Early Thoughts on the 2024 Election

Right now there is a freak out among some Democrats about Biden being old. It is odd in some ways because it is not exactly news that Biden is old. And part of it is that right now the race appears to be tight in polls. But the thing that people frequently overlook is that polls this far out rarely tell the story of the election. In August of 1983 more people disapproved of Reagan’s performance as President than approved ( https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/statistics/data/ronald-reagan-public-approval ). He was down by 44-46, and went on to win to win every state except Mondale’s home state of Minnesota in 1984. Then there is Clinton. He had lost the House in 1994, faced Newt Gingrich as his political enemy that year, and around this point in 1995 was dead even at 44%approve, 44% disapprove ( https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/statistics/data/william-j-clinton-public-approval ). But in 1996 he won 379 Electoral College votes and was easily re-elected. Or how about Obama? At around this point in 2011, he was down 40-52 ( https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/statistics/data/barack-obama-public-approval ). But bounced back to win 332 Electoral College votes and re-election. So polls at this point don’t tell the story of the upcoming election.

But polls are not the best evidence in any case when we have elections to look at. Prior to the Dobbs decision, the Republicans were doing well in elections. But since then it has been bad news.

In short, the Democrats have been doing very well, and the Republicans have not been doing well at all. And the trials haven’t even really hit yet.

Finally, a little history lesson. In 1992, Bill Clinton was elected in a 3-way race where he got just under 50% of the vote. Scarely a strong mandate. Then in 1994, Newt Gingrich and the Republicans captured the US House, making Gingrich the Speaker. Gingrich then led the House into a government shutdown, Clinton’s numbers recovered, and he won re-election in 1996. Then they tried the impeachment route, eventually finding that Clinton had an affair with Monica Lewinsky. Clinton not only survived that, the Democrats held on in Congress ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1998_United_States_Senate_elections ). “…this marked the first time since 1934 that the party not in control of the White House failed to gain congressional seats in a mid-term election and the first time since 1822 that this party failed to gain seats in the mid-term election of a President’s second term. “

So what are the geniuses of the Republican clown car in the House up to now? They want to both shut down the government and pursue a bogus impeachment, all in the same year. It is priceless, really. As Napoleon said, never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake, so I am happy to leave the Republicans to their “own goal”. But for heaven’s sake, stop kvetching about Biden. He is the most effective President since FDR, and he has the wind at his back.

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