Biden wants voters to know Trump’s worse now, even if GOP won’t admit it

The Biden campaign has settled on an overriding message, a warning for the electorate: Trump would be way worse in a second term. 

“Let’s get to the message of the campaign,” President Joe Biden said in a fundraiser last month. “When he lost in 2020, something snapped in him.” 

He’s been repeating that line in campaign speeches ever since. 

That’s the overarching theme for the campaign, Biden’s pollster Geoff Garin told the Washington Post. 

“The number one priority is to make sure that voters understand that Trump was a bad president, and he will be even worse if he has a second term. … The hinge is Trump’s response to losing the 2020 election—‘snapping,’ as President Biden says—and becoming unhinged,” Garin said.

That’s reflected in the campaign’s hard-hitting ad released in swing states this week. 

“In the courtroom, we see Donald Trump for who he is,” the ad’s narrator says. “He’s been convicted of 34 felonies, found liable for sexual assault, and he committed financial fraud.”

Calling Trump a felon isn’t only truthful, it’s important, Biden campaign advisers say. 

“It is about why he is a felon,” one strategist told the Post. “He doesn’t care about the harm that he causes as long as he serves himself.”

That’s a message that should resonate with a majority of voters, not just Democrats. There are plenty of disaffected Republicans it can reach, like the 22% of Indiana Republicans who voted for Nikki Haley even after she dropped out of the primary race.

It is an especially important message for independents. In this month’s Civiqs poll for Daily Kos, a plurality of independents, 43%, said that they think is a worse candidate than he was in 2020, and 42% said his second term would be worse than the first.

Only Republicans answered—overwhelmingly—with support for Trump. As Mark Sumner reported, “65% of Republicans think that Trump is a better candidate in 2024, a staggering 78% believe that another four years of Trump would be better than the first.” 

Staggering is indeed the word for that. Those are voters Biden doesn’t have a hope in hell of reaching, but he doesn’t need them for a winning coalition. He just needs to convince disaffected Republicans to not vote for Trump and for independents afraid of a second Trump term to join him.

Biden has a lot of accomplishments to run on, but his messaging must focus on the damage Trump’s already done and the forces he’s amassing to do much, much worse.


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Biden’s making sure voters know Trump is a convicted criminal

New poll: Republicans say Trump’s an even better candidate now than in 2020

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