Polls indicate Trump remains competitive in key states. Oh, yeah: And if Warren is the Democratic nominee, he wins

polling chart

Tonight I got a fund-raising text from Joe Biden that reminded me that I meant to share with y’all something I saw in The New York Times this morning. The text said:

BREAKING: A New York Times poll says that Joe Biden is the ONLY candidate who can beat Trump in some critical swing states that Trump won in 2016.

So if Joe Biden isn’t our nominee, Trump will be reelected again.

But Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have more money than us — even though they can’t defeat Trump. And if we can’t catch up, they might be the ones facing off against him….

And so forth.

Here’s what the Biden campaign is talking about. See the graphic above, which I hope the NYT doesn’t mind my showing you (I urge you to go read it on their site, and even subscribe, as I do). There are other informative graphics with the piece.

The Times emphasized Trump’s competitiveness, leading with:

Despite low national approval ratings and the specter of impeachment, President Trump remains highly competitive in the battleground states likeliest to decide his re-election, according to a set of new surveys from The New York Times Upshot and Siena College…

But the graphic (which I had to go grab from an old Tweet, because it no longer appears with the story), shouted something else: Democrats are nuts if they go with Elizabeth Warren.

Of course, I knew that already. Did you?

The story has an important caveat:

There is a full year before Election Day, and a lot can change.

But then, a caveat to the caveat:

But on average over the last three cycles, head-to-head polls a year ahead of the election have been as close to the final result as those taken the day before.

So I suppose we should take heed….

72 thoughts on “Polls indicate Trump remains competitive in key states. Oh, yeah: And if Warren is the Democratic nominee, he wins

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Oh, it’s the easiest thing in the world, as long as you don’t fool yourself into believing with any degree of certainty that they’ll come true…

      Which is why I generally don’t make them.

      I do talk about relative likelihoods — like the likelihood that Joe would do better in the general than anyone from his party’s left wing.

      Reply
  1. Doug T

    BBC has a really good article charting all the dems since January. Biden really hasn’t dropped. Others have ebbed and flowed. Warren will go the way of Harris. Clyburn is correct…Mayor Pete will get very few black votes. The media keeps writing off Joe but he is the only dem that can beat Trump. If Joe can get out of Iowa with a 2nd or maybe a 3rd he’ll be OK. He’s leading in SC and NV.

    OBTW where was Joe while his competitors were campaigning? He was visiting a a dying Kay Hagan. Lindsey got one thing right….Joe’s the most decent person he ever met. That doesn’t qualify him for president but at this point the country would be so much better off with someone who could show empathy toward everyone vs demonizing and dividing.

    Reply
      1. Doug T

        There’s a video clip somewhere. Lindsey is in a car. There’s tears in his eyes. I think it was after Joe showed up at Lindsey’s retirement ceremony from the service. If I can find the clip I’ll post.

        Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Then why was I worried going into the election?

      I think your memory is exaggerating that…

      Do you think these polls are wrong? Do you doubt that Trump is more likely to beat Warren than Biden?

      Reply
      1. Mr. Smith

        This is Fantasy Island season in presidential politics, when practically anything seems possible.

        Wait for actual numbers to roll in starting January before making any assumptions about what’s really likely.

        Reply
        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Well, that’s when we’re learn more about what’s really likely in the nomination process. I’m concerned with whether they nominate some who can win a year from now. That’s what I’ve been concerned about from the beginning, and will be to the end.

          I don’t care about Warren and whether her numbers add up on her (or rather, Bernie’s) health care plan. I just care about returning normalcy and decency to the White House…

          Reply
          1. David T

            ” I just care about returning normalcy and decency to the White House…”

            Will you be sending your granddaughters to the White House for their hug from Uncle Joe?

            Reply
                1. Barry

                  I never voted for Strom so I wouldn’t say “love” is the right word.

                  I did work on Tommy Hartnett’s campaign against Fritz but never got worked up that much on any opponent of Strom.

                  Even then, I prefer a politician’s creepy hugs as opposed to sexual assault or trying to bed married women as Trump admitted to doing.

                2. David T

                  “I did work on Tommy Hartnett’s campaign ”

                  I and 99% of the others on this blog are all saying the same thing, “Who?”.

                3. David T

                  “Even then, I prefer a politician’s creepy hugs as opposed to sexual assault or trying to bed married women as Trump admitted to doing.”

                  So you’re saying that you didn’t vote for either* Clinton candidate.

                  * per Bill Clinton when talking about Hillary’s sexual experiences.

                4. Barry

                  “I and 99% of the others on this blog are all saying the same thing, “Who?”.”

                  No they aren’t. Everyone on here knows who Tommy Hartnett is without blinking an eye. Good gracious.

                5. Barry

                  “So you’re saying that you didn’t vote for either* Clinton candidate.”

