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Kasich Has Been Awfully Quiet Lately

The notion that what Americans really want is something neither major party can give them comes up every four years, and yet no third-party candidate has won even a single state in a presidential election since 1968.
Kasich Has Been Awfully Quiet Lately
Image from: Flickr/GageSkidmore

This seems bad:

I&I/TIPP Poll: Biden Voters Abandon Him In Droves

Droves? Tell me more:

If an election were held today, a substantial number of those who voted President Joe Biden in November wouldn’t do so now, a new I&I/TIPP Poll shows. This comes after a spate of recent polls from TIPP and others suggesting Biden’s political support is in a freefall as Americans question his leadership on issues ranging from COVID-19 to the chaos on the U.S.’ southern border to the recent botched withdrawal from Afghanistan....

Just 46% of those who voted in the November 2020 election said they’d vote for Biden today, more than five full percentage points below his official total 51.3% share in the 2020 presidential election.

Five points? That doesn't seem so bad. And, in fact:

That doesn’t mean voters are wishing they’d instead picked Trump, who in recent weeks has hinted at a possible re-run in 2024. The poll found 42% said they’d pick Trump now, down from his actual 2020 election total of 46.9%.

So it looks as if Biden, who Beat Trump by four points in the 2020 popular vote, would beat Trump by ... four points.

But there are quite a few poll respondents who wouldn't commit to either candidate. That seems like what you'd expect: It's now conventional wisdom that Biden is struggling as president, and Trump was always disliked by a majority of Americans.

"I&I" is Issues & Insights, a right-wing spinoff of the extremely right-wing Investor's Business Daily editorial page. So you'd expect the spin to be "Biden doomed!" when it probably should be "Some voters want two new candidates."

Trump is the GOP's near-inevitable nominee, and the Democrats are likely to run either Biden or Kamala Harris (who according to conventional wisdom is unpopular, although 49% approval and 49% disapproval in a recent Gallup poll doesn't seem terrible). So I wonder how soon the press will start running pieces about possible alternatives -- centrist or faux-centrist, naturally -- to the two major-party nominees.

The notion that what Americans really want is something neither major party can give them comes up every four years, and yet no third-party candidate has won even a single state in a presidential election since 1968. Nevertheless, I keep thinking that 2024 might see a serious third-party challenger because (a) Trump will seem worse the more public he becomes; (b) the press seems to be enjoying the notion of a failed Biden/Harris presidency and probably won't want to let it go; (c) Americans can often be lulled by the notion that someone outside the system might magically make everything better.I mention John Kasich in the headline, but I can imagine serious interest in someone like Mark Cuban or The Rock. My thinking on this is influenced by a recent Dallas Morning News poll showing Texas governor Greg Abbott with a five-point lead over likely Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke, but trailing by nine in a matchup against actor Matthew McConaughey, whose political views are largely unknown and who thinks America should "get aggressively centric." (In an earlier DMN poll, O'Rourke trailed Abbott by 12 but McConaughey trailed by only 1.)

Voters -- or at least voters who aren't GOP zealots -- want someone to do good things for ordinary citizens. Republicans are unalterably opposed to that, as are a small but significant number of corporatist sellout Democrats. So I understand the frustration with the two parties. Nevertheless, you'd think that the party responsible for Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare might be able to sell itself as the more promising alternative. However, the GOP and the right-wing media devote all of their energy to making Democrats seem demonic, while Democrats rarely return fire or stick up for their own party.

So I'm expecting third-party chatter sooner or later. I'm surprised it's not happening already.

Published with permission from No More Mister Nice Blog.

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