Joe Biden’s campaign might be in trouble, and it’s problems are stemming from the anarchists trying to burn cities to the ground.
The leftists who are currently rioting in Portland, Kenosha, and elsewhere have been at it in some places for nearly one hundred days. What’s worse, the Democrats in charge of these cities and states have been hesitant to do anything about them for fear of coming across as supporting racism. The reality of the situation, though, is that the residents of these cities are a touch more than put out by the violent demonstrations that have been going on.
As a result, the numbers are starting to sour for the Biden team. Check out this from an op-ed over at USAToday.
Democrats may have hoped that the national reckoning on race would be a favorable issue for 2020. But the street violence has overwhelmed their reform message. CNN’s Don Lemon bemoaned the fact that the rioting is “showing up in the polling” and “showing up in focus groups.” He said the “rioting has to stop” because “it is the only thing right now that is sticking.”
Lemon offered no evidence to back up his claim about polls and focus groups, but other reports support it. The Civiqs tracking poll is particularly interesting for understanding the dynamics at play. Net approval for the Black Lives Matter movement peaked back on June 3 and has fallen sharply since. This was just over a week after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, when riots had begun to sweep major cities.
Among whites, net approval is already negative and headed downward. And while Democrats and Republicans are as polarized on the issue as one would expect, white Independents have shown a dramatic falloff in BLM support, going from a net 24% in early June to net 3% now, which is lower than before Floyd was killed. Of course BLM is not synonymous with rioting, but this trend may show the extent to which the issues have been conflated in the public mind.
One of the fascinating things is that the Democrats are currently at war with themselves over which side has the best chance of winning: The Ultra Progressives or the Moderate Progressives. The Moderates Progressives have been on the defensive pretty much since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other freshmen like her were elected to the House, causing no end of trouble for Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Since this little civil war has been brewing the Moderate Progressives have been trying to find the right balance with the Ultra Progressives, but have on more than one occasion capitulated to them. The result is the Democratic Party moving further and further left – for some, unwillingly – and creating a big, confusing mess where the true direction of the party actually lay. As a result, Joe Biden was nominated to lead the party in 2020 against Donald Trump, who has been a point of contention for… pretty much everyone at some point or another.
Still, the Ultra Progressives are still pushing further and further left. It is not Moderate Progressives who are burning down American cities. It is not a group of masked Biden supporters who are attacking Trump supporters and attacking law enforcement. It isn’t people thrilled with Nancy Pelosi’s leadership who are looting and burning down businesses.
As I mentioned on Monday morning, the truth of the matter is that these are a small number of far-left Democrats who are not Biden supporters but who are nonetheless loud enough and vocal enough to make everyone who pays any attention to the news think that they are some major part of the Democratic Party. That poses a major problem for the Biden team, and given Biden’s speech on Monday and his overall rhetorical change over the last week, it’s clear they see that.
That’s also why you see this big shift to blame the violence on Donald Trump, despite the fact that not a single Trump supporter would be out in this mess if there weren’t a mess to be out in in the first place. While it seems like a terrible idea in my opinion to go out into this situation and risk getting hurt, the fact is that the Trump supporters who are coming under attack aren’t just going out into an otherwise peaceful situation and instigating violence. The violence existed already, and their presence was more fuel in the raging fires.
So while Biden tries to make this Trump’s problem, the fact is that the “law and order” President didn’t like the (physical AND metaphorical) fires here. It is some of the Democrats’ own voters who caused all this, and the hurt they’re putting on Biden’s numbers are starting to feel a whole lot more like a self-own than a revolution.