Every so often, I point out that the strongest advantages President Trump has going for him heading into 2020 (besides, I should add, a well-funded and robust operation) are the economy and Democratic overreach. On that latter front, with Democratic leadership evidently entertaining impeachment more seriously than ever over this issue, liberal commentator John Harwood peers at the results of the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll and is fretting over some concerns. Democrats' zeal to oust Trump and desire to pull the nation significantly leftward has caused them to endorse several policies that are profoundly unpopular with voters:
new NBC/WSJ poll shows policy vulnerabilities for Warren/other Dems— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) September 22, 2019
Medicare for All that abolishes private insurance is more unpopular than repealing Obamacare
providing health care to undocumented immigrants is more unpopular than Trump’s border wallhttps://t.co/ETOagcOVBU
A 58% majority of registered voters express unease about voting for Trump, but slightly more say the same about Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, while Elizabeth Warren fares only slightly better...The 62% majority opposed to providing government health care to undocumented immigrants, for example, exceeds the 56% opposed to Trump’s call for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The 56% opposed to eliminating private insurance as part of a new “Medicare for All” program exceeds the 52% opposed to Republican calls for repeal of Obamacare.
We've seen numbers like this before on both issues, which have been enthusiastically embraced by much of the 2020 Democratic field. We've also seen that as voters learn more about single-payer healthcare, they oppose it more strongly. The survey finds that just 18 percent of Americans believe the US economy is getting worse, despite lots of recession chatter in the media. These are real vulnerabilities that Team Trump is ready and eager to exploit. Meanwhile, the incumbent's most serious obstacle to re-election is, put bluntly, himself:
This is a wild backdrop for 2020: 69% of voters dislike Trump personally, whether or not they agree with his policies. The previous record was 42% and it was George W. Bush around Hurricane Katrina. https://t.co/COHStxbI6K pic.twitter.com/Adl1rXJnZy— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) September 22, 2019
Trump managed to overcome record personal unfavorability to thread the needle and win in 2016, though he had the luxury of going up against another exceedingly unpopular figure. He could conceivably do it again -- see above -- but starting out with nearly 70 percent of the electorate personally disliking you, including a not-insubstantial chunk of people who like your policies, is...not ideal. I caught a lot of flak from Trump Nation for these candid analyses, but they continue to stand up well, based on data and outcomes. The latest Fox News poll underscores this reality. By a 15-point margin, voters said Trump's presidency has made them feel 'exhausted' as opposed to 'energized.' This is a dynamic Democrats may be able to exploit to great effect, even as a means of papering over their radical policies.
Speaking of radical policies and positioning, as Bernie floats a (terrible) national rent control regime and attacks Warren from the hard left, one wonders what they might think of the newest Statist machinations emanating from their comrades across the pond. This is truly astounding:
The Labour party conference has voted in favour of a motion to abolish private schools with a commitment to integrate all private schools into the state sector— Sky News Breaking (@SkyNewsBreak) September 22, 2019
Seizing land and redistributing it is an actual proposal on the table in the UK. pic.twitter.com/LxC9dyc3r6— Karol Markowicz (@karol) September 23, 2019
It's extraordinary what can be justified in the name of fairness and equality, a lesson New York City's kids are learning courtesy of their mayor. Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party is also proposing slashing the work week to 32 hours, so that people can "work to live, not live to work." Part of me wants to see 2020 Democrats quizzed on these ideas. Part of me doesn't want any more bad ones entering their heads. I'll leave you with less-leftist presidential hopefuls finally dinging Warren over these chronic evasions: