Friday, October 02, 2020

Trump Lost the Debate-- But Biden Did Not Win It



The Challengers by Nancy Ohanian

Establishment conservative Democrats fear-- and in many cases, loathe-- the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. Bill Clinton did all he could do-- which was a lot-- to bury the idea that the Democrats are a working class party. The party has been going downhill as a worthwhile vehicle for legitimate working class aspirations ever since, although it has certainly become a super-charged vehicle for the career aspirations of politicians themselves. The debate on Tuesday made me nauseous. Trump was Trump-- the worst excuse for a president in history by far and without comparison. But it was Biden's pandering to conservatives on healthcare that made me turn off the debate and go watch the 2013 Netflix crime thriller The Blacklist. In the morning, I watched the whole putrid debate.

Every poll I've seen-- and I've looked for them-- had Trump losing. The latest one-- from Morning Consult-- shows that when viewers were asked which candidate performed better, Biden was chosen by 50% and Trump by just 34%. (16% weren't sure). Among independent votes, 46% picked Biden and just 28% picked Donald.

Pelosi is right when she urges Biden to quit while he's "ahead" and not do any more debates. Sooner or later, someone will make it clear to Trump that if he just shuts his face and lets Biden talk, Biden will screw up and give Trump a chance to actually win some voters over. Right now, this election is just about how horrible Trump is. Trump is probably being told to back off and let voters see how horrible Biden is. Because, take it from someone who has been following his career closely since the 70's, he is.

Yesterday, Ron Brownstein took to twitter to put into words what made so many Democrats queasy about Biden's performance. Many Democrats don't understand just how conservative Biden is-- and right to the core of who he is. They assume because he has a "D" next to his name, he hold values associated with the Democratic Party. He never has and he still doesn't.

So here's Brownstein in paragraph form (and minus the twitterisms): "Trump's belligerent and dangerous behavior obscured how poorly Biden performed for much of the debate," he wrote. "On health care he totally misrepresented his own position-making it sound worse than it is. His lead on health fell dramatically in Stan Greenberg's focus groups of debate watchers." OK... and what exactly does Brownstein mean by "worse," which goes to the heart of why many were sickened by Biden and why he fell in the esteem of the Democrats and independents in the focus groups. Sorry for throwing in my two cents-- back to Brownstein:
Sure it was tough with Trump hectoring, but Biden not only failed to explain his plans to build on the Affordable Care Act but said his public option is "only for those people who are so poor they qualify for Medicaid they can get that free in most States." No it's not. It's available for everyone including those who pay too much for employer provided care. His website: "Whether you’re covered through your employer, buying your insurance on your own, or going without coverage altogether, the Biden Plan will give you the choice to purchase a public health insurance option." [This was the moment I went to watch Netflix.]

He would automatically enroll those eligible for Medicaid in GOP states that won't expand it, but importantly he makes this available to everyone. Again, tough with Trump hectoring, but Biden never mentioned any of his plan's elements that aid the middle-class. These include much higher subsidies for people buying on exchanges and allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices and forcing all drug companies who want to participate in Medicare to limit price increases to inflation.

Again: extenuating circumstances, but pretty astonishing that as Trump names a Justice who could overturn the Affordable Care Act, Biden portrays his biggest health initiative as something solely for poor-exactly the messaging Democrats have been trying to escape from the first day Obama unveiled the ACA.

Bottom line: in the Stan Greenberg dial groups, Biden's advantage over Trump dropped during the debate more on health care than any other issue, with a very big decline among non-college white women: precisely the group that were Democrats' most important target on pre-existing conditions in 2018.

Trump's ominous and erratic behavior, his open incitement and encouragement of white nationalists, his summons for violence and intimidation on Election Day, all justifiably overshadowed Biden's performance. But apart from Climate Change, Biden didn't effectively explain any of his plans. Focus group women re-contacted by Sarah Longwell reinforce[d this: they were] horrified by Trump but few were impressed by Biden. He's clearly ahead and any day that doesn't change the dynamic is good for him. But no one should pretend he performed well enough to resolve the doubts voters hold about him.
Anything is better than Trump. I had hoped we would have someone as great as Trump has been horrible, instead of just someone terrible but not as terrible. Corporate America gets its way again! Which reminds me... the new poll from YouGov for The Economist asked Biden voters if they are voting for him or against Trump. 54% said they are voting against Trump and just 44% are voting for Biden. This is especially pronounced among young voters (between 18 and 29) only 26% of whom are for Biden-- while a whopping 73% are motivated to vote because of their animus towards Trump. I hope Biden remembers that when he "wins" the mammoth landslide Donald is going to lose next month.

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At 8:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I refuse to waste my time on what amounts to a Contest of Liars. The replays of the "best" moments are bad enough.

But let's not forget the incredible about-face Biden pulled on the Green New Deal which has Republicans chortling and guffawing (look them up yourself):

During the presidential debate, Mr. Biden said...“The Green New Deal will pay for itself as we move forward."

Moderator Chris Wallace interrupted, saying, “You support the Green New Deal?”

Mr. Biden replied: “No, I don’t support the Green New Deal.”

If I had been watching, the power button on my remote would have ended up on the obverse side.

Things like THIS are why I refuse to vote for Biden. He's just a Trump-clone with a D after his name.

Nothing. Will. Fundamentally. Change.

At 1:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the polling is accurate, then Biden did fine (both in terms of the debate watchers and in terms of maintaining his national lead). The onus was really on Trump to make the case for himself, not to disqualify Biden. Trump keeps setting the bar lower and lower, but the simple fact that the Biden campaign was willing to wear masks looks like it could be the decisive edge in his favor. It's a bit like 2016 in reverse where the challenger is doing the absolute minimum, while the person on the inside track is just completely self-sabotaging.

At 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The polling only shows that the greenhouse is securely Democratic and does what it's told.

At 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ask yourself what will happen when, not if, biden and democraps, again and still, refuse to do what all those deluded progressives elected them to do.

all those who voted against trump won't have trump to vote against in 2022, 2024... maybe 2026.

Or I'll just remind you of the slaughter the democraps walked into in 2010 (by 2014 they'd lost the senate too) after they refused to do one single thing they were elected to do... and no longer had cheney/W nor even McPalin to run against.

At 7:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:53, the democraps tend to do this.

Pramila Jayapal co-wrote a bill to eliminate ICE back when paul ryan was speaker. She and the democraps who had been campaigning on that thought ryan would never allow it up for a vote. they were wrong, stupidly.

ryan challenged them to vote for it and hurt themselves in the 2018 election (because... voters are dumber than shit and evil and frightened and evil... did I mention evil).

Pramila Jayapal and many democraps then voted against their own bill... that they wrote... and the greenhouse remained dormant.


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