- The Washington Times
Wednesday, July 29, 2020

A sizable poll offers promising news for President Trump. He’s got a 5 percentage point lead over Joseph R. Biden in a survey of over 11,000 respondents. It’s not a gigantic lead, but it is a lead nonetheless. Here are the straightforward numbers: 34% want Mr. Trump to remain in the White House, 29% would like to see Mr. Biden take up residence. Another 16% are still undecided, while over one-fifth — 22% — “do not plan to vote.”

Those numbers suggest all sorts of things, including the possibility that the dithering or disinterested could be persuaded to back either Mr. Trump or Mr. Biden.


Undecided or unmotivated voters frustrate strategists on both sides. But these folks — 38% of Americans in this poll — can be influenced to favor one candidate over the other, often at the last minute or for esoteric reasons. In this case, the president has a distinct edge. The survey also found that 54% of the respondents were very enthusiastic about voting for Mr. Trump, rating their zeal as a “10” on a scale of 1-to-10. The poll found that 44% felt that way about Mr. Biden.

Meanwhile, 27% also plan to register to vote before the election on Nov. 3. And what persuasion are these respondents? The survey also found that 44% of the respondents identified as political independents, while 28% were Democrats and 28% were Republicans. The poll of 11,397 U.S. adults was conducted July 17-24 by What If Media Group, a New Jersey-based organization that tracks consumer and voter preferences.

Other research also counters the persistent media narrative that Mr. Biden has a “double-digit” lead over Mr. Trump. Among them: A recent Rasmussen Report survey found that the president and his rival were “neck and neck” in popularity, while an extensive study released in early July by Stony Brook University political science professor Helmut Norpoth forecasts that the president has a 91% chance of winning the election.

‘FATALLY DIVIDE THE NATION’

Why does civil unrest continue? An editorial offers insight.

“The upsurge in rioting, looting, destruction and violence in cities across the country won’t just peter out, as many hope. Sadly, mainstream media outlets refuse to cover the actual news, while Democratic politicians actually express solidarity with those who are burning down our cities. It’s become obvious to one and all: The left-leaning media and so-called progressive Democrats would rather see urban bonfires than lose to Donald Trump in November,” advises an editorial in Issues & Insights.

“Do burning cities mark the start of Democrats’ Civil War 2.0?” asks the news organization.

“To get rid of Trump, they’re willing to divide America once more along race, class, religious, ethnic and income lines and create another civil war. They’ve embarked on a campaign of nonstop, out-of-control demonstrations and disruption, holding literally hundreds of anti-Trump gatherings to cripple his presidency. They appear ready now to take another step: open insurrection,” the editorial continued.

“And no, this isn’t a fantasy. Both Left and Right have pondered whether we are headed for a cataclysmic cultural clash that will fatally divide the nation into a Blue America and a Red America.”

THE VOTERS ARE WATCHING

Eight-out-of-10 voters are concerned about rising crime in U.S. cities, according to a new Harvard Center for American Political Studies / Harris poll, which found that 77% of the respondents are concerned that crime is rising in the nation’s cities. Almost half — 46% — fret about rising crime in their own communities.

The survey of 1,932 registered U.S. voters was conducted July 21-23, and released to The Hill on Monday.

When asked what is responsible for the spike in violence, voters cite “an increase of violence and crime and are concerned that prosecutors are not prosecuting the crimes,” according to pollster Mark Penn.

“They blame the protests and high unemployment, They also single out social media for being used to coordinate violence, and in their view, not doing much to curb it,” Mr. Penn told The Hill.

THE AP GETS FEISTY

The Associated Press has launched a new branding campaign titled “Advancing the Power of Fact,” meant to underscore the news organization’s “vital role as the provider of accurate, unbiased, fact-based reporting to the world.”

The AP also has added “The” to its formal monicker, as in “The Associated Press.” So there.

“The main goal is to elevate our position and our mission in the world,” global marketing director Julie Tucker told Editor & Publisher, an industry source.

“People think they know who we are, but we have not been as bold in saying who we are, why we matter and what our mission is,” she said.

ESCAPIST FARE

Should you want to escape the caterwaul of presidential politics, consider watching the launch of Perseverance.

NASA’s latest Mars rover is set to depart for the red planet at 7:50 a.m. Eastern on Thursday aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The 2,300-pound craft will travel seven months before touching down in Jezero Crater to seek “astrobiological evidence” of life, and monitor weather, climate, geology and other matters. “Percy” also has a passenger: The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, a technology demonstration that marks the first attempt at powered, controlled flight on another planet.

Live coverage and countdown commentary begins at 7 a.m. Eastern. As part of the broadcast, Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Gregory Porter will perform a special rendition of “America the Beautiful.”

Yay. Find these big doings at NASA.gov/NASALive.

POLL DU JOUR

76% of U.S. adults say they have responded to the 2020 U.S. Census.

14% did not participate in the census, 10% are “not sure” or had no answer.

59% of this group say they would be willing to talk to a census worker who knocked on their door.

40% would not be willing to talk to the worker.

68% say the census will produce an accurate population count.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 4,708 U.S. adults conducted June 16-22 and released Monday.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.


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