Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: The state of the race is that Trump is losing, and he knows it

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Democracy Fund Voter Study Group:

On the Money

How Americans’ Economic Views Define — and Defy — Party Lines

In the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group’s 2019 VOTER Survey (Views of the Electorate Research Survey), conducted between November 17, 2018 and January 7, 2019, 6,779 Americans shared their views on wealth and poverty, as well as some commonly proposed policies to address economic inequality. The data shed new light on the relationship between the public’s narrative beliefs and their policy priorities, namely, how American voters explain why some people are rich and others are poor, what effects wealthy people have on society, and how views of wealthy and poor people relate to economic policy preferences.

Democratic voters were unified in their explanations about the economy and in support of progressive economic policies, while Republicans were much more divided internally. About one in five Republicans held economic views closer to the Democratic average than to their own.(1)

Have fun with your poll numbers, Donald (more where this came from, below).

There is an entire school of “Democrats did this thing, so this makes Trump’s re-election more likely” but what it really means:

1. I don’t like this thing

2. I have no data to back up the assertion

3. Trump’s reelection is an unpopular idea I can use to make a point. 

Michael Gerson/WaPo with today’s entry in the genre:

Abortion supporters have made Trump’s reelection more likely

One of the largest obstacles to the defeat of President Trump in the 2020 election is the radicalism of the Democratic Party on the issue of abortion. By forcing Joe Biden to abandon his support for the Hyde Amendment — which currently prevents the funding of abortions through Medicaid — the abortion lobby and activist liberals have taken the first major step toward reelecting Trump.

It’s wrong on so many levels, including the fact that the radicals are actually in the Republican Party. See also:

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Polling from NH has some interesting numbers:

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Aaron Blake/WaPo:

More brutal 2020 poll numbers for Trump

The New York Times just dropped a brutal story reporting that President Trump is instructing his aides to lieabout his poor standing in internal polls. And a new poll just made their job much more difficult.

Quinnipiac University has for the first time conducted national head-to-head polls matching up Trump and some of the leading Democratic presidential hopefuls. None of the matchups is good for Trump.

Trump trails all six by between five and 13 points, with Joe Biden holding the biggest advantage and the lesser-known candidates — Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) and Mayor Pete Buttigieg — holding the smallest leads.

The findings mirror the limited head-to-head polling we’ve seen in some key early states, with Trump trailing by as much as double digits in crucial Michigan and Pennsylvania, and even trailing Biden in Texas (!) in another Quinnipiac poll. Trump also trails in most national head-to-heads, although often not by as much as Quinnipiac indicates.

Charlie Cook/National Journal:

Who Will Make the “Final Four” of the Democratic Field?
The cacophony of 23 candidates will make it hard for a Cinderella candidate to emerge.

Edging a bit further out on this limb: Who seems to have the best chance of making the Final Four as of today? Biden seems very likely to get there. As the front-runner, he is the piñata at this point, with his rivals and the media alike trying to knock him down. I see Biden akin to a heavily loaded 747 out at Dulles. Every seat is occupied, every square foot of cargo space filled. You wonder whether it will even get off the ground, much less clear the tree line a mile from the end of the runway. But, if it does, there is a pretty decent chance it’ll make it all the way. That is a long way of saying that if the Biden machine gets wobbly, it will probably occur during the first 90 days or so. He entered on April 25, 43 days ago, and no wobbling yet.

The next slot includes a hedge: either Sanders or Warren, but not both. There are enough pure progressives in the party to guarantee one, but not two. While Sanders enjoys about twice the support of Warren (16.7 percent for Sanders in the RealClearPolitics average versus 8.2 percent for Warren), my hunch is that in 2020, wonkiness might edge out anger. Watch closely the primary in New Hampshire, next door to his Vermont and her Massachusetts.

The third slot should go to Harris. Hailing from California, she could win a huge bloc of delegates from her home state. Demographics could help her as well: A quarter of the Democratic primary electorate will be African-American, and women are likely to represent about 60 percent of the Democratic primary vote.

The final, most subjective, slot would be Buttigieg’s.

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Jennifer Rubin/WaPo:

Trump lies all the time. And yet the toadies keep covering for him.

Trump will lie about things captured on tape (e.g. calling Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, “nasty”), about things in writing, about events witnessed by multiple people and about his own words and positions. He has no shame; he dares one to affirm what is obvious, verifiable and utterly at odds with his lies.

Just as Trump lied that he never considered firing former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III — and told his White House counsel Donald McGahn to lie about being told to fire Mueller — Trump’s lies often require his aides to lie for and about him. We have seen this enumerable times, from the hapless Sean Spicer telling us not to believe our eyes regarding the relative crowd size for the inauguration of Trump and President Barack Obama to Sarah Sanders lying to the White House press corps that the president had received complaints from members of the FBI about former FBI director James B. Comey and lying about Trump’s knowledge of payoffs to an adult-film star before the 2016 election.

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Charlie Cook/National Journal (my bold):

Quantifying the “Trump Penalty”
Going into his reelection, the president’s style points are a net negative

The 2020 Trump campaign is sure to be vastly more sophisticated and better financed than the dumpster-fire organization in his 2016 effort. Yet if Trump is reelected, it is going to be because Democrats screwed up.

A lot of my journalist friends would strongly disagree, but Trump doesn’t get much slack from the media. When his backers say he is not treated fairly, they are not entirely wrong. But to think that is the sole reason for his historically low poll numbers is an exercise in denial. 

Often, when Trump is right or does something well, the way in which he does it keeps him from getting any credit outside his base of 35 percent or so. They love what he does and how he does it, but this style grates on or outright offends many outside his base. In so many ways, he is his own worst enemy.

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Harry Enten/CNN (my bold):

Trump would likely lose an election held today

Poll of the week: A new Glengariff Group poll from the state of Michigan shows that former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump in a hypothetical 2020 matchup by 53% to 41%.
This follows a January poll in which Biden was ahead of Trump by similar low-double-digit margins.

What’s the point: The 2020 election is a long way off. We don’t know what Trump will do over the next 17 months. We don’t know who the Democrats will nominate.

But Trump likely needs something to change if he wants to win reelection.

Biden, currently the Democratic frontrunner, has a clear lead over Trump in the state that had the closest margin in the 2016 presidential election.

And this Michigan poll was not the only survey out this week that indicates Trump’s reelection bid is currently in trouble.

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