A new CNN poll found Beto O’Rourke leads President Trump by 10 points in a hypothetical general election matchup, 52% to 42%.
O’Rourke held the widest lead over Trump among other Democratic presidential candidates who were included in the potential matchup.
Sen. Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden tied for second place behind O’Rourke, with each leading Trump by 6 points.
It’s an online Mark Penn poll, so big grain of salt. Biden got a large bounce and is leading the race, but not by that much.
Jonathan Bernstein: “For one thing, I’d be wary of paying much attention to that polling surge, at least until it sticks for a few weeks. It’s obviously better to get an announcement bounce than not, but it may not matter much in the long run. Biden’s main asset is that most Democrats like him and probably will continue to like him. But knowing that, we should expect that he’ll do well in early trial heats against a bunch of unknowns (and Bernie Sanders, who appears to have very limited appeal). We can also expect his support to rise when he’s been in the news. That doesn’t tell us much about how voters will react when they discover that they also like Julian Castro or Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren – which will probably be the case if and when those candidates become well known.”
“I’m also not overwhelmed by Biden’s endorsements. It’s obviously good that he was able to roll out more than the other contenders. And there’s a decent amount of diversity, indicating a coalition-style candidacy. But his lead over Harris and Cory Booker isn’t very big. This is the former vice president we’re talking about. It’s not as if Democratic politicians need to get to know him. If they want to see him on the campaign trail first, that would indicate a lot less confidence in him than if they wanted the same from, say, Amy Klobuchar or Beto O’Rourke. It would suggest either that they weren’t confident he could match his old form, or that they needed something new from him. It’s not a great sign that he hasn’t added any new endorsements since his announcement last Thursday, despite solid polling numbers. In fact, it suggests that a lot of party actors aren’t eager to jump onto the Biden bandwagon. “
“For example, during the Reagan administration, Republicans were on average, 11.5 points more optimistic about the economy, while Democrats were 7.4 points more pessimistic, for a gap of 18.9 points. That gap grew a bit during the George W. Bush and Obama eras; 20.9 to 23.9 respectively.”
“But, under Trump, that gap has turned into a chasm. The partisan gap now is 55.4 percent — twice as big as it was during Bush and Obama era and three times as big as it was during Reagan.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to announce he’s running for president next week, the New York Daily News reports.
“The 2020 announcement could come as early as de Blasio’s birthday on Wednesday, when he’ll turn 58, said one source. The kickoff was initially expected this week but pushed back, according to another source.”
“Nearly everyone” — i.e., all my friends and acquaintances in the journalistic and political elite — also thought Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in to win the general election. But Biden has had an extremely good start to his third campaign for president. His announcement video was aimed at those on the left who see Trump as the tip of the spear of white nationalism, and to those swingier voters who simply want to return to normalcy, constitutional order, and, well, decency. That’s a message that rallies the base but also appeals to those who may be exhausted by the trauma of Trump. As an opener, perfect. Even, at times, moving. […]
Biden’s positive message is a defense of the worker from the excesses of decadent late-capitalism. He can effortlessly channel that and compete with Trump in the Rust Belt. Sanders can do this as well — but Bernie, for all his sincerity and authenticity, does not have the heft of a two-term vice-president who has long been at the center of his party. For those who simply want to defeat Trump at all costs, Biden, for now, seems the safest bet. He can run on a platform deeply informed by the left’s critique of the market, without the baggage of left wokeness or those eager to play into the GOP’s hands and explicitly avow “socialism.”
That’s exactly what the Trump campaign fears.”