CNN’s Don Lemon and The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman teamed up Thursday morning to declare that President Joe Biden is allegedly “winning,” or at least in comparison to former President Donald Trump. Not so much Ron DeSantis.
Their joint consensus came after anchor Poppy Harlow brought up a new CNN poll showing that a majority of Democrats want someone besides Biden to run in 2024, and a majority of Republicans likewise feel the same about former President Donald Trump.
“Can we talk about this CNN polling that I thought was so interesting, because it’s not just that people don’t want a Trump/Biden rematch, it’s that they don’t know who they want. Isn’t that kind of like worse for the president and former president? Because it’s like, not only do we not want you, we don’t even know who else we want, just not you,” she said.
In other words, isn’t the poll bad news for the president (as well as the former president)?
Listen to Haberman and Lemon’s responses below:
Haberman responded by immediately rushing to the current president’s defense.
“Biden is the sitting president, so he is just definitionally in a stronger position. I’m sorry, he just is. And so even though I know that there are a lot of people in his party who privately will say they don’t want him to run, until those people start saying that publicly, Biden is in good shape. There’s a lot of Republicans saying they don’t want Trump,” she said.
The voices calling for Trump to be replaced by someone else on the 2024 ballot seem louder than the voices calling for Biden to likewise be replaced.
Lemon then jumped in to offer an even more full-throated defense of the president.
“Let me follow up on that, because Biden is winning. I’m sorry, Biden is winning. And I don’t know what the polling is showing, if you look at the Inflation Reduction Act, lower gas prices, lower prescription drug prices, better than expected midterm for Democrats, Brittney Griner’s release from Russia, the Respect for Marriage Act,” he said.
“I mean, Biden is winning. So, the polling — I don’t know if the polling is off or whether it’s going to show when he does — I think he’s going to run. If his wife says, run, he’s going to do it,” Lemon added.
It’s also true that all signs point to Biden running in 2024.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 19, 2022
Indeed, Haberman said the same.
“All signs are that Biden is going to run. I think the White House is sending out conflicting signals, which is don’t write these stories that he’s not running and yet, here, we’re going to tell you that he is debating what he’s going to do. And so that’s their own issue. But I agree with you, that at the moment, all signs are that he is going to run. He certainly has winds at his back in a way that Donald Trump just does not,” she said.
Turning to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis next, as he’s the second most-likely GOP presidential nominee, Haberman did caution that Biden isn’t nearly as “strong” against him.
“One thing that was interesting about one of the polls yesterday, The Wall Street Journal poll showed Biden getting beat by DeSantis. Now, I want to caveat that we’re two years out. And polls two years out don’t really tell us a ton, but they do tell us a snapshot in time right now,” she said.
“Biden is strong against Trump, Trump is strong against Biden — or Trump stronger than against Biden than I think he would be against anyone else. It reminds me a little of what we saw in 2016, which is that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were the two who could beat each other. And I don’t know what this looks like going forward if it’s not Trump for Biden. It’s just something to think about,” she added.
The chances of it not being a Trump vs. Biden rematch are rooted entirely in polling data showing, as noted earlier, that most voters would prefer entirely new candidates.
This discussion on CNN comes after the release of a USA Today/Suffolk University poll showing DeSantis leading Trump by a whopping 23 points.
New Suffolk/USA Today poll on 2024:
Biden 47 – Trump 40
DeSantis 47 – Biden 43https://t.co/bT72kN07Nl
— Tom Bevan (@TomBevanRCP) December 13, 2022
“By 2-1, GOP and GOP-leaning voters now say they want Trump’s policies but a different standard-bearer to carry them. While 31% want the former president to run, 61% prefer some other Republican nominee who would continue the policies Trump has pursued,” USA Today reported.
“They have a name in mind: Two-thirds of Republicans and those inclined to vote Republican want Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to run for president. By double digits, 56% to 33%, they prefer DeSantis over Trump,” according to USA Today.
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