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Sunday, April 14, 2024 - 06:00 PM

INDEPENDENT CONSERVATIVE VOICE OF UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA

First Published in 1994

INDEPENDENT CONSERVATIVE VOICE OF
UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA

Attention readers: Neil Patel is off this week. Please enjoy the following column by David Harsanyi.

It remains something of a mystery why there's so little apprehension among liberal pundits and Democrats about the similarities between battleground state polling for the 2020 presidential election and 2016 contest -- which as you might recall did not turn out as expected.

Consider the case of Wisconsin:

The RealClearPolitics average had Clinton +6.5 in Wisconsin on Election Day in 2016. In August of that year, she had been +11.5. Not a single poll featured on RCP during the entire campaign showed Donald Trump winning the state. Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden has a +3.5 average right now -- which is to say, he is underperforming Clinton in the middle of a pandemic and ensuing economic collapse. This is the case in several battleground states. What happens if the coronavirus continues to ebb or the economy continues rebounding over the next couple of months?

A new CNBC poll, for instance, finds that as serious concerns about the coronavirus fell in six 2020 battleground states, approval of Trump's handling of COVID-19 rose.

This average, incidentally, was taken before the Kenosha riots. As Wisconsin radio host Dan O'Donnell points out to me, many Republicans in the state believe the August 2016 riots in Milwaukee over the shooting death of Sylville Smith (an incident that was eventually ruled to be justified) likely played a role Trump's win. It was around the time the polls began to tighten. "Milwaukee is seen outstate as being wholly unlike the rest of the largely rural population because of its crime and Democrat policies," O'Donnell says. "If people in, say, Appleton and Oshkosh (the other big swing area) and the heavily red suburbs think Milwaukee-style rioting could come to their cities next, Democrats are in big trouble here."

A new Marquette Law School Poll in Wisconsin found that support for Black Lives Matter was dropping even before the riots broke out. In June, approval of protests was widespread, with 61% approving and 36% disapproving. By August, 48% were approving and 48% disapproving. It is possible those numbers will take a bigger hit after Kenosha.

Other swing states find Biden similarly underperforming. He is +5.5 in Pennsylvania today. Hillary Clinton was +9.2 the same day in 2016. Polls would tighten, but Clinton still ended up +2 on Election Day. Biden is +7 in Michigan today, and Clinton was +9 on the same day in 2016. Even in traditionally Democratic Minnesota polls show some tightening.

Florida is the only battleground state where Biden (+3.7) is outperforming Clinton (+2.7). Clinton was up +2.8 in August. The Florida polls would also tighten in 2016. Now, if Trump loses Florida, none of the other swing states are going to matter, anyway. That said, Democrat Andrew Gillum was + 3.6 over Republican Ron DeSantis in the governor's race and Bill Nelson was +2.6 over Rick Scott in the Senate race on Election Day in 2018. Both Democrats were above 50% in at least three of the last five polls conducted in the state, and both lost their elections. That's a trend.

I'm no prognosticator. I was convinced Trump would be beaten soundly in 2016. Maybe pollsters have fixed the problems of four years ago. Or maybe Biden's lead will prove more durable than Clinton's. No election is the same. What I don't understand, however, is why so many people seem so utterly convinced that this time will be different.

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David Harsanyi is a senior writer at National Review and the author of the book "First Freedom: A Ride Through America's Enduring History With the Gun." To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2020 CREATORS.COM

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Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel

Tucker Carlson currently hosts Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (weekdays 8 p.m. ET). He joined the network in 2009 as a contributor.

“Tucker Carlson Tonight” features powerful analysis and spirited debates, with guests from across the political and cultural spectrum. Carlson brings his signature style to tackle issues largely uncovered by the media in every corner of the United States, challenging political correctness with a "Campus Craziness" segment and tackling media bias and outrage during "Twitter Storm."

Carlson co-hosted “Fox & Friends Weekend” starting in 2012, until taking on his current role at “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

While at Fox News, Carlson has provided analysis for “America's Election Headquarters” on primary and caucus nights, including in the 2016 and 2012 presidential elections, as well as the 2014 midterm election. He also produced a Fox News special, "Fighting for Our Children's Minds," in 2010.

Prior to working at Fox News, Carlson hosted “Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered” on PBS from 2004 to 2005 and “Tucker” on MSNBC from 2005 to 2008. He joined CNN in 2000 as its youngest anchor ever, co-hosting “The Spin Room” and later CNN's “Crossfire,” until its 2005 cancellation. In 2003, he wrote an autobiography about his cable news experience titled "Politicians, Partisans and Parasites: My Adventures in Cable News."

Carlson graduated with a B.A. in history from Trinity College in Connecticut.

Neil Patel

In addition to his role as publisher of The Daily Caller, Neil Patel is co-founder and managing director of Bluebird Asset Management, a hedge fund investing in mortgage-backed securities.

Before starting his two companies, Neil served in the White House from 2005 to 2009 as the chief policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney. From 2001 to 2004, Neil was staff secretary to Vice President Cheney. Prior to joining the Bush administration, Neil was assistant general counsel at UUNET Technologies. Earlier in his career, Neil practiced law with Dechert Price & Rhoads. He also served as Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the People’s Republic of China. 

Neil received his B.A. from Trinity College in Connecticut and his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center, where he served as associate editor of the Journal of Law and Policy in International Business.

Neil lives in Washington, D.C., and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with his wife, Amy, their two daughters, Caroline and Bela, and their son, Charlie.

COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM