They are among an emerging group of voters who disliked both major-party presidential nominees in 2016, but who are now so disillusioned with President Trump — and sufficiently comfortable with Mr. Biden — that they are increasingly willing to support the Democrat.
It’s a dynamic that could have significant implications in several of the most competitive battleground states, like Arizona and Wisconsin, where the third-party vote in 2016 was greater than the margin of difference between Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton. Recent polling also shows that Mr. Biden has an overwhelming advantage over Mr. Trump among voters who have unfavorable views of both candidates — a cohort that ultimately broke in Mr. Trump’s favor in 2016, exit polls showed.
In any single poll, it is difficult for pollsters to reach a significant number of voters who supported third-party candidates in 2016, making it impossible to trace their preferences now. And Mr. Trump — who faced vocal opposition that year from some prominent Republicans and won anyway — remains overwhelmingly popular with Republican voters. While many center-right voters have distanced themselves from his party, there are others who initially expressed misgivings about him and have since come to embrace him, resistant to the leftward drift of the Democratic Party.
But in a year when swing voters are scarce, some of the voters who effectively stayed on the sidelines in 2016 are showing signs of political movement now — and there is evidence that Mr. Biden stands to benefit.
“At this point in time, Joe Biden isn’t nearly as controversial as Hillary Clinton was, so I think third party candidates are a little bit slower to come out of the woodwork.”x
A group of voters who disliked both nominees in 2016 are so disillusioned with President Trump Ã¢ÂÂ and sufficiently comfortable with Joe Biden Ã¢ÂÂ that they are increasingly willing to back Biden https://t.co/tEUBWsQBBcÃ¢ÂÂ NYT Politics (@nytpolitics) July 9, 2020
Nice fantasy. The suburban mom will actually say, “I'm voting Biden because first Trump wanted to kill my parents and now he wants to kill my kids.”
Ã¢ÂÂ Victoria Brownworth #RadicalAntiFascist (@VABVOX) July 9, 2020
Ã¢ÂÂ MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 9, 2020
.@Yamiche: “[Trump is] trying to make this message that Joe Biden is incompetent, that he's somehow physically unable to do the job of the presidency while at the same time he's getting crowds to clap for him because he can drink water with one hand.”https://t.co/xE9uaA9SvH
Ã¢ÂÂ MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 9, 2020
Donald Trump thinks his voters are morons. This universal truth was once again demonstrated this week by a Facebook ad working Trump's new statue-oriented campaign strategy. The ad declared, “WE WILL PROTECT THIS” and featured a photo of … no, not some racist-loser Confederate general astride a horse but “Cristo Redentor,” the famous statue of Jesus Christ that sits atop Mount Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro, which, for those keeping track, is not in the United States but in Brazil, a sovereign nation in a different continent.
It's small story in the grand scheme of things, but one that illustrates yet again that Trump doesn't really see Republican voters or politicians as fellow travelers, allies or even really as a “base” to whom he owes fealty. Trump sees Republicans primarily as marks, to be fleeced for all they're worth and then abandoned the second he sees no value in them. Trump's burning hatred for any American who didn't vote for him is well documented, but just as true and just as disturbing is his utter disregard for the lives or well-being of people who did support him, and continue to do so.x
Donald Trump doesn't care about any Americans Ã¢ÂÂ not even Republicans https://t.co/iuontxJu4S
Ã¢ÂÂ Salon (@Salon) July 9, 2020
Ã¢ÂÂThereÃ¢ÂÂs no coming back for these Lincoln Project motherfuckers.”@Timodc talks to GOP consultants off the record about 2020: They hate the president's enemies as much as the president does. Fear, hatred – and money – explains why they're still on board.https://t.co/KlqM6tii6D
Ã¢ÂÂ Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) July 8, 2020
Trump still hasn't done anything to punish Putin for paying Taliban to kill US troops.