AP NEWS

Inside the Beltway: Joe Biden’s favorability may be ‘malarkey’

February 19, 2019

Uh-oh. A reality check could be on the horizon for a certain former vice president who recently vexed Republicans and conservatives after he declared American policy “embarrassing” during a speech in Germany. Democrats may be cooling towards him as well.

“Joe Biden’s big lead in early Democratic 2020 polling might be a bunch of malarkey. While most polls show the former vice president hovering around 30 percent of the Democratic primary vote, well ahead of second-place Sen. Bernie Sanders, two recent surveys paint a starkly different picture raising the question of whether Biden is a real front-runner or just has big name-recognition. Those polls show far more Democratic voters undecided about which candidate to support, and they pegged Biden’s backing at a much less intimidating 9 to 12 percent,” writes Steven Shepard, chief polling analyst for Politico.

He cites new findings from Democratic pollster Bold Blue Campaign and an ABC News/Washington Post poll.

“These polls are today’s reality. And sometimes, today’s reality holds until tomorrow and all the way until next year. And other times, today’s reality changes. Primaries are like that,” Democratic pollster John Anzalone told Mr. Shepard.

Others wonder.

“Is Biden really the best answer for the party? There is good reason for Democrats to be skeptical and to consider supporting other candidates,” writes CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer.

“Most problematic is the fact that Biden has run for the presidency several times, and each time he has struggled under the intense spotlight. When it comes time to hit the campaign trail, Biden has never been able to generate the level of support that is necessary to win. His tendency to make gaffes has also hurt him. And, in our frenzied news cycle with endless outlets and few filters on information, Biden’s style will cause problems again,” he said.

CORY, KIRSTEN, KAMALA, AMY

Democratic presidential hopefuls are rushing to New Hampshire seeking positive buzz from town hall appearances and down home meet-and-greets. This rush appears to be unprecedented.

“Veteran observers can’t remember it becoming this intense for both candidates and voters by the Presidents Day weekend more than a year before the unofficial and tentative primary date of Feb. 11, 2020,” says the New Hampshire Union Leader in Manchester, the state’s largest city.

“There will be 10 Democrats declared or exploring a White House run campaigning in New Hampshire,” the Union Leader advises.

Arrivals and departures are many. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was in three cities last weekend on her second trip to the state in less than a month. Her visit included a stop in the state capital of Concord where she received just the sort of coverage these early bird hopefuls crave.

“As Gillibrand made her way south on Main Street, followed by a throng of national and local political reporters as well as campaign staff, she stopped to say hello and sign along with a downtown fixture longtime street musician Kevin Clark. Gillibrand’s next stop was the Fabulous Looks Boutique, where she purchased a blue vase for a friend and a small coffee and tea cup platter for herself,” noted The Concord Monitor.

But wait, there’s more. Much more.

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey has just wrapped up a three-day tour of the state, as has. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who capped off her journey with a CNN town hall staged at Saint Anselm’s College in Manchester. Sen. Kamala D. Harris has journeyed to Portsmouth, and on Tuesday makes the all-important appearance at a “Politics and Eggs” forum at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm’s a series which recently hosted Rep. Adam Schiff and former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julian Castro.

More are on the way. White House hopefuls Rep. Eric Swalwell, former Rep. John Delaney and former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld who is mulling a run as a Republican are all scheduled to make appearances as well.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Bad B---h Primary”

Feature on ABC’s “The View” which emerged Monday.

“The hosts of ‘The View’ took turns debating which of the Democratic women running for president wins the ‘bad b---h’ primary, and while Senators Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar made the cut, Sen. Elizabeth Warren came up short,” wrote Mediaite.com analyst Tommy Christopher.

THE HANNITY EFFECT

“Multi-media news/talk superstar Sean Hannity is often said by some Trump administration critics to be an unofficial member of the president’s Cabinet. However one feels about that sentiment, it is clear that the conservative news/talk media has some degree of influence in Trump administration policy,” notes Talkers, an industry publication which covers the talk radio realm.

Diplomatic publisher Michael Harrison points out that this benefits everybody.

“Since the modern era of talk radio began with the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, the medium and its hosts have been judged heavily by the level of influence they wield in their communities and markets. Taking this into account, the influence Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and others maintain in the age of Trump is remarkable and certainly a boon to talk media of all political flavors,” Mr. Harrison told his editorial staff at a meeting Monday.

Between the two of them, the two hosts have a combined daily audience of just under 28 million. Mr. Hannity draws 13.5 million listeners a day, Mr. Limbaugh 14 million according to the organization, which also reports the stats on other syndicated national hosts. Michael Savage has an audience of 11 million and Glenn Beck 11.5 million. Laura Ingraham, who recently left her long-running radio show, drew 8 million.

POLL DU JOUR

61 percent of U.S. voters think “Americans rely too much on government and not enough on themselves”; 84 percent of Republicans, 62 percent of independents and 38 percent of Democrats agree.

30 percent overall say Americans do not depend too much on the government; 10 percent of Republicans, 23 percent of independents and 52 percent of Democrats agree.

55 percent overall would send a message to the federal government to “leave me alone”; 77 percent of Republicans, 58 percent of independents and 33 percent of Democrats agree.

34 percent overall would send a message to the government to “lend me a hand”; 14 percent of Republicans, 32 percent of independents and 54 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Fox News poll of 1,004 registered U.S. voters conducted Feb. 10-12.

Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.