                  I’ve said that already. You have an really awful memory.

                  I don’t vote for people who sexually assault other people whether his name is Bill Clinton or Donald Trump.

                  I don’t vote for people that excuse that behavior either.

      2. David T

        I’m not going to worry about it until the Democrats themselves can figure out who they’re going to support. Right now it’s Biden vs. Warren vs. Sanders. It seems the flavor of the month so far is Warren.

        Reply
  2. bud

    Isn’t it fascinating that a candidate as flawed as Joe Biden would likely beat an incumbent president presiding over an economy with a 3.6% unemployment rate and no unpopular war?

    Round 1 of general election polling goes to Biden. Still a long way to go.

    Reply
  3. David T

    How are these polls being conducted? Are they taking the scientific route and calling people on their landline? Are they sending pollsters to “the mall” and ask people as they’re getting off the escalators?

    Reply
  4. Mark Stewart

    It actually seems like it would be the best time for a maverick type Republican to mount a campaign against Trump for 2020. I think if the Senate felt like there was a viable contender in the ring they would impeach Trump in a skinny minute.

    Too bad none in the GOP had chosen to be David when Trump seemed like Goliath. As with sailing.strategy, sometimes it’s better to tack alone while others follow the pack. For instance Lindsey Graham could have been that steadfast warrior has he continued to reject Trump instead of sucking up to the President. Duh-oo!

    Reply
  5. bud

    Just when you thought it was impossible for Rand Paul to be any more disgusting he managed to lower his level of reprehensibility even more. Last night at a gubernatorial rally in Kentucky the foul, insidious junior senator from KY called on the media to out the whistleblower. What’s next for Paul, a puppy kicking contest?

    Reply
    1. Barry

      A few years ago Rand wanted to expand protections to federal contractors and he praised whistleblowers.

      Last night in front of a raucous crowd of partisans,, he urged newspapers to print the whistleblower’s name. Obviously, the senator that was physically attacked by a neighbor wants this whistleblower to face some backwoods Kentucky justice.

      If Rand wants newspapers to print his/her name. Why doesn’t he just say the name himself?

      He’s such a screwed up human being.

      Reply
      1. David T

        The accused should be allowed to face his accuser. How do we know the accuser’s testimony is true, because his attorney said so?

        Reply
        1. Guy

          So you are endorsing indictment of Trump? Confrontation clause is only applicable to criminal prosecution. Thanks for playing.

          Reply
          1. bud

            I look at the whistleblower the same way as someone anonymously calling a crime hotline. If, for example, someone calls about the operation of a meth lab and police raid the premises and find the lab what difference does it make who the tipster is? This is all a red herring by Republicans desperately trying to defend a man who is completely unworthy of being defended. No, the whistleblower does not have to confront his accuser in this instance.

            Reply
          2. David T

            I’m saying that if a person is being accused of something by another person that the person has a right to face the accuser. Accusing me of doing something I say I didn’t do and hiding doesn’t put much weight on your accusation. I don’t care who you are, if I am on a jury where something like this happens… “not guilty”.

            Reply
              1. David T

                “You’d never be on such a jury.”

                Well I’ve sat on three of them, none of which had an anonymous source for the arrest. So maybe the 4th time will be the difference. My record right now is two guilty and one not guilty verdict. Just to even things out, maybe I can sit on one to get that next verdict count on the not guilty side.

                Reply
                1. Barry

                  Anonymous tips are plentiful, especially in missing children cases.

                  I know you have to defend Trump at all costs but our system of justice doesn’t require an anonymous person offering a tip that is proven to be true to be public-especially not in the investigation phase.

                  Plus, of course the person really isn’t anonymous at all. The intelligence community IG knows the person and looked into the claim.

                  It’s just a distraction at this point. Trump has admitted to the claim made. Republican types just want the name so they can trash the person and his/her family.

        2. Mark Stewart

          We know the Whistleblower’s report is factual because it has been corroborated by other witness statements made under penalty of perjury. “Ambassador” Sondland admitted yesterday that he had lied to Congress in his deposition. He has acknowledged he knew the scheme was a quid pro quo involving the withholding of $400 million in military aid for Trump’s personal domestic political gain.

          He is likely to avoid jail time for his sordid role in this betrayal of America. Doesn’t look like Giuliani will do so. The question now is more about who else was involved with, and/or facilitated, Trump’s high crimes and misdemeanors?

          Reply
          1. bud

            Should we still be calling this a “quid pro quo”? That has the air of respectability to it somehow. Let’s use good old American speak and call it what it is – a shakedown. Or better still a bribery. After all the constitution uses the term bribery specifically in it’s impeachment clause:

            “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors”.

            Reply
                1. Barry

                  Bill is a rich guy. In many ways he also a disgraced guy who even democrats don’t want around on the campaign trail.

