they would be satisfied but not enthusiastic.

A higher share of Democrats, 26 percent, expressed enthusiasm for the notion of Vice President Kamala Harris as the nominee in 2024.

Mr. Biden had the backing of 64 percent of Democrats who planned to participate in their party’s primary, an indicator of soft support for an incumbent president. Thirteen percent preferred Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and 10 percent chose Marianne Williamson.

Donald Trump. The former president is running to retake the office he lost in 2020. Though somewhat diminished in influence within the Republican Party — and facing several legal investigations — he retains a large and committed base of supporters, and he could be aided in the primary by multiple challengers splitting a limited anti-Trump vote.

Ron DeSantis. The combative governor of Florida, whose official entry into the 2024 race was spoiled by a glitch-filled livestream over Twitter, has championed conservative causes and thrown a flurry of punches at America’s left. He provides Trump the most formidable Republican rival he has faced since the former president’s ascent in 2016.

Chris Christie. The former governor of New Jersey, who was eclipsed by Trump in the 2016 Republican primary, is making a second run for the White House, setting up a rematch with the former president. Christie has positioned himself as the G.O.P. hopeful who is most willing to attack Trump.

Mike Pence. The former vice president, who was once a stalwart supporter of Trump but split with him after the Jan. 6 attack, launched his campaign with a strong rebuke of his former boss. An evangelical Christian whose faith drives much of his politics, Pence has been notably outspoken about his support for a national abortion ban.

Tim Scott. The South Carolina senator, who is the first Black Republican from the South elected to the Senate since Reconstruction, has been one of his party’s most prominent voices on matters of race. He is campaigning on a message of positivity steeped in religiosity.

Nikki Haley. The former governor of South Carolina, who was a U.N. ambassador under Trump, has presented herself as a member of “a new generation of leadership” and emphasized her life experience as a daughter of Indian immigrants. She was long seen as a rising G.O.P. star, but her allure in the party has declined amid her on-again, off-again embrace of Trump.

Vivek Ramaswamy. The multimillionaire entrepreneur describes himself as “anti-woke” and has made a name for himself in right-wing circles by opposing corporate efforts to advance political, social and environmental causes. He has promised to go farther down the road of ruling by fiat than Trump would or could.

More G.O.P. candidates. The former Texas congressman Will Hurd, Mayor Francis Suarez of Miami, Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the conservative talk radio host Larry Elder have also launched long-shot bids for the Republican presidential nomination. Read more about the 2024 candidates.

Among Democratic poll respondents who have a record of voting in a primary before, Mr. Biden enjoyed a far wider lead — 74 percent to 8 percent. He was ahead by 92 percent to 4 percent among those who voted in a Democratic primary in 2022.

The lack of fervor about Mr. Biden helps explain the relatively weak showing among small donors in a quarterly fund-raising report his campaign released two weeks ago.

A common view toward Mr. Biden is illustrated in voters like Melody Marquess, 54, a retiree and left-leaning independent from Tyler, Texas. Ms. Marquess, who voted for Mr. Biden in 2020 as “the lesser of two evils,” was not happy about his handling of the pandemic, blaming him for inflation and a tight labor market. Still, she said she would again vote for Mr. Biden, who is 80 years old, over Mr. Trump, who is 77.

“I’m sorry, but both of them, to me, are too old,” she said. “Joe Biden to me seems less mentally capable, age-wise. But Trump is just evil. He’s done horrible things.”

Mr. Biden has recovered significantly from last summer. At the time, Democratic grumbling about his likely re-election bid had mounted, and a Times/Siena poll found that 64 percent of Democrats said they did not want the party to renominate him — including 94 percent of Democrats under the age of 30. Now only half of all Democrats said they did not want Mr. Biden to be the nominee in 2024.

The party’s enthusiasm about him began to tick up last fall after the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, better-than-expected results in the midterm elections, a string of policy victories for Mr. Biden and improvements in the economy as inflation slowed.

“Joe is Joe. He’s always kept his word. He’s done well for the country,” said David Scoggin, 61, a retired police officer from Moulton, Ala., who said he was enthusiastic about Mr. Biden’s being the nominee next year. “If he had Congress and a Senate that would work with him, he could do a lot more.”

Mamiya Langham, 38, a government analyst from Atlanta who described herself as a political progressive not aligned with a party, said Mr. Biden’s tax policy had been skewed to favor the wealthy while the middle class paid more than its fair share.

“We’re kind of smushed in the middle, and we’re taking on the brunt of the taxes for everybody,” she said.

Ms. Langham would vote for Mr. Biden again, she added, but without much gusto.

“It’s basically like I don’t have another choice, because I don’t feel comfortable not voting,” she said.

Deep pessimism persists, even among some Democrats who back Mr. Biden. Among those who want to see Mr. Biden as the party’s nominee next year, 14 percent said the country’s problems were so bad that the nation was at risk of failing.

Despite that, Mr. Biden is leading Mr. Trump among the same groups that helped solidify his victory in 2020: women, suburban voters, college-educated white voters and Black voters. But he seems to show early signs of potential vulnerability with Hispanic voters, who have shifted toward Republicans in recent elections.

