Alsobrooks Rocks It, Good Inflation Report, 2nd NYT Poll Has Biden Up 3

Biden and Trump are debating on June 27th/Welcome new subscribers! 

SIMON ROSENBERG

MAY 15

Happy Wednesday all. Got a few things for you today: 

Late Breaking News – It appears Trump and Biden are debating on June 27th! More on this tomorrow. 

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A Good Inflation Report – From The Washington Post, “US inflation eased last month in first slowdown of 2024” – 

Led by lower food and auto prices, inflation in the United States cooled slightly last month after three elevated readings, likely offering a tentative sigh of relief for officials at the Federal Reserve as well as President Joe Biden’s re-election team.

Consumer prices rose 0.3% from March to April, the Labor Department said Wednesday, down slightly from 0.4% the previous month. Measured year-over-year, inflation ticked down from 3.5% to 3.4%. And a gauge of underlying inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, reached its lowest level in three years…..

……Wednesday’s report provides a dose of reassurance that the pace of price increases may be resuming its slowdown. While the latest figures show inflation still well above the Fed’s 2% target, it’s the first time this year that the year-over-year figure has declined. And price increases cooled in some service industries, such as hotels, health care and auto repairs, that had previously kept inflation elevated.

The report “was a tiny step in the right direction,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com. “The fight against inflation is not yet over, but the worsening trend observed in the first quarter of 2024 may have ended……

…..Among individual items in April, grocery prices slipped, providing a break to shoppers. Egg prices, which have been volatile after a bout of avian flu, fell 7.3%. New and used car prices also dropped. By contrast, prices for gas and clothing both jumped.

Additional Hopium resources on the strength of the Biden economy:

Alsobrooks Makes A Statement – While votes are still be counted Angela Alsobrooks won what was supposed to be a close Democratic Senate primary in Maryland by more than 10 points last night. It was a very impressive showing for this dynamic new Democratic leader, and suggests she will be a far more formidable opponent for former Governor Larry Hogan who won the GOP primary last night. While the conventional wisdom in Washington in DC is that Alsobrooks should prevail this fall, this impressive showing certainly gives us more reasons to be optimistic about holding this vital Senate seat. 

Trump Continues To Struggle To Pull His Coalition Together – Another Presidential primary, another 20%+ performance by Nikki Haley, another night of Trump struggling to put his general election coalition together. 

The splintering of the GOP and the open rebellion against Trump by prominent party leaders – former VPs, former nominee, former VP nominee, former Speaker, etc – remains to me one of the most consequential stories of the 2024 election. For more on this see this recent Hopium post

NYT Releases A Second Poll, This One Has Biden Up 3 – In the you have to be kidding me category yesterday the NYT released a second national pollconducted with a different pollster, Ipsos. This poll did not find the kind of structural weakness for Biden their big Monday poll did. In this poll Biden leads 45.5% to 42.5% (+3) in their initial head to heads between the two candidates. 

To understand what an outlier Monday’s NYT battleground states poll was let’s look at the other national and state polls released in recent days (Biden-Trump): 

  • NPR/Marist 51%-46% (+5) likely voters
  • ABC News 49%-45% (+4) likely voters
  • NYT/Ipsos 45.5%-42.5% (+3)
  • RMG 44%-42% (+2) likely voters
  • TIPP 42%-40% (+2)
  • Big Village 42%-41% (+1) likely voters
  • Data For Progress 47%-46% (+1)
  • Economist/YouGov 43%-43% (tied)
  • Yahoo/YouGov 45%-45% (tied)
  • USA/Suffolk 37%-37% (tied)
  • Morning Consult 43%-44% (-1) and 43%-43% (tied)
  • Quinnipiac Wisconsin 50%-44% (+6)
  • Orbital Digital Arizona 39%-38% (+1)
  • CBS News MI 51%-49% PA 49%-50% WI 49%-50%

12 national polls. Biden leads in 7, 4 are tied, Trump leads in 1. State polls by serious credible pollsters showing Biden in far better shape than the NYT polls. All of these polls, with the exception of Data For Progress are independent polls, not controlled or paid for left of center organizations. I include DfP because historically their polling has not been favorable to Democrats. 

Part of the reason I got the 2022 election right when so many got it wrong was that I broke out independent polls like these from polling averages which had been influenced by a flood of Republican aligned polls. These Republican funded polls often produced results 3-4 more points more Republican than independent polling. I think we are starting to see something similar happen in this election, with most independent polls finding a close competitive election, perhaps one now where we have a slight advantage; and R funded polling (and NYT/Siena) finding it much more Republican. It’s clear Trump and Republicans think they are seeing a new red wave, and that they lead. I don’t think it’s a fair read of the data, just as I didn’t think the red wave was a fair read of the data in 2022. 

What in the world happened to the NYT/Siena battleground state polls this week? I am going to leave it others more expert than I to dive into their methodology, but something went seriously awry with these polls. 

When you put all this together it suggests that in polls released in recent weeks Biden has opened up a modest lead in national polling; MI/PA/WI are within margin of error and thus Trump is not winning or can be described to be ahead; there are now credible polls showing Biden leading in AZ, MI, WI; we have significant financial and organizational advantages; Trump’s saddled with historic negatives and threatening extremism; and we continue to see Biden doing much better with likely voters, something that I think is a significant development in the 2024 election, and an ominous one for Trump. 

For on my big take on 2024 see this recent Hopium post

All of this is by way of saying that 6 months out, in every way imaginable, I would much rather be us than them. 

Upcoming Events – Got a few things coming up:

  • Wed, May 22nd, 7pm ET – Monthly Hopium Community Wide Get Together w/Simon – Register
  • Thur, June 20th Evening – Simon speaks in person at a Wisconsin Democratic Party Event (Madison) – more details soon
  • Fri/Sat, June 28-29 – Simon speaks in person at Network NOVA’s 8th Annual Women’s Summit, Tyson’s Corner, VA – More info, register

I will also note that I’ve been a little slow at getting back to those who’ve requested me for events for this summer. Between my daughter’s lacrosse play offs and graduation festivities this spring, and some critical travel dates that are still getting ironed out, I’ve been unable to commit to as many events as I hoped. Will try to get back to everyone soon – appreciate the patience all!

Google Search Will Start Changing This Week – I’ve resisted writing about A.I. for it is a complex topic, but with Google’s announcement yesterday that it’s basic search will start changing THIS WEEK it’s time we start learning together about an enormous tech shift that has begun and will impact our lives and politics profoundly. Here’s how the NYT wrote about Google’s announcement: 

Last May, Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, said the company would use artificial intelligence to reimagine all of its products.

But because new generative A.I. technology presented risks, like spreading false information, Google was cautious about applying the technology to its search engine, which is used by more than two billion people and was responsible for $175 billion in revenue last year.

On Tuesday, at Google’s annual conference in Mountain View, Calif., Mr. Pichai showed how the company’s aggressive work on A.I. had finally trickled into the search engine. Starting this week, he said, U.S. users will see a feature, A.I. Overviews, that generates information summaries above traditional search results. By the end of the year, more than a billion people will have access to the technology.

A.I. Overviews is likely to heighten concerns that web publishers will see less traffic from Google Search, putting more pressure on an industrythat has reeled from rifts with other tech platforms. On Google, users will see longer summaries about a topic, which could reduce the need to go to another website — though Google downplayed those concerns.

“The links included in A.I. Overviews get more clicks” from users than if they were presented as traditional search results, Liz Reid, Google’s vice president of search, wrote in a blog post. “We’ll continue to focus on sending valuable traffic to publishers and creators.”

Keep working hard all. Proud to be in this fight with all of you – Simon

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