According to sociologists, the electoral picture in the US is rapidly changing. The Democrats closed the gap with the Republicans in the congressional campaign, and Biden got a chance for re-election for a second term if Trump runs against him. Why did the president’s rating roll into the abyss, but never fell into it?
Less than two months remain before the elections to the US Congress – they will be held on November 8th. And even in the summer, the forecast was considered generally proven, according to which the Democrats would lose control of both houses of parliament, and Joe Biden’s presidency would be divided in half – into before and after. The rest of his term he was instructed to sit out under the opposition Congress and under the pressure of parliamentary investigations into corruption in the FBI, the Democratic Party and his own family, and in 2024 to hand over the post to some Republican, most likely Donald Trump, who was clearly aiming for revenge.
But autumn came, politicians began to return from vacation – and a new wave of public opinion polls gave Democrats a few reasons for hope. Some of them drew the attention of the analytical publication The Hill. Here is the news, which seems to be replete with sensations.
First, 45% of registered voters said they would vote for the Democratic nominee in the congressional elections, and only 40% for the Republican.
Secondly, 44% of Democratic voters want Joe Biden to be re-elected for a second term, with which 30% strongly disagree. A month ago, it was the other way around: 43% were against re-election, and 35% were in favor. The poll was conducted after the head of state once again confirmed that he would put forward his candidacy (which many refuse to believe).
Thirdly, when the “Biden vs. Trump” finale is repeated, the incumbent president is promised an advantage over the former by six percentage points – 48% versus 42%. Back in August, the same sociological group claimed a three percentage point advantage for Biden.
Also, 60% of respondents expressed their conviction that Trump should not run at all in 2024, and only 29% think otherwise. This is the fourth.
In other polls, you can find data that Republicans will like even less.
For example, 49% of respondents approved of the searches that FBI agents conducted on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, although many Republican commentators argued that it was a Watergate-style “crossing the red line” and that the people would not forgive such a thing.
In reality, 53% of the people, according to the same poll, believe that the former president should be charged in another case – the attempt by the “Trumpists” to storm the Capitol building.
All this seems to overturn the already established picture of the prospects for Biden and his party in future elections. The Democrats, as political technologists put it, “managed to break the negative trend.”
Moreover, they succeeded even in Florida, which was considered the vanguard of the Republican resistance to the White House, where the Democrats certainly do not shine.
Judging by the ratings, Senator Marco Rubio and Gov. Ron DeSantis, who are running for re-election, still outperform their competitors from the “donkey party”, but the gap is narrowing and has already entered the zone of statistical error. The Hill writes about this in another, later material.
By the way, DeSantis is one of the most popular politicians in the country and a likely presidential candidate in 2024 if Trump still does not run. Literally a month ago, he was promised an easy victory, now they do not even guarantee re-election as governor.
In many cases, the results of polls (as well as their compilation) are an element of political propaganda. In the sense that a result that is purely local or programmed by the selection of respondents becomes something generalizing and significant when submitted by an interested party. For example, if you poll the inhabitants of California campuses, the majority will say that Trump is someone like Hitler.
But it is also worth considering that The Hill is a respected publication and, more importantly, one of those few who are trying to stay above the fray. The audience of its printed version is the direct inhabitants of the bipartisan Capitol Hill (which is why the name is “The Hill”), that is, the same Congress. If you start to play along with one, others will stop working with you.
Therefore, The Hill is more often treated not as those who agitate, but as those who inform. So they inform: the Republicans will not have an easy victory. The ratings of Biden and the Democratic Party, having rebounded from the bottom, moved to growth. But what has happened to America over the past month that we in Russia have not noticed?
There is no single answer, there is a combination of factors – both from the field of practical politics, and from the field of that same propaganda.
First. The severity of some of the crises that accompanied the Biden presidency subsided. First of all, negative processes in the economy, including inflation and rising fuel prices, slowed down, and gas even became cheaper.
Many things are still not good, for example, the growth of violent crime has not been stopped and does not seem to be possible in the near future. But on the most painful issues, those expressed in price tags, the impression was created that the worst is over, and the authorities have achieved some success.
Second. By abolishing the right to abortion at the federal level, conservatives in the Supreme Court have made life very difficult for the political strategists of the Republican Party.
Formally, this is the triumph of the “elephants”, who fought for the right of the states to regulate this issue independently and in general against abortion. But in practice, this turned some moderate voters away from Republican candidates, and motivated many Democrats, discouraged by Biden’s failures, to come to the polls and vote against conservatives only to prevent anti-abortion restrictions from being adopted locally. While their absence was guaranteed by the Supreme Court, this issue did not seem relevant.
Third. Now the Americans are under strong informational pressure – and the Americans are suggestible. The Democrats were by no means going to give up power without a fight and decided to raise the stakes. So, Biden for the first time called the ideology of the Republicans “semi-fascism”, and the people who vote for Trump, the enemies of democracy and, in fact, extremists. Of course, he is far from the first to say something like that, but it is one thing when some congressman works to split the country, and quite another when the head of state.
This is a very dangerous game at a time when public confidence in the institutions of power is at an all-time low, and more than half of the respondents admit to sociologists that they allow the start of a new civil war in the near future. But the Democrats now have no other choice but to aggravate the struggle, exposing opponents as monsters and thereby setting the tone for the discussion.
In parallel, the liberal media continue to attack Trump on the grounds given by the FBI and the Department of Justice. A dozen and a half of his former subordinates and close associates were simultaneously summoned for interrogation, some of them are being searched. The alleged charges are in a variety of cases, but it feels like one big Republican gang has been covered.
We see the reflection of these processes in the ratings. There are those respondents who, previously holding intermediate or non-ideological positions, decided to support the Democrats in the new circumstances. And then there are the so-called shy voters who try to avoid conflict and give “publicly approved” answers in polls.
For example, that they will not vote for unacceptable fascists, racists and extremists, but in fact they will.
Finally, the last. The sample in the surveys mentioned above, according to their compilers, was made in accordance with all the requirements of sociology. However, the poll about sympathies in voting for the composition of Congress – the main intrigue of this season – is irrelevant. In the United States, all parliamentarians are single-members, the situation varies greatly from state to state, so the advantage of conditional Democrats over conditional Republicans in a survey of less than two thousand people cannot be extended to the entire country.
Most likely, the Democrats will still lose the battle for Congress. At least the chances of the Republicans still look decent. But the “breaking trend” that sociology has revealed does not allow us to forget: the results of US elections are indeed unpredictable, and the situation tends to change quickly.
So far, no one wins so that with a guarantee. No one is 100% losing yet, not even old Joe Biden. But if, within the framework of mutual denial and a fight on the brink of a foul, politicians really bring things to a civil war, everyone in America will absolutely lose.
In Russia, this will not be upset.