Mr. Biden’s approval rating of 39 percent is historically poor for an incumbent president seeking re-election, but it has risen from 33 percent last July. The latest poll found that 23 percent of registered voters thought the country was on the right track — a low number for Mr. Biden, but better than the 13 percent of Americans who believed the same a year ago. More Americans than a year ago now think the economy is in excellent or good shape: 20 percent, compared with 10 percent in 2022.

Ashlyn Cowan, 27, a research scientist from Nashville, said she wished Mr. Biden had been more aggressive about canceling student loan debt. Even before the Supreme Court’s ruling last month overturning Mr. Biden’s attempt to forgive up to $20,000 per borrower, Ms. Cowan said she had found him to be unenthusiastic about the issue.

Nevertheless, Ms. Cowan said she would back Mr. Biden in a race against Mr. Trump.

“You have Trump that has shown characteristics that I am staunchly against, and Biden just not being the greatest person to do the job,” she said. “Ultimately, Biden is not going to harm the country as much as I believe Trump would.”

Democrats who did not want Biden to be the nominee last July were primarily focused on his age and job performance. While Mr. Biden’s age remains the leading point of discontent for Democrats who would prefer someone else to be the nominee — 39 percent cited that concern in an open-ended question — just 20 percent said Mr. Biden’s job performance was their chief worry. Another 14 percent said they would prefer someone new.

“Some of his glitches on TV, what they catch on TV, just has me worried about the president,” said Daryl Coleman, 52, a retiree in Cleveland, Ala.

Mr. Coleman, a Democrat, said he would be compelled to vote for Mr. Biden in a rematch against Mr. Trump. “If he’s the only Democrat running, if he beats everybody out, then I have no other choice but to go with Joe Biden,” he said.

orlbucfan

T and R x 4, Ms. Benny!! 🙂 Well, Powell is doing his usual RW crap. Why Byedone won’t can this tRump moron is one reason I’m not voting for him among other reasons. We’ve got 15 months before the elections. 15 months, but the MSM like the NYT is already trying to tell us how the country will vote. Screw them and the slime mold they oozed in on. 🙁

orlbucfan

Thanks wi, for linking the first two Eagles’ LPs for me. 🙂 It’s the first one self-titled “Eagles” that got my attention. That’s a great LP. It’s where I heard that tune I liked. Unfortunately, it’s been well over half a century so my recall is iffy. But here’s one of the finalists.

The other is better known, “Witchy Woman.” By the time their second LP was released, their fame soared. That’s when radio started playing them into the ground, and I started turning off.

wi65

I remember the Big 3 of that album, back then i was more inclined to buy the “singles” but as i got older Albums were the way to go for the hidden “Gems”. I find my self Googling lyrics to find a song when i cant remember the title and then go to you tube to see if i can find it.

orlbucfan

I hear ya. Thanks again! 🙂 I will probably put the whole LP into one of my YT music files. 🙂

Benny
Benny

from the corporate greed opinion pages

The best argument against collective bargaining for government workers is that no one represents taxpayers. Union chiefs and the politicians they support sit on both sides of the bargaining table. That was demonstrated again last week when Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a whopping new contract with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (Afscme).

The contract covers the next four years and gives 35,000 public workers 19.28% raises, outpacing the growth in private wages. That’s more than the Teamsters are getting for tenured drivers in their rich new deal from United Parcel Service, and that’s merely the increase in Afscme base pay. Many workers will get more pay increases based on job tenure.

The contract also includes a $1,200 “stipend” to every worker merely for ratifying the contract. Mr. Pritzker included these bonuses in his last contract negotiation in 2019, supposedly to compensate workers for the financial “hardship” of being a state worker under previous Governor Bruce Rauner. (Remember when a Governor tried to represent taxpayers?) The unions liked the sweetener, so now it has become an expected fillip.

Mr. Pritzker tweeted Tuesday that “Illinois is a pro-worker state through and through.” He means if you work for the government. What about workers in the private economy who are now on the hook for higher union payouts that will drive up costs for public healthcare and pensions on top of their increased wages? Mr. Pritzker says the new contract will cost $625 million over four years and the raises are 61% higher than the previous contract, according to the Illinois Policy Institute.

Afscme workers already have health-insurance plans that rarely exist in the private economy, and the new four-year contract promises that workers will have zero increases in premiums in the first year, a $10 a month increase in the second year and $8 a month in the third and fourth years. That’s a mere $26 a month over four years. Guess who will pay the difference as the cost of health insurance rises far faster.

Public pensions in Illinois are already among the most underfunded in America, and the new wage increases will make them more so. Pensions are calculated based on a worker’s wages at the end of a career, so big pay increases now translate into ballooning payments later. Mark it down: Democrats will demand a federal taxpayer bailout when Illinois pensions become unaffordable.

Unions are running the table in Illinois because Mr. Pritzker and state Democrats essentially work for the unions that provide the cash for re-election campaigns. Big raises for union workers mean more union dues payments, which mean more campaign donations for the politicians who provide the raises. This is why allowing collective bargaining for government workers is so destructive to a state’s fiscal and economic health.

