Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: A close race is a winnable race

Mark Murray/NBC News:

Too many are misreading the 2024 polls. Here’s a better way.

Analysis: Whether Biden or Trump is up by a few points, almost every survey is saying the same thing — the 2024 election is really close right now.

All of these different polls — and many more — are telling pretty much the same story: Biden and Trump are locked in a competitive contest nearly a year before the 2024 general election.

In terms of why the contest is competitive, the polls show Biden underperforming among key parts of the Democratic base, as well as underperforming from his nearly 5-point popular vote victory over Trump in 2020.

But they don’t show or predict who will win a year from now. Or even tell us who the presidential nominees will ultimately be. Or which third-party candidates will gain ballot access and scramble up those nice, neat Biden-Trump head to head numbers. Or how the Electoral College, which ultimately decides the presidency, will shake out.

After all, we still have 11 months to go until Election Day 2024.

POLITICO:

Trump’s ‘dictator’ remark puts 2024 campaign right where Biden wants it

The president’s team used the remarks by the GOP frontrunner to showcase why Biden views Trump as a threat to democracy.

Donald Trump keeps returning the 2024 presidential race to the ground where Joe Biden wants to fight it.

After Trump told a Fox News town hall he would not be a dictator upon returning to office “other than Day One,” the Biden campaign pounced. It highlighted Trump’s remarks as another moment in which the GOP frontrunner showcased his undemocratic and dangerous plans for a possible second term.

Biden has expressed his fear to confidants that Trump would have unchecked power if he were to return to office, according to three people granted anonymity to speak about private discussions. Trump would likely have at least one Republican-controlled chamber in Congress, a conservative Supreme Court, the allegiance of true-believer staff members and GOP state officials — and the knowledge he could be impeached twice and charged criminally in four jurisdictions and still claim power. He’d view that as a mandate, Biden has said privately, and abuse power at home and change how America is viewed abroad.

In George Santos’ district, NY-03, the Democrat has the lead in an internal Republican poll. Also in that district:

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Tom Nichols/X via Threadreader:

I know it’s obvious that Trump changes positions on a dime and how it’s mystifying that his cult doesn’t care, but picking all this apart is a fool’s errand. They stick with him because he channels their diffuse anger about their lives at other Americans. But it’s worse now:  

After 2016, Trump voters thought they’d really made their point, pushed back change in America, and gained respect by electing a POTUS. All that blew up in their faces: They found out they’re not a majority, and worse, the disdain of their fellow citizens only intensified.

2020 and J6 compounded their sense of humiliation and grievance. The know Trump is making fools of them, but they will never admit it. And Biden winning was like a national slap in the face. So now they’re with him no matter what. They don’t care about policy or positions.

Edwin Eisendrath/”It’s the democracy, stupid” on Substack:

Joe Biden for President

Because of Biden, America is stronger, healthier, safer, more prosperous, and fairer. He’s earned a second term. It’s time to say it out loud.

Biden has been a terrific and impactful leader. He ended the pandemic, cut inflation, lowered medical costs, created millions of new jobs, revitalized American manufacturing, strengthened our alliances, stood up to Russian aggression, and kept the most dangerous regional wars from expanding into global catastrophes. If a Republican did any one of these things, their side would be calling for a Nobel Prize, renaming airports to honor their guy, and signing contracts to add his face to Mount Rushmore.

Biden has done things no Republican would ever do. He actually passed and signed an infrastructure bill. He is fighting to protect reproductive rights. He has strengthened unions and taken on corporate power. He has protected marriage for LGBTQ and interracial couples. He put Ketanji Brown Jackson on the Supreme Court and has continued to nominate qualified jurists from all backgrounds to the federal bench. He signed meaningful gun violence reduction legislation. He has delivered on a stunning climate and environmental justice agenda.

America is stronger, fairer, and more prosperous because of his presidency. Our economy is growing. We’ve added nearly 11 million new jobs. Wages are increasing. Inflation is coming down. Americans are paying less for health insurance and more have coverage.

Paul Waldman/”The Cross Section” on Substack:

When the (Supposed) Enemy of Your Enemy Is Not Your Friend

Why I can’t stomach the new right-wing enthusiasm for fighting antisemitism

So what is happening now is unprecedented in my lifetime, and likely the lifetime of most of you. Since the Hamas attack on October 7 there has been a truly appalling explosion of antisemitism, both here in the US and around the world. It’s actually the second recent wave, the first of which came with Donald Trump’s emergence as a national political figure.

This picture is a complex one. It includes right-wing antisemitism; left-wing antisemitism; and questionable expressions of concern for antisemitism that may be little more than a cover for Christian nationalism, Islamophobia, or both.

There are some Jews who welcome even the latter, who open their arms to “support” from the nakedly antisemitic Donald Trump (more on him in a bit), or Ted Cruz, or Sarah Palin sporting a Magen David necklace, or the odd end-times preacher who “supports” Israel — or more specifically, cheers right-wing Israeli governments and their efforts to make any two-state solution impossible — so that the Rapture will be accelerated. After which, of course, Jews who do not pledge themselves to Jesus will burn for all eternity in the lake of fire.

To those people, who claim to have the best interests of me and mine at heart, I say in the most polite terms I can muster: No frigging thanks. The Jews do not need the likes of you to defend us.

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In state court news, pay attention to Colorado and Nevada. First, Nevada (and note the POLITICO headline tying this to the GOP, and not just random electors):

Top Nevada GOP officials charged with felonies for posing as pro-Trump 2020 electors

Nevada is the third state to charge Republican activists who falsely claimed to be legitimate representatives in the Electoral College.

A Nevada grand jury indicted the six Republicans who falsely pledged the state’s electoral votes to Donald Trump in 2020 as Trump sought to reverse his loss to Joe Biden in the state.

The so-called alternate electors, one of whom is the head of the Nevada Republican Party, are each charged with two Nevada felonies related to the documents they signed purporting to be the state’s legitimate electors. The charges are for “offering a false instrument for filing” and “uttering a forged instrument.”

Next, in Colorado, via Roger Parloff/X via Threadreader on whether Donald Trump can be on the ballot:

Some reactions to today’s 2-hr oral argument before the Colo supreme court on whether to keep Trump off ballot as insurrectionist. I thought 2 of the 7 were leaning to disqualify, but the others I couldn’t read. (All 7 were appointed by Democratic governors.) …  

If Trump wins, it won’t be on Judge Wallace’s grounds—that presidents aren’t covered by § 3 of 14th Am. Though I bent over backwards below to avoid calling those claims “absurd,” at least 2 justices were not as charitable …

Justice Richard L. Gabriel asked: ~How is it not absurd to say that anybody who engaged in insurrection can’t serve except the president or the vice president? How is that not absurd?  

… Justice Monica Márquez: Return to absurdity argument. They set up a provision that punishes those who break a lesser oath—and not those that break the more stringent oath??

Matt McNeil and Cliff Schecter discuss Kevin McCarthy’s legacy:

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