The Morning Briefing: Polls Are Usually Garbage, But There Is One Thing Worth Noting in 2024

Top O’ the Briefing

Happy Monday, dear Kruiser Morning Briefing friends. Truvallyen spent every third Thursday immersed in a mud bath before a weekend spent fronting his death-metal Enya cover band. 


Millions of thanks to my friend Chris Queen for filling in last week whilst Stephen Green and I were enjoying sunshine, beer, and a lot of good Mexican food here in my hometown. 

Stephen and I had intended to make a few videos each day but we opted for not spending a lot of time on our phones. Here’s one we recorded for everyone on Thursday, and a couple more will be posted on the VIP side. We will make up for it in the near future, because we plan on hanging out more frequently from now on. 

Getting back to the news after several days off was quite the firehose of yuck. I am very grateful that I got to spend most of the weekend blissfully ignorant of the Kristi Noem the Puppy Slayer nonsense. There are just some stories that one shouldn’t put on either a dating profile or in a political biography. 

Those South Dakota winters must be super lonely. 

The news of the weekend was, of course, dominated by the utter insanity on America’s college campuses. There was plenty to pick from there, but I’m sure we will get to enough of that this week. 

Regular readers of the Briefing are familiar with my disparagement of political polls. At the beginning of the month, I wrote a column about Republican voters’ fraught relationship with political polling. I stand by it but, because this is the strangest of all presidential election years, there are some other considerations to be made. 


In recent months, polls began to tick upwards in favor of former president Donald Trump. At first, there wasn’t much separation between him and Joe Biden. Lately, however, they’re becoming a bit more eye-opening. Here’s one that Matt wrote about over the weekend: 

But, Biden’s confidence is likely to return to frustration. A new poll from CNN is an absolute bloodbath for Biden.

According to a recent CNN poll conducted by SSRS, despite his legal troubles, Donald Trump still leads nationally over Biden 49-43 in a two-way race, and 42-33 when third party candidates are included.

Even in the modern free-for-all election era, a six-point lead over an incumbent president in a two-way race is noteworthy. In this particular election, given who the challenger is, it borders on mind-blowing. 

Since the day in 2016 when it became obvious that he would be the Republican nominee, Donald Trump has been the subject of the most insidious character assassination attempt that any politician has had to endure in American history. 

Trump has had the overwhelming numbers of the mainstream media aligned against him all along. They’ve always hated Republicans, but they super ultra mega hate Donald Trump. Until Elon Musk purchased Twitter and rebranded it with a gentleman’s club name, all of social media was working against Trump. Predictably, the entertainment industry has been undergoing an extended Trump tantrum. 


Related: Death of Late Night: Colbert Doing Show From Chicago During DNC So He Can Fluff the Dems

Those are the usual suspects though. This election has the added American tragedy of watching a bunch of psychopaths in the judiciary abandon all of their principles in the pursuit of a collective political vendetta.

Given all of this, the mere fact that Trump isn’t trailing Biden by 20 points in every poll is a miracle. Biden is, however, the worst president ever and, as Matt’s post mentions, people are starting to remember Trump’s four years in office with more fondness. That’s one of the unique aspects of this race — it’s essentially two incumbents running against one another. 

Another thing to consider is the source of the polls that have looked good for Trump. They’re not being conducted be Rightwing Nutjobs ‘R’ Us Polling, they’re the work of pollsters who definitely aren’t skewing the wording of the questions to favor the Republican.

None of this is cause for a leap into irrational exuberance, obviously. In my early April column I said that I think a Republican has to be at least eight points ahead to at least have a shot at offsetting any Magic Mail-In Ballot Machine shenanigans. That still seems reasonable. 

With all of the negativity that Trump is buried under, however, six points is a good start. 

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