by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
This weekend, ABC News and the Washington Post released a poll showing former President Donald Trump with a commanding 10-point lead over President Joe Biden in the 2024 presidential election.
The Washington Post was clearly embarrassed by its poll, and scrambled to come up with reasons readers should ignore it. Democrat analyst Larry Sabato, who confidently predicted Hillary Clinton would win 352 electoral votes in 2016 (she received 227 in her loss to Donald Trump), asked the Washington Post, “How could you even publish a poll so absurd on its face? Will be a lingering embarrassment for you.”
Other Democrats also composed panicked posts for social media.
Now, on the one hand, like all polls, the ABC News/Washington Post poll should be viewed skeptically. It’s the poll that had Biden up 12 points in 2020, overestimating his support by eight points. The media outlets’ last Wisconsin 2020 poll predicted Biden would win by 17 points. In fact, he eked out a win by seven-tenths of 1 percent.
The poll systematically privileges Democrat candidates in dramatic fashion, both nationally and at the state level. But that just makes this weekend’s results more frightening for Democrats.
Further, the Washington Post is clearly sounding the alarm about Biden in particular. It published David Ignatius’ dispatch from the Deep State telling Biden to get out of the race and take the politically toxic Kamala Harris with him. In case their perspective wasn’t clear, the left-wing propaganda outlet followed it up two days later with a missive from the deputy editorial page editor saying much of the same.
The poll could be a legitimate snapshot of public opinion or an attempt to shape public opinion. But a wide range of other polls is also showing Biden weakness.