Why Trump’s efforts to divide the left will likely fall flat

 Why Trump’s efforts to divide the left will likely fall flat

The problem with Trump’s thought process here is that the left wing of the Democratic Party already knows who Biden is and is voting for him in large numbers anyway.

You can see this well in an August poll from ABC News/Washington Post. When asked whether Biden’s views were too liberal, too conservative or about right, only 68% of self-described liberals said Biden’s views were “about right.” Meanwhile, 23% said his views were too conservative.
Yet, Biden was crushing Trump among liberals. He was up 88% to 9% in the August edition of the ABC News/Washington Post survey. Their September poll put Biden ahead by a 91%-to-8% margin.

Indeed, Biden’s doing better among liberal voters than Hillary Clinton did four years ago. An examination of CNN polling finds that Biden has led Trump by an average of 84 points among liberal voters since Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped out of the presidential race in April. Clinton’s average lead over Trump was just 70 points after the 2016 primary season concluded.

When we drill down deeper, we see Biden is doing even better among very liberal voters. Biden’s been ahead of Trump by an astounding 93% to 4% margin in CNN polling.

Perhaps what’s most interesting, however, is that Biden’s not as popular among very liberal voters as you might expect given that huge lead.

His net favorability (favorable – unfavorable) rating has averaged +47 points among very liberal voters in an aggregate of CNN’s May, August, September and October polls. Now, +47 points is obviously still positive, but it’s more than 40 points lower than Biden’s average lead over Trump with these very same voters.

For reference, Biden’s net favorability rating with somewhat liberal voters was +63 points in those same polls. His higher net favorability with somewhat liberal voters comes even as his lead with them against Trump has been about 10 points lower than it is with very liberal voters.

How is this happening? The left isn’t enthralled with Biden by any stretch, but they vastly prefer him to Trump. As my colleague Gregory Krieg pointed out, Trump is uniting the left behind Biden.

Trump’s own net favorability with very liberal voters has averaged -93 points. That’s 140 points worse than Biden’s.

Not surprisingly, Biden’s very liberal supporters have been the most likely to say they are voting against Trump rather than for Biden.

Of course, Trump probably knows he has no chance of winning over any real chunk of these very liberal voters. His best hope is for them to stay home. That seems unlikely to occur.

CNN conducted four polls in September and October that asked about the Biden-Trump matchup. Two of those were national and two were state polls (North Carolina and Wisconsin). In all of those polls, voters were asked on a 1 (least likely) to 10 (mostly likely) scale how likely it was that they would vote in this year’s election.

Among voters at large, 89% rated themselves a 10 on average. Among very liberal voters, 95% rated themselves a 10 on average.

In other words, very liberals were more likely than average to say they were going to turn out to vote than the average voter.

My guess is that nothing Trump has done to divide the left and Biden is going to change that.

Sanders has been campaigning for Biden during the pandemic. And as New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted after the first debate in response to former Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway pointing out Biden not supporting the Green New Deal, “This isn’t news… Trump doesn’t even believe climate change is real.”

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