09.06.2023 0

Poll: Trump leads independents by 11 points following indictments and mugshot, garners 20 percent of blacks

By Robert Romano

Don’t look now, but former President Donald Trump has opened up a massive lead among independents against President Joe Biden, 43 percent to 32 percent, in the latest Economist-YouGov poll take Aug. 26 to Aug. 29, following the four indictments against him by New York City prosecutors, Special Counsel Jack Smith and Fulton County, Ga. prosecutors.

That’s an improvement from Aug. 12 to Aug. 15 when Trump led among independents 32 percent to 25 percent in the Economist-YouGov poll.

A key factor appears to be that this time, Economist-YouGov broke down party identification among registered voters rather than adult citizens, giving a clearer view of the race, when in the middle of the month, 25 percent of independents said they would not vote. Now when only asking registered voters, that number is down to just 7 percent.

Similarly, Trump also improved to 20 percent among blacks against Biden, up from 17 percent in the middle of the month. In the Aug. 12 to Aug. 15 poll, 13 percent of blacks said they would not vote, but now, only talking to registered voters, the number is also down to 7 percent.

Consider how this differs from the situation in Nov. 2020, when in the last Economist-YouGov poll, Biden led independents 48 percent to 39 percent and Trump only garnered 9 percent of blacks in the poll.  Among independents, Biden has lost 16 points, while Trump has gained 4 points, and among blacks, Biden has also lost 16 points, while Trump has gained 11 points, and it’s not even 2024 yet.

While there is time for Biden to recover, simply put, these numbers devastating for an incumbent Democratic president facing reelection in 2024, who depends greatly on minority voters including blacks to vote heavily for him. Any breakage there is cause for a red alert among Democrats. Even without any breakage among minorities, independents — the largest voting bloc in the country — is a group without which neither party can win.

In addition, voter attitudes are beginning to harden in the face of the prosecution of Trump by partisan Democratic prosecutors, who have already rendered martyrdom status to Trump among his followers. Hopes that the trials would harm Trump among Republicans have dwindled into willful fantasy, as Trump still easily leads the GOP presidential nomination 51 percent to 14 percent for his closest rival Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis.

If the hope was to drag down Trump, it has completely backfired.

At the moment, Biden and Trump trade roughly equal shares of members of their own party, with Biden picking up 7 percent of Republicans, and Trump pick up 6 percent of Democrats. But in a long race, those attitudes should eventually “come back home”. In 2020, Biden only received 4 percent of Republicans, while Trump garnered 3 percent of Democrats.

But with a weak incumbent, like Biden, sometimes it is members of one’s own party who end up doing some of the most significant damage. Biden should be leading members of his own party against Trump with 89 percent, as he did in 2020, if not better. Right now, he’s at 87 percent. Whereas, Trump still faces a relatively competitive Republican field, such as it is, and he has time to shore up the GOP.

Suffice to say, this is not the race for 2024 the Washington, D.C. establishment was anticipating, or if it was, it might explain the push to prosecute and potentially disqualify Trump from running against Biden. Something has changed. Biden is extremely vulnerable.

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.

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