It’s official: Joe Biden has pulled ahead


Sign up for the Palmer Report mailing list
-----
Help keep Palmer Report firing on all cylinders in 2024:

President Biden has pulled ahead of Donald Trump in yet another new national poll in the wake of Trump’s felony conviction. This time it’s Morning Consult, a poll which Trump had a slight lead in last week, but Biden now leads by one point. Individual polls are fool’s gold out of context, but this is just the latest poll to show Biden gaining of late.

In fact, if you omit the always laughable Rasmussen poll, Biden has now moved ahead of Trump in the Real Clear Politics polling averages. As much as the polls should be taken with a whole heaping of salt (especially this many months removed from the election), there’s no denying the trend.

There are two things to keep in mind here. First, Trump only ever had a slight “lead” in the polls to begin with. The media has spent the past year highlighting any stray poll that claimed Trump was way ahead. But in reality the polling averages typically showed Trump only being ahead by a point or two, which was within the stated margin of error and therefore a statistical tie.

Second, even now that Biden is in the lead, it’s still a very slight lead. This is to be expected. Modern presidential general elections, no matter how big a difference in candidate quality of candidate popularity, tend to end up being close. Three points is a solid win. Five points is considered a blowout. So Biden’s lead, which appears to be a point or two right now in the polling averages, isn’t all that tiny. That said, Biden’s lead is within the margin of error, so it would be fair to still call this a statistical tie.

Still, you’d clearly rather be Biden than Trump right now. Biden has a slight lead and his numbers are trending up. Trump is slightly behind and his numbers are trending down. And given that the polls have been consistently inaccurately biased in favor of the Republicans for a few years now (look at the various election results in 2021, 2022, and 2023), that’s likely even more good news for Biden.

What’s interesting to me is that, even nearly two weeks after Trump’s felony conviction happened, it appears to still be driving his poll numbers downward. For instance Trump was still ahead in the Morning Consult poll shortly after his conviction, but he’s now fallen behind in the updated version of that poll.

It’s a reminder that news takes awhile to sink in. If you’re a Republican who was on the fence about voting for Trump but leaning toward doing so, his felony conviction might not have immediately registered with you. But after a week or two of hearing about and letting it sink in, maybe you’re now leaning toward just staying home.

So it’ll be worth watching what the trend is in the polling averages over the next few weeks. Will Trump continue to be punished for his felony conviction? If so, how far will he fall? Remember, three points is an election, so to speak. Also keep in mind that whenever the major media outlets are touting a certain poll number, they’ve generally chosen it because it’s out of whack with the polling averages and therefore good for ratings. So always ignore what the media is saying about the polls, and instead look up the polling averages yourself.

As always, feel free to be as skeptical about polling as you like. But let’s all take a moment to be pleased that Biden is gaining in the polls and has indeed pulled ahead in many of them. That’s not nothing. I said all along that the true importance of Trump’s criminal trials is that they would gradually chip away at his political viability, and we’re now seeing that happen. If the Republicans really want to go through with nominating a guy with convicted felon status hanging around his neck, that’s their mistake to make. We’ll be over here putting in the work to defeat him.

Sign up for the Palmer Report mailing list
-----
Help keep Palmer Report firing on all cylinders in 2024