The 2020 election was perhaps one of the most contentious and chaotic in U.S. history. When it was over, the cultural elites expressed relief the voters had chosen to deny President Donald J. Trump a second term.
The race was not close. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s 8 million-plus majority in the popular vote is enough to convince all but the most diehard Trump supporters that the election results reflect the will of the people. Some, especially those who continue to claim the results were tainted by fraud point to the fact a shift of fewer than 50,000 votes spread out among several states would have given Trump a majority in the electoral college which, as political science professors are quick to remind skeptics, is the only majority that counts.
The folks who continue to try and relitigate the outcome of the last election are missing the speed with which the current president is losing support. A poll released Tuesday by Scott Rasmussen found half of all registered voters believe the nation would be better off today had the now-former president been re-elected.
The Rasmussen poll had 50 percent of the more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed saying things “would be better today” if Trump had beaten Biden – including 34 percent who said things would be “much better.” Just 39 percent of those participating in the survey said things would be worse while just about one in ten said they would be the same no matter who won.
These numbers may seem shocking given the mostly favorable coverage Biden has received since his inauguration but, say some Washington veterans, the political operation inside the White House and the Democratic National Committee should have seen it coming. In recent weeks the president has stumbled from failure to failure, projecting an image of incompetence that contrasts sharply with the image of a commanding leader he projected during the 2020 campaign.
Biden came into office projecting national unity as a way of contrasting him with what some said were the divisions of the Trump years. His initial approval numbers, which hovered around 60 percent, have dropped off sharply in recent weeks beginning with the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops of Afghanistan that many say the administration badly mismanaged.
In his analysis of the numbers, pollster Rasmussen suggests another reason may be at the heart of the decline Faced with rising numbers of COVID infections even after the introduction of vaccines produced in record time because Trump cut federal red tape, Biden has proposed mandated vaccinations for federal workers and others that, while “moderately popular overall,” are viewed skeptically by Black voters and Hispanics.
Rasmussen’s data found that “26 percent of Black Democrats believe individuals should decide for themselves whether to get vaccinated” while “60 percent of Hispanic voters have a close friend or relative who will get vaccinated against their will because they can’t afford to lose their job.”
These numbers are largely on par with those who said things in the U.S. today would be better if Trump had won.
“Overall, a plurality of voters would prefer a candidate who supports Trump-like policies,” the Rasmussen poll said, identifying the potential political danger to supposedly moderate Democrats like Biden who, after winning office in 2020 only by gaining the backing of disaffected Republicans and self-described independents have joined with party progressives in the lurch toward policies that can best be described as big government socialism.
The survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted using a mixed-mode approach from September 16-18, 2021. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 263 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.8 percent.