                  Most importantly, he will always be known as a President that was impeached which is a big deal to him. With Trump’s egotistical manner, the fact that he will be one of the few impeached Presidents is what will eat at his soul more than anything.

          2. David T

            And it’s all a big waste of time since we know it will not go any further than the House. The Senate will not find him guilty so it stops right there. Ask Bill Clinton how much his impeachment hurt him. It’s like getting a letter of reprimand in your personal file at work… it’s not a BFD to use the words of Joe Biden. I have one from about 15 years ago for refusing to do something I knew wasn’t correct, it hasn’t affected or changed anything in my work life. Someone else eventually ended up doing what I refused to do and got fired along with the director who approved it. So I have a letter of reprimand, still have my job… I win.

            Reply
              1. David T

                Well Mark, I guess one of will be right and one of us will look like a fool. My money is on my prediction. You seem to think the Senate will boot him from office. What we know right now, I wouldn’t bet a nickle on your prediction.

                Reply
                1. David T

                  Oh good, you posted an editorial from that unbiased source, The LA Times. I should counter by posting one from Fox News, just to drag this stupidity out just a little longer.

                  Brad must be thrilled, he has a handful of idiots arguing over something they have no control over and the only thing that is being accomplished is boosting his visit and post counts.

  6. Harry Harris

    I hate headlines that are meant to make a point. Brad’s headline for this thread apparently is based on one poll, and overstates the point. Look at headline after headline from Fox news. They will say something like “Biden slammed over criticism of Trump’s Syria withdrawal.” Inside, you find that some right-wing pundit went after Biden.
    Drawing big conclusions based on a small set of information keeps us in trouble as problem-solvers. It’s especially onerous when it’s done with a bias or hidden agenda.

    Reply
  7. Phillip

    You all are still assuming Trump will be the candidate. David T is correct that at this point the Senate of course would not convict Trump in an impeachment trial right now, but what we may be seeing now is Trump’s increasingly erratic behavior as the process plays itself out. I’m somewhat hopeful that he gets more irrational and angry as the impeachment hearings proceed, because I think it makes him more likely to do more crazy things, perhaps commit more obviously impeachable offenses…try to order the military to shut down Congress or something like that, declare a national emergency etc. Hopefully starting a war is not one of those crazy things he’d do, but I do think he’ll get more unhinged and that might start to peel away a few Republicans as they start to accept that they’ve turned their party over to a nutcase. At the very least it will limit his election support to his most hard-line supporters.

    Reply
    1. Harry Harris

      What he’s more likely to do in my view is order some military action to rally folks around the flag – and as he sees it, him. Shortly after he was elected, a supporter of President Trump who is my friend asked what I thought of him. I said “He is an ignorant narcissist, and I hope he doesn’t get a lot of people killed.” I’m sure I’ve been shown to be correct on the first two points. On the third, I think we’ve seen demonstrated how little anybody other than he, himself means to him, (eg Kurds). His erratic actions can be dangerous.

      Reply
  8. Doug Ross

    Elizabeth Warren’s net worth is $12 million. Why is that amount acceptable for a person who claims to be fighting the 1%?

    Reply
  9. Mr. Smith

    From the Washington Post:

    “Haley says Tillerson, Kelly tried to recruit her to subvert Trump to ‘save the country’

    In a new book, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley slams Rex Tillerson as ‘exhausting’ and John Kelly as suspicious of her access to the president, and argues they should have quit if they disagreed with him.”

    None of them should’ve ever joined with him. Doing so demonstrated a lack of character. Haley does not stand apart in that regard, so she should hold back on criticizing others lest she be called out for hypocrisy. Or worse: loyalty to this administration, which is misplaced loyalty if ever there was such a thing.

    Reply
    1. Mark Stewart

      So was Haley saying she disagreed with Trump and so she quit on principle? Or, is she trying to imply she really did support Trump – and was forced out by those around him?

      Disingenuous is the word that comes to mind.

      Reply
      1. Harry Harris

        Haley’s first book didn’t make much money. She didn’t get the big speaking fees she was after – she was hoping for Palin-style money. I have believed from her early days in politics that she is after money, however it can be made. This book will get big sales among the right wing. She will, perhaps get more high-dollar speaking gigs. Did I mention I don’t think she’s very trustworthy?

        Reply
        1. Realist

          “Did I mention I don’t think she’s very trustworthy?”

          She is a politician. What else did you expect? If books by politicians were outlawed, the publishing companies would start to close down like Sears stores.

          Reply
          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Speaking of Sears. I liked this Tweet the other day…

            … to which I responded thusly:

            But I’m jealous because someone else responded…

            Reply
                1. Realist

                  Before they were Kmart, they were S.S. Kresge. Changed over to Kmart in 1977. Not to be confused with S.H. Kress five and dime stores.

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