NEWS AND OPINION:
Multiple news organizations have billed Joseph R. Biden as the calm and sensible “antidote” to President Trump — creating yet another strategic designation to give Mr. Biden an edge in the presidential race. Voters, however, have their own impression of the Democratic nominee, and it lurches left.
Six-out-of-10 of all U.S. voters — 59% — perceive Mr. Biden to be to be a liberal, 23% say he is moderate while a mere 7% deem him conservative. Another 14% can’t identify his ideology, while 41% agree that Mr. Biden is “more liberal than me.” So says a new Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,984 registered U.S. voters conducted June 26-29. Does it matter? Uh, yes, considering findings from another pollster.
“Thus far in 2020, 38% of U.S. adults describe their political views as conservative, 36% as moderate and 23% as liberal. This center-right bent is essentially unchanged from the 2019 yearly average,” Gallup reported in late May.
Their numbers also reveal that 36% of Americans have a moderate view on social issues, while 35% had a conservative take and 29% took a liberal stance. In economic issues, 39% are conservative, 38% moderate and 21% liberal.
Meanwhile, the activist group MoveOn.org now says that Mr. Biden represents the “most progressive platform in Democratic Party history.” That prompted Mr. Trump’s reelection campaign to declare that “fanatic left-wing activists who endorsed socialist Bernie Sanders in 2016 have officially taken the wheel of Biden’s campaign.”
If Mr. Biden has suddenly been deemed progressive royalty, that may not look like an “antidote” to the aforementioned 74% of Americans who are conservative or moderate. Should the economy continue to improve, Mr. Trump could gain an edge. Maybe not a big edge, but an edge. Yet another survey lends insight: A Monmouth University poll released Thursday finds that 78% of U.S. voters now describe their personal financial situation as either “stable” or “improving.”
Then there is the influence of Mr. Biden’s choice of a running mate to consider — but that is another story.
A MIGHTY FOURTH
It is a mighty way to celebrate. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper has approved a serious “wow” factor when it comes to the national “2020 Salute to America” in honor of Independence Day. The efforts involve some 1,700 service members, the celebration includes a flyover of Mount Rushmore plus another above the “Great Cities of the American Revolution” — Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and the nation’s capital — where vintage aircraft will join in.
“The flyovers provide an opportunity for DoD to demonstrate the capabilities and professionalism of the United States Armed Forces. Flying hours are a sunk cost for the Department of Defense, and these aircraft and crews would be using these hours for proficiency and training at other locations if they were not conducting these flyovers,” the agency said in a statement.
A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies analyzed ongoing refugee placement in America since the coronavirus emerged in late January.
“During this health and economic crisis, resettlement contractors have been paid by the State Department to resettle over 3,300 refugees from around the world in over 30 states. They have come from Congo, Burma, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Pakistan, Syria, Iran, and elsewhere, and have been placed even in states with very high levels of coronavirus infection, including New York, New Jersey, Michigan, California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Illinois,” writes Nayla Rush, a senior researcher for the organization.
“Although quarantine regulations apply to everyone entering the United States, there is no indication that refugees were or are being tested for the COVID-19 virus overseas or placed under quarantine upon arrival. It also appears that state and local health officials were not notified of the placement of refugees, nor were state residents — who are being asked to continue making enormous sacrifices,” says Ms. Rush.
BUGGED BY IT ALL
Emory & Henry College in Virginia has announced to students that the school must reconsider its wasp mascot. Why? The bug may appear “exclusive” to students who are not White Anglo-Saxon Protestants — or “WASPs.”
The college is already concerned that its historical namesakes — Methodist Episcopal Church Bishop John Emory and Founding Father Patrick Henry — were slaveholders. The school mascot has also come under scrutiny.
“Conversations must examine how Emory & Henry’s past has contributed to current and ongoing systemic oppression,” says college president John Wells, according to message obtained by Kara Zupkus, an analyst for Young America’s Foundation.
“Discussion should be renewed regarding the college’s mascot, the wasp, and the impact of this mascot on inclusion and diversity on our campus,” Mr. Wells advises.
“This decision is beyond parody,” Ms. Zupkus says. “The college’s mascot is clearly in reference to a wasp — the literal insect — not a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. This school’s administration is seeking out any and all reasons students may be offended by something. A bug seems like it should be the least of their worries.”
WEEKEND REAL ESTATE
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POLL DU JOUR
• 32% of U.S. voters say former Vice President Joseph R. Biden is “very liberal”; 57% of Republicans, 27% of independents and 17% of Democrats agree.
• 23% overall say he is “somewhat liberal”; 17% of Republicans, 21% of independents and 30% of Democrats agree.
• 23% overall say Mr. Biden is “moderate’; 7% of Republicans, 23% of independents and 36% of Democrats agree.
• 4% say Mr. Biden is “somewhat conservative”; 3% of Republicans, 4% of independents and 5% of Democrats agree.
• 3% overall say he is “very conservative”; 3% of Republicans, 3% of independents and 3% of Democrats agree.
• 14% don’t know his ideology; 13% of Republicans, 21% of independents and 10% of Democrats agree.
Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,984 registered U.S. voters conducted June 26-29.
• Happy Fourth of July and thank you for reading Inside the Beltway.