Mr. Pritzker hopes to have a featured role at next summer’s Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and he’s likely to run for President himself if President Biden decides not to run. That’s one more reason the Governor is acting more like a union boss than as a leader for all Illinois citizens.

Beats my pay and any raises I get, but I’m not resentful. Pritzker is correct to give them raises as state pay is just so-so. Health plans have been steadily increasing thus this is a tradeoff for the union.

wi65

Yea , Any raises i got were easily offset by our greedcare system and food and gas prices. Wi DOC ,and Teachers are suffering even Today due to Snot Walkers Act 10,He had about 8 years of no Raises for state employees using his catch phrase”We’re broke” The gerrymandered State legislature was just folling his Orders. Even today thier are several state prisons with 40% vacancy rates guard wise due primarily to Act 10, those remaining are on 12 hour shifts

orlbucfan

“…corporate greed opinion pages” +270 on that one. You know who owns the WSJ now? Yes, the ‘great’ and mighty greedball Murdoch family. UGH!!

wi65

GOOD NEWS for WI
In Wisconsin, a court that almost overturned Biden’s win flips to liberal control

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court flips to liberal control for the first time in 15 years Tuesday with the start of the term of a new justice who made abortion rights a focus of her winning campaign.

Janet Protasiewicz will mark the start of her term with a swearing-in ceremony in the state Capitol Rotunda, the type of pomp and circumstance typically reserved for governors. Protasiewicz’s win carries tremendous weight in Wisconsin, a battleground where the state Supreme Court has been the last word on some of the biggest political and policy battles of the past decade-plus.

The conservative-controlled court came within one vote of overturning President Joe Biden’s narrow win in the state in 2020, though Biden still would have had enough electoral votes to claim the presidency. More battles over voting rules and elections are expected leading up to 2024, along with challenges to the state’s abortion ban, Republican-drawn political boundary lines and a host of other hot-button political issues.

Protasiewicz, a Milwaukee County judge, ran with backing and deep financial support from Democrats, abortion rights groups and other liberals in the officially nonpartisan race. She handily defeated her conservative opponent in April, raising expectations among liberals that the new court will soon do away with the state’s abortion ban, order new maps to be drawn and ensure a long line of Democratic success after 15 years of rulings that largely favored Republicans.

FILE – Supreme Court candidate Janet Protasiewicz, right, holds hands with Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Dallet, left, and Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, blocked from view at far right, at a watch party in Milwaukee, on April 4, 2023. The Wisconsin’s Supreme Court flips from majority conservative to liberal control on Aug. 1 when Protasiewicz is set to be sworn in. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, File)
Democrats eye Wisconsin high court’s new liberal majority to win abortion and redistricting rulings
Supreme Court candidate Janet Protasiewicz, center, holds hands with Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice, Rebecca Dallet, far left, and Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, right, at Protasiewicz’s election night watch party in Milwaukee, Wis., on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. Protasiewicz, 60, defeated former Justice Dan Kelly, who previously worked for Republicans and had support from the state’s leading anti-abortion groups. (Mike De Sisti /Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)

New voting districts could change again in some states before the 2024 elections
Even as liberals have high hopes that the new court will rule in their favor, there are no guarantees. Republicans were angered when a conservative candidate they backed in 2019 turned out to sometimes side with liberal justices.

Protasiewicz replaces retiring conservative Justice Pat Roggensack, who served 20 years, including six as chief justice.

While it may be a while before the court weighs in on some topics, a new lawsuit challenging the GOP-drawn legislative and congressional district maps is expected to be filed within weeks. And there is already a pending case challenging Wisconsin’s pre-Civil War era abortion ban, and a county judge ruled last month that it can proceed, while also calling into question whether the law actually bans abortions.

The rules for voting and elections are also expected to come before the court heading into the 2024 presidential election.

A national Democratic law firm filed a lawsuit last month seeking to undo a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling last year banning absentee ballot drop boxes.

The new liberal majority was making immediate changes. Randy Koschnick, who as director of state courts has managed the statewide court system for six years, said he was informed Monday that he would be fired Tuesday afternoon.

Koschnick, a former county judge who ran for the state Supreme Court in 2009 with support from conservatives but lost to a liberal incumbent, said he was told by liberal Justice Jill Karfosky that he was being fired because the court was “moving in a different direction.”

SCOTT BAUER

jcitybone

Elise Joshi interrupted a White House press conference to ask the Biden Administration to stop approving new oil and gas projects at a faster rate than Trump did

https://genzforchange.org/about/

About Elise

Elise Joshi is a 20-year-old organizer and student at UC Berkeley. During her time as Strategy Director, she facilitated and led Gen-Z for Change’s labor actions by working with coders, content creators, and labor unions. Elise also has her own platform of over 115,000 followers on TikTok where she mobilizes her followers to vote and take action in labor, climate, and health. Elise is part of the firewall against both climate nihilism and climate denial, generating millions of views monthly towards combating both narratives and amplifying digital and on-the-ground climate actions

jcitybone

wi65

NO 💩💩💩💩💩💩!!!!!

orlbucfan

AMEN!

jcitybone

orlbucfan

Right behind you, Senator!! 🙂