By Monica Showalter
Normally, scandals have no impact on elections or even public opinion. We saw that during the Clinton years with assorted sex, commodity futures and influence-peddling scandals, and worse still, in the great skating of the Obama administration, which spied on Americans, sicced the IRS on political dissidents, left a U.S. ambassador to die, and worst of all, tried to derail the next incumbent with a pile of Russian-generated chaos-inducing propaganda, a phonily premised impeachment, a string of riots, and a host of dirty political tricks. Water off a duck’s back. Nobody’s paid, and Joe Biden’s ahead in the polls.
Scandals, it seems, excite the base of an opposing party, but they don’t sell among the broader electorate. They don’t affect elections. Or so the view would go of anyone who’s watched U.S. politics for the past 40 years.
But every once in awhile, there is one that takes off, changes the momentum. Watergate comes to mind. Now there’s Bidengate, exposed to great impact by the New York Post. A new poll shows it may just be having an effect:
Joe Biden’s polling edge over President Trump eroded this week amid The Post’s scandalous revelations about his son Hunter’s foreign dealings — but the Democratic candidate still maintains a substantial lead.
The IBD/TIPP national tracking poll, released Saturday, puts Biden at 50 percent in the head-to-head matchup, with Trump at 43 percent. The 7-point advantage is well outside the survey’s 3 percent margin of error.
But the poll of 1,009 likely voters saw Biden’s support slip by just over 2 percentage points since Monday — and found an increase of just under 1 percent for the incumbent.
The IBD/TIPP survey found strength for Biden among independent voters, who split their support between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016, but now back the challenger by a 9-percent margin.
The poll caught my attention because it is the IBD/TIPP poll, which is the best in the business. They have a consistent history of calling elections correctly by the closest margins. (Full disclosure: I used to write editorials for IBD). If they are seeing a slide, a cracking, a wall crumbling down, you can bet it’s happening.
And that it is really shouldn’t be surprising. I can think offhand of five reasons why.
One, they aren’t the result of triangulation, or reaching conclusions by a series of chained events, they are naked and raw, quid pro quo – pay me up front and get the introduction, pay me in advance. They couldn’t be any more direct. Much corruption moves through the system through a series of codes but this was the holy grail, completely admitted corruption straight from a laptop. They are real.
Two, Biden portrays himself to voters as Mr. Decent, Mr. Nice. He obeys mask rules, he comes from Scranton. This Hunter Biden scandal reveals a very different creature: Emails and text messages from Biden’s recovered hard drive, left abandoned in a Maryland computer repair shop, show a greedy, grasping, rapacious mafia-like godfather, demanding his fifty percent cut. They show a man willing to use his office to enrich family members to the tune of millions of dollars, with impunity the rule. The show a greedy, grasping family empire of bagmen who orbit around the man as he relishes power, following him from international post, to international post, black bag outstretched. They show pay-to-play on a humongous, national-security-breaking level, with access and influence sold on the back of public office supposedly there to represent the people, but in reality, representing House Biden. The stark contrast between Mr. Decent, and the scary underhanded ‘Big Guy’ under the computer surface, signals fraud, and voters don’t like fraud.
Three, the scandal has a name — Bidengate — and is describe-able in a sentence or two, a key ingredient in making a scandal stick: Hunter Biden, despite his dissolute drug- and stripper-addled background, followed his dad the vice president around, got paid tens of thousands, if not millions, for “introductions” and made himself a pile. What’s more, he hasn’t been punished for it, any more than the Clinton Foundation’s pay-to-play show was, and his acts will undoubtedly carry on if Biden is elected president. National Security will be for sale. And you can just hear the world’s dictators rubbing their hands together with delight at the prospect of an easy mark like Biden junior being available for whatever they need for a price. China, of course, has endorse Joe Biden. Wonder why.
Third, the Bidens are attempting to cover it up, bad. Joe flew off the handle at a reporter here:
…yet he still has not stated that the emails are fake. He knows they are not fake, there is too much proof — former White House advisor Steve Bannon says he has emails from Biden junior’s lawyer demanding to get the hard drive back and will release them if necessary.
That’s desperate, indeed.
Fifth, there’s the insane behavior of Twitter and Facebook social media baronies, literally attempting to supress the story. One reason may be her:
Such a coincidence.
The effort to repress the news has triggered congressional hearings which may break up the duopoly or force it to be regulated as an edited publication. More important. it’s draw attention to the story in a way it may not have done had they not put their hamfisted efforts to censor in the mix. Knowing that something is censored and forbidden makes many people more interested in reading the story. That’s very bad news for Joe Biden.
The bottom line from IBD/TIPP is that the scandal has been turning the polls away from Biden’s advantage. Nobody wants to vote in a corruptus maximus whose corruption will start on day one. This scandal may well prove to be Joe Biden’s undoing, and if so, that will be a good thing.