Bigger edge goes to party that dumps its 2020 nominee | News, Sports, Jobs

It’s just one poll, conducted by SSRS Research for CNN, but it provides interesting evidence about where voters are on issues, and it isn’t glaringly inconsistent with other survey research.

So “which political party’s views are closer to” yours on each issue? Answer: Mostly the Republican Party. On the economy (41%-29%), immigration (40%-30%), crime and policing (40%-28%), government spending (35%-26%) and parents’ rights (36%-33%).

Admittedly, the Republicans’ margin is closer on America’s role in world affairs (35%-32%) and freedom of speech (37%-35%), and Democrats have the advantage on social and cultural issues (36%-33%) and abortion (40%-30%).

But the overall picture is fairly clear. Although respondents usually have more negative feelings about the Republican than the Democratic party, on this particular set of issues Republicans have a statistically significant advantage over Democrats on four issues and Democrats on only one.

That’s reasonably consistent with President Joe Biden’s job approval, which is currently 44% and has been running at about that level, and occasionally well below, most of the time since the disorderly withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan in August 2021.

But it’s at least somewhat dissonant with polls matching Biden against former President Donald Trump, in which the latter leads 44% to 42% — a statistical tie.

One revealing thing about these numbers is that they show majorities of American voters rejecting both the 45th and 46th presidents, and are presumably in the market for a 47th.

But even more revealing is that Republicans’ apparent advantage on salient issues has not produced an electorate determined to reject an 80-year-old Democratic incumbent.

That’s true even though Biden himself, after tacking left on virtually every issue during Ron Klain’s months as White House chief of staff, has now, during Jeff Zients’ weeks in that post, taken a couple of stands that suggest an awareness of vulnerability on some key issues.

He’s announced changes in immigration policy apparently designed to prevent some illegal border crossers to apply for asylum status.

And, despite cries of anguish from the defund-the-police left, Biden declined to veto Congress’ bipartisan overturning of the District of Columbia legislation reducing the penalties for violent crimes. This shows a lack of confidence in the liberal talking point that violent crime is less prevalent than it was 30 years ago and in the argument.

Biden’s statement that he’s “planning” to run for reelection shows a certain nervousness about the possibility that he, like his immediate predecessor, may have difficulty winning re-nomination.

That has prompted the Spectator’s conservative writer Ben Domenech to make the perhaps puckish suggestion that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., challenge the incumbent. Some 47 years younger than Biden, she will reach the constitutionally required age of 35 in October 2024.

As for the Republican nomination, Donald Trump faces announced or possible opposition from serious figures in early-primary states — South Carolina’s Nikki Haley and Tim Scott, New Hampshire’s Chris Sununu — who could potentially be ticket-balancing VPs.

Patrick Ruffini of Echelon Insights, analyzing his firm’s polling, classifies 25% of Republican voters as Always Trump, 15% as Never Trump and 60% as up-for-grabs. That suggests there is plenty of room for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has been competitive with Trump in two-candidate pairings, to overtake Trump if and when early-state candidates and former Vice President Mike Pence fall by the wayside.

Bottom line: Republicans have some advantage on issues, but there’s probably a bigger advantage for the party whose voters eschew residual loyalties and dump their overage and unpopular 2020 presidential nominees.

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