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Politics Independents' distrust of Joe Biden really could swing the election

18:26  21 october  2020
18:26  21 october  2020 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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Voters are right to distrust Joe Biden’s stories about his role in his son’s shady business dealings, and their distrust might make a real difference in the presidential election.

Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Washington Examiner

In the Washington Examiner/YouGov poll out Wednesday, voters by a plurality of 45% to 41% said that “Joe Biden has not been honest about his son Hunter’s business activities in foreign countries.” Among independents, the margin is more dramatic, with a 46%-34% plurality saying the elder Biden has been dishonest.

They are right to distrust him for numerous reasons (about which I have written extensively), chief among them that he was indisputably warned about the problematic appearances of Hunter’s dealings in Ukraine and because he clearly helped enable Hunter’s lucrative profiteering in China. They also are right to disbelieve him because his history of egregious fibbing is so long.

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Biden’s word in political deal-making can be dependable, in a sort of “honor among thieves” way, but, in general, he is as shifty a politician as can be found. In a profession known for shiftiness, that’s saying a lot.

According to the new poll, independent voters are especially likely to recognize Biden’s dishonesty. The more immediate question, with the presidential election less than two weeks away, is whether that recognition will matter politically. Political activists and frequenters of Twitter don’t think it does. They say voters care little about Hunter Biden, that the coronavirus and President Trump’s awful personality are the issues driving the election, and that most people already have made up their minds.

But political activists live in a bubble. Their ideologies tend to be stronger, their preferences more set in stone, and their assessments starker of which issues matter. They also tend to see elections as binary choices, but they ignore the crucial importance of the third choice of not voting at all. Would-be voters by the droves shift back and forth not between, say, Trump and Biden, or Republican and Democrat, but between whether or not, on their way home from work, to stand in a long voting line.

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Especially when the president is as polarizing as Trump is, while the challenger is as uninspiring as most voters find Biden, the internal calculation, whether deliberate or more subconscious, can run something like this:

I know I just can’t vote for Trump. I detest him. But Biden is old, and I don’t think I’ll like his policies. Do I want to get stuck with him and that radical Kamala Harris, or should I just not bother?

Completely unbidden, I received a text message Tuesday morning expressing almost exactly those sentiments. They are the same feelings I’ve heard again and again from acquaintances across the country.

Nonvoters can make a huge difference. For example, when Trump eked out a crucial win in Wisconsin in 2016, he actually received 2,682 fewer votes than fellow Republican Mitt Romney got when Romney lost the state in 2012. The difference was that Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, received 238,449 fewer votes than her party mate Barack Obama got there in 2012.

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Nationwide, millions of people, especially independents, are “iffy voters.” Many of them won’t vote at all if they don’t feel good about whom they vote for. Everybody’s minds and hearts work differently, and the decision-making process of iffy voters especially is more alchemy than arithmetic. Perhaps a dozen different considerations or sentiments, all of degrees of importance that shift even in their own minds each day, help determine not just how they vote but whether to vote at all.

People may care more about the coronavirus than about Hunter Biden’s business deals, but if they start to think Joe Biden’s character is almost as bad as Trump’s, even in different ways, then their perception of Joe’s untrustworthiness becomes important indeed. Important, and maybe electorally decisive.

Tags: Opinion, Beltway Confidential, Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, Polling, Wisconsin, Hillary Clinton, Obama

Original Author: Quin Hillyer

Original Location: Independents' distrust of Joe Biden really could swing the election

The week in polls: Trump gains in 9 of 12 swing states, but Biden still leads in 10 of them .
With just eight days to go to Election Day, both national polls and swing state surveys make it clear the race between Trump and Biden is tightening.President Donald Trump gained on his Democratic challenger Joe Biden in national polling averages, and in nine of 12 contested states. But Biden still holds a sizable lead in the national polls and is still ahead of Trump in 10 of the 12 states that could decide the election.

usr: 0
This is interesting!