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The latest USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll reveals a close race between former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, with Trump leading by a narrow margin of 40% to 38%. This indicates a highly unpredictable electorate as the candidates begin their campaigns.

“Nearly eight months out, the election is not set yet. One in four surveyed said they might change their minds before November. That unsettled sentiment was bipartisan, including 14% of Biden voters and 15% of Trump voters,” USA Today reported.

The outlet added: “Most of those now backing a third-party candidate said they were open to changing their minds, among them 75% of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. supporters and 94% of Jill Stein supporters. That signals the potential erosion independent candidates often see as Election Day nears. It also provides a big opportunity for each major-party candidate to make his case to voters who are now reluctant to support him and to convince those voters that it would be dangerous or unwise to back the other guy.”

The survey revealed that immigration and democracy challenges were close behind inflation and the economy in terms of voter concerns, accounting for 24% and 23% respectively. Abortion was the only other issue to reach double digits, with a 10% rating in the poll. A different survey indicates that Biden is falling further behind Trump on the key issues that voters prioritize this election year.

In the ABC/Ipsos poll conducted on March 8 and 9, 36% of respondents expressed trust in Trump, while 33% trusted Biden, and 30% trusted neither candidate. Trump received higher approval ratings than Biden on all issues except abortion and climate change when evaluating the job performance of both presidents.

Trump received a 49% favorable rating on the economy, while Biden received 37%. In terms of inflation, 45% approved of Trump compared to 31% for Biden. For crime, Trump had a 41% favorable rating, while Biden had 35%.

Similarly, on immigration, Trump received a 45% favorable rating, while Biden trailed with 29%. A recent analysis suggests that post-State of the Union Address polling does not match the positive reception of Biden’s performance by fellow Democrats and the majority of the ‘mainstream’ media.

According to Aaron Blake in the Washington Post, the American public may not have perceived Biden’s speech as positively as some outlets did, as instant post-speech polling from CNN and other sources did not reflect the usual level of enthusiasm.

Blake wrote that Biden’s speech received positive feedback from 65 percent of viewers, according to an instant CNN poll highlighted by the campaign and various media outlets. Furthermore, after the speech, there was a significant shift in viewers’ perception of the country’s direction, with 62 percent now believing it is headed in the right direction, compared to 45 percent before the speech, adding:

“Both of these are true. What’s also true is that State of the Union speeches almost always receive strongly favorable views, in part because viewership tends to draw disproportionately from their allies. The 65 percent who had a positive view of the speech was actually lower than any such speech CNN has polled in the past quarter-century — the previous low being Donald Trump’s 2018 address (70 percent).”

The percentage of individuals who provided a “very” positive evaluation, which amounted to 35 percent, was essentially on par with the previous year’s rating of 34 percent, marking the lowest recorded figure. In close proximity were the 2022 speech by Biden and the 2007 speech by George W. Bush, both garnering “very” positive feedback from 41 percent of viewers.

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“The 17-point shift toward the country moving in the ‘right direction’ was also unremarkable, historically speaking. Dating back to Bill Clinton’s 1998 State of the Union address, viewers have shifted an average of 15 points toward that more optimistic view,” Blake wrote.

“Now we get to the caveat, and that’s that viewers Thursday were less aligned with the president than your average State of the Union audience — potentially because we’re in a campaign year or because questions about Biden’s ability to perform drew in more people who were skeptical of him,” he continued. “That appears to explain at least part of the poorer-than-normal reviews — but not all.”

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