Trump and Biden Both Face Rejection

Trump and Biden Both Face Rejection

This is the big political story now: Both parties are rejecting their leaders,

Donald Trump


Joe Biden.

It’s a continuing tectonic shift and the story underlying every daily political story. It’s building and will only grow. Both parties are starting to scramble for what’s next, who’s next. Both are casting about.

I wrote last week about Mr. Trump’s position. Much will be made of the latest data, a small University of New Hampshire poll in the first-in-the-nation primary state. Florida Gov.

Ron DeSantis

is tied with Mr. Trump in a Republican primary and runs better against Mr. Biden than Mr. Trump does. Pertinent here: “Biden and Trump are increasingly unpopular in New Hampshire.” Only 62% of Republicans want Mr. Trump to run again and 54% of Democrats say the same of Mr. Biden. These results are consistent with what I hear from readers.

A distinction must be made between Trump voters and Trump supporters. Trump voters are the bigger group. They don’t love him, but made a considered judgment he was better than the Democratic alternative and don’t regret it. From my email I’d say they’re shopping—eagerly. Trump supporters, the smaller but still considerable group, are true enthusiasts. It’s about him. They will never not cheer him, especially when the cameras are around, and they will never turn their backs—but they are turning away. Quietly, in a way unacknowledged to their friends and maybe to themselves. But there’s a new hesitancy in their notes, or rather an absence of the previous tone of “I’m on the winning side.” And yes, both groups seem to like Mr. DeSantis, who is capturing the Republican imagination as tough and committed but not unstable or criminal.

Mr. Trump’s national polling numbers continue underwater, but the real test will be to see those numbers after the Jan. 6 hearings are over. I believe we’ll see Rep.

Liz Cheney’s

kamikaze mission hit its target, and the SS Trump will list. More on that further down.

As for Mr. Biden, his poll numbers continue to be historically dismal. The other day, watching him call for suspension of the federal gasoline tax, I had a sensation exactly like—well, even though we resist such comparisons here because history even when it doesn’t feel like it is always new, it felt like 1978….

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