Biden Isn’t Losing…and This Week’s Writing 12/2/23
A little anti-doomerism for your weekend.
There’s been a lot of doomerism and panic among Democrats about Biden’s poll numbers over the last month or so. So it seems worth highlighting that per Simon Rosenberg on twitter, Biden was ahead of Trump in all four national polls last week. (44-42 Economist/You Gov - 3 pt gain since mid-Nov 43-42; Morning Consult - 4 pt gain since last week; 39-37 YouGov; 37-35 Leger/The Canadian Press).
Biden’s polling is especially striking because (per 538) his approval numbers are dismal. He’s 16.6 points underwater with 38.2% approval. Trump’s approval meanwhile is at a (relative) high point; he’s at 42.2%, underwater by 10.9 points.
It’s not surprising that Biden’s approval numbers are suffering. We’re in the middle of a horrific war; Hamas’ murderous terrorist attack and Israel’s subsequent mass slaughter of civilians in Gaza has created a major rift in the Democratic coalition. It’s also pushed Trump off the front page, so people aren’t being daily reminded that he’s a violent fascist fool being prosecuted for multiple egregious felonies.
Biden is unlikely to be in a much worst position in November 2024 than he is right now. And yet, even with his voters hopelessly divided and his approval seeking out the Marianas Trench, he’s still beating Trump in polls.
This isn’t some sort of guarantee of victory; polls this far out aren’t predictive anyway, and Trump could definitely win in November. It’s a reminder though that Trump and the GOP are in an extraordinarily weak position heading into 2024, and that Biden’s approval rating—which has been out of sync with elections results since 2022—may not be a great predictor of outcomes in 2024 either.
And! Here’s what I published this week.
Henry Kissinger, who just died, was antisemitic,as well as being a war criminal. (Religion Dispatches)
If we need Pence to save our democracy, our democracy is in big trouble. (Public Notice)
WaPo tells white women to marry conservative men. Because it is awful. (EIH)
A ceasefire is more important than debating the 2024 election right now. (EIH)
Eileen turns the noir into something much more painful. (EIH)
Anatomy of a Fall is a quiet courtroom drama that refuses the pulp misogyny. (EIH)
You Hurt My Feelings tries to show failure, and doesn’t quite succeed. (EIH)
The Shift is a evangelical Christian multiverse movie. It is terrible. (Chicago Reader)
A villanelle using only “a” as a vowel. (New Feathers Anthology)
A short short story about a sad triangle. (New Feathers Anthology)
You might not know that but sometimes a triangle does wrong. Like one once had porcupine hair. So they took her to the triangle hospital so she would not keep sticking the scientists. Science is hard enough! They cut off her hair with a sponge because a sponge is the one opposite weapon that makes triangles vulnerable. She had wanted to be in a museum or a zoo but she wasn’t interesting anymore. That’s how it goes if you are a triangle.
Little conceptual poem. (Five Fleas)
This is not a swipe.
And! No cat pic this week…unless you’re a paid subscriber! In which case I’ve put one past the paywall. Join now and admire the kitty!