NO, Trump is not leading, he is not winning

Quoted from The Hopium Chronicles by Simon Rosenberg.

Happy Thursday all. Got a few things for you today:

It Is Wrong To Say Trump Is Winning The Election, Or Is Somehow Favored. He Is Weak, Not Strong – In 2022 a narrative developed about the election – that a red wave was coming – that commentators just couldn’t shake even though there was plenty of data suggesting the election could end up being a close competitive one. I feel like that we are beginning to enter a similar moment in 2024 with the various assertions of Trump’s strengths. The “red wave” over estimated Republican strength and intensity, discounted clear signs of Democratic strength and intensity and was it would be ridiculous, given what happened in 2022, for us to do this all over again this year.

Let me say it plainly – Donald Trump is not ahead in the 2024 election. He is not beating Joe Biden. He is not in a strong position. Signs of Trumpian and broader GOP weakness is all out there for folks to see – if they want to see it. Let’s dive in a bit:

Trump is not leading in current polling – For Trump to be “ahead” all polls would have be showing that. They aren’t. The last NYT poll had Biden up 2, the new Quinnipiac poll has Biden up 4.

Given the spike in both junky, low quality polls and GOP-aligned polls the averages can no longer be relied on – this was a major lesson of 2022. Remember using the averages Real Clear Politics predicted that Republicans would end up with 54 seats. They have 49.

Stripping out GOP aligned polls, and less reliable polling, we find the race clearly within margin of error, which means the election is close and competitive. Asserting that somehow Trump leads is pushing data beyond what it can tell you. With margin of error a 1-2 point lead is not an actual lead – it signifies a close, competitive election.

It is also early, and Democrats have not had a competitive primary. Lots of folks are not engaged. Look at this chart from Morning Consult. If the Democratic coalition starts coming home as Biden ramps up and Trump becomes the R nominee he will jump ahead by a few points. To me that is the likely scenario in the coming months.

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