The past few months have seen the battle of Trump vs. Biden reach epic proportions.
With the elections still a year away, each side has taken a withering fire from the other calling into question not just their programs and policies but their fundamental personal characters.
So, who has come out the victor in this gladiatorial combat and who has lost?
So far, Trump is winning.
Throughout Biden’s presidency, polling consistently showed that he had a higher personal favorability than Trump.
The job rating for Trump, however, has always been better than for Biden. Voters saw Biden as the better man but think that Trump was the better president.
In my national poll — taken on July 24-27, 2023 — of one thousand likely voters in the coming general election for president, Trump still leads in job approval, but Biden no longer has a better personal favorability.
Voters break even on Trump’s record as president (50-50) but disapprove of Biden’s record by 44-56.
But what is new is that Biden’s personal popularity has now dropped to slightly below Trump’s for the first time. Voters give Biden a negative 41-55 personal favorability while Trump gets a 42-54 rating.
So, in the exchange of accusations and indictments, Biden has suffered more than Trump has.
I think that those who like Trump for his record and issue positions have become used to his personal negatives. But for the grand-fatherly Joe Biden, personal negatives and doubts about his integrity are relatively now. Trump has acquired more antibodies against personal negatives than his opponent has ever had.
Neither man can claim to be unscathed by the charges against him. Whether they are aired in a courtroom, or a hearing room makes little difference. They are both hurting.
But Trump and his supporters are more accustomed to the pain of hearing their candidate defamed and slandered. They read it every day in the media.
The charges against Biden, on the other hand, are new. Voters have always suspected that Trump would do anything to win and, if they vote for him anyway, largely forgive him his take-no-prisoners attitude. But the evidence that the Biden crime family is up to its neck in bribery, extortion, and shady deals is relatively new.
While Republicans may lament the ceaseless negative media coverage of Trump, they must concede that it has left Trump with a lot of antibodies in his system. As more charges pile on, voters say it’s like the media is crying “wolf” once too often.
But, by laying off Biden and never investigating his scandals and those of his family, the media has done him no favors. The charges against Biden go right through him, finding no antibodies to resist them.
And the fact that the bribes Biden is alleged to have taken come from two of our worst enemies — China and Russia — lead inevitably to more serious questions than just dishonesty. Now voters can pick apart Biden’s failure to stem job losses to China and can ask if he was just incompetent or ill-informed or if he was really repaying the people who had paid him off.
Ditto for Biden’s failure to take China to task for COVID.
Is the president’s refusal to act indicative of dishonesty or just of bad judgement?
A heck of a choice for an incumbent president going into an election against Trump!
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