Trump is back in the headlines, and it could cost Republicans in the midterm elections

History, however, can only be a guiding force. There is not always an analogy with what is happening in the present.

This year we have a duly elected president in the person of Joe Biden. We also have, however, a former president in Donald Trump, whose residence was raided by the FBI and who continues to falsely claim that the election he lost to another term was decided fraudulently.

This unusual situation is where we begin our look at the political week that has been, as we try to figure out what happens to presidential sanction when there are two presidents in the spotlight.

Anyone who has read my articles on the midterm elections knows how skeptical I was about the Democrats’ chances in November. This belief was rooted in the history of presidential sentencing. Sometimes, however, you have to look at the facts on the ground and realize that things are not what you think they were.
Democrats have gained ground in their bid to retain the United States Senate and House, and Trump likely has a lot to do with it – overriding the normal midterm sentence with his own midterm sentence.
Right now, the generic congressional ballot is basically equal. On the contrary, the Democrats have a lead of just under one point on average. Earlier this summer, the Republicans had a roughly 3-point advantage.
Many things happened that may have caused this political change, including the overthrow of Roe v. Wade and falling gas prices.
But when you look at people’s search interests online, it’s easy to see that Trump also plays a big role. Biden and Trump were essentially running even in the number of people searching for the two men on Google in the first part of the year. In the past 90 days, however, Trump got just under 60% of searches that were either for him or for Biden. In the past 30 days, north of 60% of those searches have been for Trump.
To see a former president being sought out by more people than the current president would be hard to imagine under any other circumstances. Trump and Barack Obama, at this point in their presidencies, were approaching 90% of all search traffic between them and their predecessors.
The correlation is high by 0.7 (on a scale of -1 to +1) between the percentage of searches for Trump compared to Biden on a 14-day moving average and the Democratic margin on the generic ballot since the beginning of the year. This is a statistically significant relationship.

In other words, the more Trump is in people’s minds, the better off the Democrats are.

Of course, that’s not what the Republicans want. Although Biden has become more popular over the past month (more on that in a sec), he’s still not that popular. Presidents with approval ratings below 45% tend to see their party lose a lot of seats in Congress.
Trump, however, is even more unpopular than Biden. His net preference rating (favorable minus unfavourable) in a Wall Street Journal poll last week was -19 points – much worse than Biden’s -8 points.

And while you might think negative views of Biden would overshadow negative views of Trump given who is currently president, that may not be the case.

Take a recent NBC News poll. When asked if their vote for Congress was meant to signal support for Biden or Trump, voters were split 44% to 44%. In other words, the former and the current president played an equal role in the votes of the people.

All of which means the Democrats may not lose many seats this time around. Most forecasts for the House keep them below 20 seats. They are favored (if slightly) to retain the Senate.

It’s an outcome Democrats should be happy to accept, given what normally happens midterm.

Biden is gaining popularity

As Trump dominates the news, the man who currently serves as president has seen something unusual happen to his approval rating: it has surged ahead of the midterm elections.

Trend four: Democrats faring much better in special elections since Roe was ousted
Biden’s approval rating jumped 9 points from 31% to 40% in the latest Quinnipiac University poll. Although the president’s average rating has never been lower and his jump is unlikely to be as high as 9 points, the poll is part of a trend.

Biden’s approval rating is around 42% in a poll average. This is a rise of around 37% in the last 10 days of July. Biden has essentially gained a point a week in his approval rating since then.

To be clear, his approval rating remains at the lower end of where presidents historically fall at this point in their first terms.

But history is something Biden’s presidency doesn’t quite follow. During a similar period during their presidencies, none of the last four presidents saw their approval rating increase.

Now, one could argue that Biden had nowhere to go, which is true to some degree. Approval ratings tend to revert to 50% (i.e. there is mean reversion).
Biden also did popular things, though. A clear majority of voters approve of the sweeping health care and climate bill he signed into law. They also approve of him canceling the student debt he made.

Moreover, it’s not as if Biden was just picking up voters within his base. Yes, his approval rating among Democrats has risen about 6 points in a poll average. It also jumped a similar margin at the independents.

That may explain why Democratic gubernatorial and senator candidates in Pennsylvania are willing to appear in public with Biden. He’s someone who has a high approval rating with Democrats and isn’t as toxic with independents as he once was.

Of course, we will see in a few months how good a strategy ends up being. Biden’s approval rating is still not high, although it is on the rise. If Democrats end up losing control of the House and Senate in November, they might regret any hug from the president.

For your brief encounters: When is autumn?

Asking when fall starts seems like a simple question. But just like when it comes to what to call the season after summer and before winter (i.e., is it fall or fall?), there are more ‘answer.

In fact, three days can claim to be the first day of autumn. The meteorological autumn begins on September 1. Many people consider Labor Day, which falls on September 5 this year, to be the last day of summer. We also have the astronomical equinox on September 22 this year.

So when does fall start? Well, a 2017 CBS News poll found that 67% of Americans said Labor Day best represents the end of summer for them. Only 27% answered the equinox when asked to choose between the two days.

I’m going to go against the grain and offer the unpolled answer: Fall started Thursday with the start of the month.

Remaining data

Satisfaction with the education system depends on how and from whom you ask: Only 42% of Americans are satisfied with the state of the K-12 education system in America, according to Gallup. That’s less than at any other time in the 21st century. A much higher percentage of 80% of parents of children in K-12 are satisfied with the quality of their oldest child’s education.
Climate change is considered the main global threat: The vast majority of people — a median of 75% across 19 countries — see global climate change as a major threat to their country, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. The next closest threat on the major threat scale was the spread of false information online, at 70%.
Feeling safe online is more valued than speaking freely: A majority of teens (62%) say feeling safe online is more important than being able to speak freely, according to a recently released Pew poll. Among adults, 50% think feeling safe is more important than speaking freely, while 47% say speaking freely is more important. Young adults (aged 18-29) were the most likely to say speaking freely was more important (57%). Only 38% of adults aged 65 and over thought speaking freely was more important.

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