A Tale of Two Polling Trends

President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at the Washoe Democratic Party Office in Reno, Nevada, March 19, 2024. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

How early in the election cycle is too early to begin looking for meaningful trends in polls?

Seven months out is too early, one of my editors told me this morning. In a normal election, sure. But America doesn’t have normal elections anymore.

A normal election would still have some suspense about the result of the out-party’s presidential primary in late March, especially if the frontrunner before voting began was facing scores of criminal charges. 

In a normal election, an incumbent presiding over a strong economy wouldn’t have 73 percent of his own party telling pollsters that he’s unfit to serve another term.

In a normal election, we wouldn’t be asked to choose between two presidents, one current and one former, both disliked by more than half the country.

And in a normal election, the outcome wouldn’t meaningfully affect America’s commitment to the constitutional order.

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