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‘Extremely Alarmed’: Strategists Break Down Major Red Flag For Democrats In Latest Polling

A polling anomaly in the latest numbers from the New York Times and Siena College has Republican strategists predicting more good news to come for the GOP.

The NYT and Siena released a survey Monday showing former President Donald Trump leading President Joe Biden across five key swing states: Nevada, Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Of registered voters, 33% said they would vote for Biden if the election was held in May with Trump getting 40% of the vote.

But while Biden trails Trump by a healthy margin, the down-ballot races are a different story. Senate Democrats are doing much better across the same states states, with 45% of voters choosing Democrats as opposed to 40% of voters choosing Republicans.

The numbers could paint a rosy picture for Senate Democrats, but several strategists told the Daily Caller it could be fool’s gold, adding that an unpopular Biden could affect Democrats down ballot as the election goes on.

“It shows you the depths of disappointment that most voters have with Biden, whether they’re Democrats or Republicans. There’s just a lot of disappointment in Biden. If I were Biden, I would be extremely alarmed by this gap that you’ve got voters out there saying, ‘yeah, I’d like to vote for this Democratic senator, but not Joe Biden.’ That is a huge red flag for them,” longtime Kentucky Republican strategist Scott Jennings told the Daily Caller.

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The president has faced a string of poor polling that shows him losing matchups to Trump both nationally and across key swing states. Biden is also dealing with a poor approval rating, as Americans stress they are focused on the economy and border crisis.

While the NYT poll shows Democrats winning state races, having a weak Biden that voters aren’t excited about could doom other Democrats relying on the president to generate turnout, communications adviser Mark R. Weaver told the Daily Caller.

“One thing a poll doesn’t simulate is turnout. So if Joe Biden is weak at the top of the ticket, we have two problems for the Democratic party. First one is he’s weak at the top of the ticket. He’s likely to lose,” Weaver said.

“But problem number two for the rest of the ticket is when the top of your ticket is weak, it depresses turnout of your base. So those people who are senators who are scoring higher in the poll in the cross tabs, that’s with people who got on the phone or got online and took the poll. That’s not measuring that many of them won’t actually show up to vote for that Democratic senate candidate because they’re so depressed or disillusioned with Joe Biden,” Weaver added.

In those Senate races highlighted in the poll, the Democrats outperforming Republicans include Arizona’s Ruben Gallego, who leads Kari Lake by three points, and Bob Casey, who is two points ahead of Dave McCormick in Pennsylvania.

In Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin is ahead of Eric Hovde by seven points while Jacky Rosen and Sam Brown are neck-in-neck in Nevada. “The four Democratic Senate candidates outpace Biden by between one and 13 points,” the summary of the poll reads.

The polling discrepancy could in part be attributed to Republicans being better at their messaging against Biden rather than the entire Democratic party, Robert Cahaly, founder of the polling organization the Trafalgar Group, told the Daily Caller.

“I would think that is a logical reasoning for the gap. That is a logical reason. So I would ascribe to that possibility …  Let it all be blamed on Biden and therefore all cleaned up,” Cahaly told the Daily Caller.

Weaver and Jennings echoed Cahaly’s sentiments, though they attributed the gap more to the timing of the poll.

“I think that’s possible, but that messaging would come later in the campaign. That’s a September message. That’s not a May message. Right now, most Republican Senate candidates are not spending money advertising, they’re organizing,” Weaver told the Caller.

“But it’s awfully early to measure that because you’re not seeing large amounts of Republican Senate advertising yet. It’s too early to be messaging,” he added.

Brad Bannon, a Democratic strategist, agreed that Republicans may have a messaging problem, adding that state candidates focus on issues that might not be popular with voters.

“I do think there’s a Republican message problem,” Bannon told the Caller. “And you know, one of the reasons is that, in my opinion, is abortion. People see Trump Republicans making all sorts of threats about a national abortion ban. And even older districts who are willing to vote for Donald Trump for president don’t want a national abortion ban.”

As the election draws near, the president and his aides are reportedly in complete denial about the polls showing Biden trailing across key swing states.

In public, the president is open about his disbelief in the polls, and his posture is the same in private, people familiar with his thoughts told Axios.

“While the press doesn’t write about it, the momentum is clearly in our favor, with the polls moving towards us and away from Trump,” the president told donors during a California campaign event in May.

There are some polls that show Biden leading Trump, and those figures are the ones the president likes to study and follow closely, according to Axios. An April 2024 poll from PBS/Marist survey is among those that puts Biden three points ahead of Trump.

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“The only consistency in recent public polls is inconsistency,” Geoff Garin, a Biden campaign pollster, told reporters, according to the New York Times.

Leslie Marshall, a Democratic strategist, had similar sentiments to Garin, adding that the polls are only reflective of a point in time and could fluctuate.

“So am I saying those polls are wrong? No, not necessarily. But we all know, polls are a snapshot in time. And whether you look back to the election of 1972, actually, from 1972, all the way to 2020. The polls at this time have been off, you know, whether it’s three, four, or five or more points from where we are in November, and then things are going to change by the time November comes around,” Marshall told the Caller.

Despite the polling troubles, the Biden campaign has had success in its fundraising efforts through the 2024 election cycle. Keeping up with his trend of glitzy fundraisers, the president is set to host a major event in California with former President Barack Obama, George Clooney and Julia Roberts, a campaign official told NBC News. Biden will later hold a fundraiser with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton, the outlet reported.

“I think when you vote right down to it, Trump is more popular among Republicans than Biden is among Democrats. If we’ve heard one, we’ve heard 100 people say I didn’t start off this election cycle thinking there’s any way I can vote for Trump and I’m so sick of what’s being done to him, that I’m gonna vote for him just to spite him. I hear that all the time,” Cahaly told the Daily Caller.

AUTHOR

REAGAN REESE

White House correspondent.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.