But how do the numbers look in Michigan and Wisconsin? I kid, of course, but based on the lefty responses to my tweet about this poll, it seems as though a lot of folks are pret-ty defensive over its findings regarding how King Barack might have fared against Sultan Trump in a direct match-up. Remember, Obama is currently taking a presidential victory lap (employing some laughable gems like this), while assuring everyone -- most especially himself, perhaps -- that yes of course he could have bested Trump in a hypothetical universe in which he was permitted to seek a third term:
President Obama expressed confidence that, if he had run for a third term, he would have defeated Donald J. Trump, according to an interview released Monday with David Axelrod, his friend and former adviser. “I’m confident that if I — if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could’ve mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it,” Mr. Obama said on Mr. Axelrod’s podcast, “The Axe Files,” referring to his message of inclusion and helping middle-class Americans. “I know that in conversations that I’ve had with people around the country, even some people who disagreed with me, they would say the vision, the direction that you point towards is the right one,” he said.
Subtext: 'Hillary was a dreadful candidate (fact check: true), so it's really a shame that I wasn't on the ballot, because I'm confident I'd have won in a walkover.' Trump, being Trump, fired back on Twitter, asserting that he'd have beaten Obama, too -- citing the outgoing president's policies:
President Obama said that he thinks he would have won against me. He should say that but I say NO WAY! - jobs leaving, ISIS, OCare, etc.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 26, 2016
In light of this publicly-waged skirmish between gargantuan egos, Politico and Morning Consult decided to poll the question. The result? A statistical dead heat, with Trump ever so narrowly ahead. Fittingly, each man garnered a percentage of support that corresponds with their order in the line of American presidents:
When I posted this result on social media, lefties tripped over themselves to poke holes in the survey -- but it's within the margin of error! But Obama's ground game! But... It was extremely humorous. It's obviously a silly poll based on an alternate reality, yet there was a heavy whiff of 'thou doth protest too much' desperation amid the bizarrely serious replies. The only real point is that perhaps an Obama-Trump showdown wouldn't have resulted in the cakewalk that liberals would prefer to envision. Here's one Democrat (writing before this poll was released) who isn't convinced Obama would have beaten Trump, and asking whether his party would have even wanted to see the sitting president on the ballot again:
It’s impossible to know whether another Obama ticket could have changed hearts and minds. And frankly, I don’t care. As a frustrated Democrat, I’m more interested in asking whether we would have wanted him to run again in the first place. Here’s why. For a moment, set aside the debate about Obama’s domestic and foreign policy record. Focus instead on his eight years as Democrat in Chief, where his singular goal was to leave the party stronger than how he found it. The result? Democrats are in a weaker position today than at any point in nearly 100 years. Republicans control 32 State Legislatures, 33 Governorships, the U.S. House, Senate, and – now – the Presidency. And it’s a trend that started happening well before the 2016 wipeout. While the President’s a good man, he is a terrible manager.
While it's certainly true that Obama's misplaced chest-thumping conspicuously ignores the Democratic decimation over which he has presided, let's not forget that Obama did expend enormous energy and effort criss-crossing the country for his party's ticket last fall. He argued very explicitly, loudly, and repeatedly that the election was at its core a referendum on his policy legacy:
"Make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them."
Indeed, Mr. President.