Biden trails Buttigieg in New Hampshire poll
Yesterday, I noted that a survey of New Hampshire Republicans found Donald Trump running 12 points behind Ron DeSantis. But there’s better news for Trump in a South Carolina poll. It has Trump leading the way, 15 points ahead of DeSantis. Favorite son Tim Scott and favorite daughter Nikki Haley are next, but with only about half of DeSantis’ support and one-third of Trump’s.
Today, though, I want to focus on New Hampshire polling on the Democrat side. The same University of New Hampshire pollsters who found DeSantis leading Trump have Pete Buttigieg leading Joe Biden. In fact, Biden doesn’t even have sole possession of second place. He’s tied for the runner-up slot with Elizabeth Warren.
Buttigieg leads Trump and Warren 23 to 18 (right at the margin of error). Bernie Sanders is next at 16 percent. Then come Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Amy Klobuchar with 6 percent and 5 percent, respectively.
Biden’s standing in this poll represents an improvement over his showing in the 2020 primary. Biden finished fifth in that contest, collecting only 8.3 percent of the vote. Sanders, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and Warren finished ahead of him, in that order. Sanders about tripled Biden’s tally.
But Biden is now the president. For a him to have only 18 percent support among Democrats in any state is pathetic.
When the state is New Hampshire, it’s probably not fatal, though. Granite State Democrats are far from representative of the national constituency. They are much more white.
That’s why Biden’s miserable showing in the 2020 New Hampshire primary didn’t cost him the nomination. Biden was saved when states like South Carolina, with huge numbers of black voters, weighed in.
For Biden to lose the New Hampshire primary as president would be quite embarrassing. But we might well see a repeat of the 2020 experience if Biden maintains his support among leading black Democrats and thereby keeps his stranglehold on the black vote.
No wonder Biden panders non-stop to leftist black leaders (who, by the way, are further to the left than black voters on matters like crime and certain cultural issues).
Buttigieg is as weak with black voters as Biden has been strong. Try as he might, Mayor Pete has never broken through with this cohort, and probably never will in Democratic primaries.
Unless the black leadership turns on Biden, I doubt Buttigieg will seriously consider running against him. Nor will many other leading Democrats.
The big question is whether Biden will run. I think it’s more likely than not that he will.
Why wouldn’t Biden run? He seems to like being president, perhaps because he’s not working terribly hard at it. He probably relishes a rematch with Trump. And to the extent he think about DeSantis, I doubt Biden is intimidated by him.
If leading black politicians turn on Biden, it’s another story. But as long as he remains their instrument on matters of their concern, it’s unlikely they will turn on him unless they conclude he can’t win the general election.
They may reach that conclusion one day, but I think we’re far from that day now.