- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Pundits have advised him to get off the political stage, academics and journalists ponder his future plans, and his rivals just grimace. Former President Donald Trump still registers on the public radar, whether he’s onstage at a rally or issuing daily public commentary about the state of America. Mr. Trump appears to have potential influence on the outcome of the 2024 presidential election.

And yes, there’s a poll, this one released by Grinnell College on Wednesday. Here’s the pertinent question: “If the general election were held today, and the candidates were President Joe Biden for the Democrats and former President Donald Trump for Republicans, for whom would you vote?”

Here are the numbers: 40% would vote for Mr. Biden; that includes 87% of Democrats, 28% of independents and 2% of Republicans. Another 40% would vote for Mr. Trump. That includes 80% of Republicans, 45% of independents and 2% of Democrats. It is of note that the former president wins more favor with independents than the current president.

Meanwhile, 14% would choose “someone else,” a choice also made by 14% of Republicans, 20% of independents and 8% of Democrats. And then there was the 5% who were either unsure about issue or don’t plan to vote in the first place. That includes 3% of Republicans, 7% of independents and 3% of Democrats.

The poll of 915 U.S. adults was conducted Oct. 13-17. More findings from this survey reveal whether Americans believe democracy in the U.S. is “under threat” — and can be found  in the Poll du Jour, at the column’s end.



SETTING OUT THE WELCOME MAT

Whether he runs for the White House in 2024 or not, former President Donald Trump still offers some interesting fare at his still active campaign website. The latest item? That would be a limited-edition welcome mat in red, white and blue which reads “Don’t blame this family — we voted for Trump.”

The more familiar “Don’t blame me — I voted for Trump” phrase also appears on mugs, T-shirts, bumper stickers, hats, flags and yard signs. Find it all at DonaldJTrump.com; check under the “Shop” heading.

If you’re curious about those oft-quoted statements Mr. Trump issues several times a day to the press and public, they can be found under the “News” heading.

YOUNGKIN’S PERFECT SUMMARY

“This is no longer a campaign; it’s a movement.”

So said Glenn Youngkin, Republican candidate for Virginia governor, to Fox News on Wednesday.

Mr. Youngkin was referring to the zeal of local parents who have pushed back against Democratic rival Terry McAuliffe’s education policies which have left mothers, fathers and guardians out of the vital decision-making process in public schools.

WHERE’S KAMALA?

For those who ponder the whereabouts of Vice President Kamala Harris, she definitely has public appearance set for Thursday.

Ms. Harris makes a personal appearance in Northern Virginia on behalf of Democratic former Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s campaign, which is rounding the clubhouse turn and headed for the finish line on Nov. 2.

In addition, former President Barack Obama will be journeying to Virginia on Saturday to help out as well.

The vice president and former president are part of an effort, in the words of Mr. McAuliffe’s campaign, “to mobilize the largest grassroots movement in Virginia history.”

Yes, well. There is an extra reason for Ms. Harris to lend a hand.

With less than two weeks to go before voters in the commonwealth head to the polls, a Monmouth University poll released Wednesday has less than promising news for Mr. McAuliffe. He is currently tied with the Republican Glenn Youngkin; both have a 46% favorability rating. Mr. Youngkin, however, bests his rival among the all important independent vote, 48% to 39% — which puts the Democrat in, shall we say, uh-oh territory.

The Monmouth University Poll of 1,005 registered Virginia voters was conducted Oct. 16-19.

ANCHORS STILL NOT AWEIGH

California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order Wednesday which vows to remedy the unprecedented back-up of cargo ship congestion in the state’s ports — which have resulted in the shortages and delays plaguing U.S. consumers.

Mr. Newsom will seek federal, state and industry partners to work on “innovative solutions.” But alas. A new report from Reuters may defeat that order before it even sets sail.

“Southern California’s Los Angeles and Long Beach ports handle the most ocean cargo of any ports in the United States, but are some of the least efficient in the world, according to a ranking by the World Bank and IHS Markit,” Reuters news agency reported on Wednesday.

IHS Markit provides information, analytics and solutions for major industries.

“In a review of 351 container ports around the globe, Los Angeles was ranked 328, behind Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam and Alaska’s Dutch Harbor. The adjacent port of Long Beach came in even lower, at 333, behind Turkey’s Nemrut Bay and Kenya’s Mombasa, the groups said in their inaugural Container Port Performance Index published in May,” the report said.

“Top port honors went to Japan’s Yokohama and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah port on the ranking. Finishing out the top five were Chiwan, part of Shenzhen’s port in Guangdong Province; South China’s Guangzhou port; and Taiwan’s Kaohsiung port. Ports in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa dominated the top 50 spots, while just four U.S. ports cracked the top 100 — Philadelphia at 83, the Port of Virginia (85), New York & New Jersey (89) and Charleston, South Carolina (95),” the report noted.

POLL DU JOUR

•  90% of U.S. adults say it is “very or fairly important” for the U.S. to remain a democracy; 92% of Republicans, 87% of independents and 94% of Democrats agree.

•  52% overall say American democracy is now under a “major threat”; 71% of Republicans, 46% of independents and 35% of Democrats agree.

•  29% overall say democracy is under a “minor threat”; 21% of Republicans, 29% of independents and 41% of Democrats agree.

•  14% say democracy is not under threat; 6% of Republicans, 18% of independents and 20% of Democrats agree.

•  4% overall are not sure about the issue; 3% of Republicans, 6% of independents and 4% of Democrats agree.

SOURCE: A Grinnell College poll of 915 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 13-17.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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