Fighting Weakness – The New York Times

In 2016, when pollsters from The New York Times asked Americans if they planned to vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, more than 10% said they would support neither. They said they would instead vote for a third-party candidate or not vote at all.

Four years later, the situation has changed. Joe Biden was a more popular candidate than Clinton, while some Trump naysayers supported him. Less than 5 percent of voters told pollsters they did not plan to vote for any of the major party candidates.

This Morning Times publishes its first 2022 midterm campaign survey. And one of the main messages is that once again, Americans seem to be just as dissatisfied with the leading candidates as they were in 2016. “It looks like a 2016 poll, not a 2020 poll,” said Nate Cohn, chief political analyst at The Times. I .

The poll included the question of whether people would vote for Biden or Trump in 2024 if the two became candidates again. The question did not offer any options other than Biden and Trump, however, 10 percent of respondents said they did not plan to support either of them. The share was even higher among voters under 35 and lower among older voters.

This level of dissatisfaction is a reflection of the enormous dueling weakness of the two sides.

The Democratic Party has two main problems. First, Biden’s job approval rating is just 33% (similar to Trump’s worst ratings during his presidency), due in part to dissatisfaction with inflation and the ongoing disruption to daily life caused by the pandemic. Second, the Democrats’ priorities seem inconsistent with the priorities of most Americans.

Democrats in Congress spent much of the past year arguing with a small number of moderates. blocking legislation it would lower drug prices, address climate change, and take other popular steps. Many Democrats – both politicians and voters, especially on the party’s left – also appear to be more focused. on controversial cultural issues than on the day-to-day worries of most Americans, such as inflation.

“The left has a set of priorities that is just different from the rest of the country,” Nate said. Liberals care more about abortion and guns than the economy. Conservative concerns are much more in line with the rest of the country.”

On the other hand, Neith notes, “Republicans have their own serious problems.”

Trump remains the dominant figure in the party, and he is about as unpopular as Biden. The personal favor ratings of the two men in the Times poll are identical, at 39 percent. Many voters, including independents and a prominent minority of Republicans, are outraged by the events of January. 6 and Trump’s role in them.

Republicans are also facing some issues with recent Supreme Court rulings. The court delivered aggressive decisions, including overturning Roe v. Wade what to take policy right to public opinion on some of the same issues where many Democrats are on his left.

All this leads to a remarkable combination of survey results. Biden looks like the weakest sitting president in decades; 61% of Democrats said they hope someone else will be the party’s nominee in 2024, with the majority citing either Biden’s age or accomplishments. However, when all voters were asked to choose between Biden and Trump in a hypothetical matchup, Biden nonetheless slightly outperformed Trump, 44% to 41%.

Other polls — for example, YouGov and Harris — suggests that Biden will handle Trump better than Vice President Kamala Harris. These comparisons are a reminder that Biden won the 2020 nomination for a reason: he is one of the few well-known Democrats in the country who doesn’t seem too liberal for many swing voters. In short, Biden is a wounded incumbent in a party with no clearly stronger alternatives.

Of course, there is still a long time before the 2024 elections. Perhaps Biden’s position will improve, or another Democrat – someone who wins a tough race this year, like Stacy Abrams or Senator Rafael Warnock in Georgia – will emerge as an opportunity. Perhaps Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence or another Republican will beat Trump in this nomination. Perhaps Biden or Trump (or both) decide not to run.

The level of voter dissatisfaction also makes it more likely that a third-party candidate might gain enough support to influence the outcome, Nate adds.

For now, however, it seems that each side’s greatest strength is the weakness of its opponent.

Connected: My colleague Shane Goldmacher has more details and analysis of Biden’s approval rating. The Times will release more poll results in the coming days, including on the Republican Party, the midterms and more.

The scientist, Vanessa Braganza, was fascinated by the design of the pendant with its dense set of letters. Using a process similar to “Early Modern Wordle,” Braganza says, she deciphered the image, which has the names of Henry and Katherine written on it.

What makes it particularly interesting, argues Braganza, is that the pendant was probably commissioned not by the king, but by Catherine herself, to establish her place in history as Henry prepared to divorce her. “It really helps us understand Katherine as a brash figure,” she says.

Thank you for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. – David

PS Boris Yeltsin became the first freely elected president of Russia, according to The Times. 31 years ago today.