In a bid to save President Joe Biden in the polls, Democrats are turning to a novel, counterintuitive solution: more Donald Trump.
Trump has seemed relatively quiet in the race for the White House. Recently returned to X, formerly known as Twitter, his posts do not receive the torrent of media attention that they did before the January 6 insurrection. Similarly, Trump’s speeches and rallies have received muted attention over the last three years.
Despite this lackluster media presence, he has blown every other GOP candidate out of the water, pulling numbers that nearly quintuple those of his second-place opponent, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, according to composite polling by FiveThirtyEight.
A quieter Trump also seems to be doing better than a vocal and present Biden, according to a Harvard CAPS-Harris survey published Monday, which found that the Republican front-runner’s numbers are eclipsing the incumbent president’s, with Trump polling at 48 percent compared to Biden’s 41 percent.
Biden’s own actions have damaged his favorability in recent months. His foreign policy failures and firm stance behind Israel in its conflict against Hamas have severely affected his approval ratings, particularly with minority voters. A joint poll released in early November by The New York Times and Siena College found that support for the U.S. leader had fallen sharply among Black and Hispanic voters. Young voters have also bemoaned Biden’s inability to follow through with campaign promises for mass student loan cancellation, which saw its initial demise at the hands of an ultraconservative U.S. Supreme Court in June.
The solution? Reverse course on a party maxim to oust Trump from the public consciousness, according to Democratic leadership, who no longer feel that ignoring the real estate mogul is an effective tactic and instead are quietly hoping for live broadcasting of his notorious campaign rallies, reported The New York Times.
“Not having the day-to-day chaos of Donald Trump in people’s faces certainly has an impact on how people are measuring the urgency of the danger of another Trump administration,” Adrianne Shropshire, the executive director of BlackPAC, an African American political organizing group, told the Times. “It is important to remind people of what a total and absolute disaster Trump was.”
It’s a surprising about-face. From Trump’s descent down the escalator in June 2015 until January 6, 2021, the consensus among mainstream Democrats was that the media was far too beholden to Donald Trump and that, in the cynical pursuit of eyeballs and profits, they essentially allowed him to act as their assignment editor. The notion that the press was “complicit” in Trump’s rise was widely held during this period, as was the idea that the nation would wake up if they covered him as a dictator in training. The press’s coverage of Trump has become more disciplined and aggressive—when it happens—in the aftermath of January 6. But it hasn’t dimmed Trump’s popularity. Now the hope is that more coverage of Trump’s derangement will damage his candidacy.