You know what they say: Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
I never thought of this as a political maxim, exactly, but such is life in post-Trump America.
Former President Donald Trump never had a hard time energizing his wildly enthusiastic base, and it appears that this unlikely political genius has perhaps unwittingly stumbled across the key to winning over his vehement opponents, too.
Just sit back, let President Joe Biden do what he does best, and wait for 2024.
I don’t know if this is the Trump camp’s actual strategy, but I doubt there’s anything he could do or say that could possibly ingratiate Americans to him more than simply continuing to exist as the hypothetical alternative to Biden.
It appears that the voting public might agree.
A new poll from Emerson College suggests that, as Biden’s approval ratings sag, a 2024 matchup between the current and previous presidents would see Trump emerge as the victor.
The poll was conducted from Wednesday to Thursday among 1,000 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.
When asked who they would vote for if the 2024 election were held today and the nominees were Trump and Biden, 45 percent of respondents said Trump and 43 percent said Biden.
If the 2024 Presidential Election were held today, and the candidates were Donald Trump and Joe Biden, who would you vote for at this time?
— Emerson College Polling (@EmersonPolling) November 5, 2021
Biden’s approval rating also dropped by five points since Emerson’s last poll in September. It now sits at 41 percent (ouch).
The most notable drop in approval was among African-American voters, whose support for Biden went from 72 percent in February to 52 percent in November. Looks like black voters need another reminder from Biden that if they don’t support him, well, they “ain’t black.”
Spencer Kimball, Emerson’s polling director, noted that the 11 percent of voters who would go for someone other than Biden or Trump in 2024 is significant and indicates that “2024 could perhaps witness a third party candidate reaching the required 15% support to get on the debate stage.”
Things are looking even worse for Biden’s party ahead of the 2022 midterms; when asked whether they’d vote for the GOP or Democratic congressional candidate if the election were held today, 49 percent of respondents said they’d vote red, 42 percent said they’d vote blue and 9 percent were undecided.
Between this new data and the red wave that just crashed through the state of Virginia on Tuesday, the midterms are shaping up to be a nightmare for Democrats.
There is no doubt that Trump was vehemently hated by millions of Americans — even the staunchest Trump supporter would have to agree.
The establishment media covered his presidency as though he were quite literally Hitler and melted down every time he exchanged petty verbal blows with some critic on Twitter or enacted policies that wouldn’t have been controversial under any other president.
Even conservatives disliked his ego and brash demeanor, and it was not uncommon for Trump voters to clarify that they didn’t necessarily support his behavior or personal morals, just his policies.
All concerns about election integrity aside, it’s not difficult to believe that Americans were just tired of the circus and believed that Biden was a better way forward — despite his own sordid history and even sexual assault allegations.
Many Republicans, of course, saw the writing on the wall: Despite being sold to the American public as a moderate, Biden’s platform was anything but, and he landed on the general election ballot as the most progressive Democratic candidate in our nation’s history.
But did anyone really expect his presidency to go as poorly as it has, and so quickly?
He began his term by dismantling as many of Trump’s border security policies as he could, which almost immediately resulted in a dangerous humanitarian crisis.
He came into office with rumors still swirling about his son Hunter, despite all the work Big Tech did to suppress reporting on the illicit contents of the infamous laptop that allegedly belonged to the younger Biden and provided evidence that the father-and-son team had engaged in some unethical and potentially criminal dealings in the past.
Even for the voters who may have missed all of this thanks to the establishment media’s kid gloves, there was no denying the infuriating, gut-wrenching failure of the withdrawal from Afghanistan. For all the billions of dollars spent and American lives sacrificed, the Biden administration left Afghanistan almost exactly as we had found it two decades ago.
Only now the Taliban has millions of dollars worth of fancy American equipment to play with as the insurgents get back to brutally subjugating the Afghan people.
Meanwhile, American civilians were abandoned when Biden insisted on completing the pullout by the Taliban’s deadline, ignoring the pleas of other NATO nations for the U.S. to remain until all Western civilians could be rescued.
Say what you will about Trump’s dealings with the Taliban when he was still in office, he didn’t make Biden talk about Taliban terrorists as if they were a legitimate diplomatic partner, give them control of the Kabul airport, or provide them with lists of the names of American citizens and Afghan allies.
And Trump certainly didn’t make Biden check his watch while 13 dead U.S. service members were brought home after being killed by a suicide bomber in the chaotic crush outside the Kabul airport.
Americans also can’t deny the prices they see at the gas station or the grocery store, and they can’t blame them on Trump — no, those days are long gone.
Neither is it Trump’s fault that Biden can barely form a sentence and continues to embarrass the U.S. on the world stage.
As it turns out, villainizing Trump beyond the realm of rationality might have been a very bad strategy for Democrats.
Characterizing everything he ever did as horrendously bad has just made it that much more conspicuous that things are suspiciously much, much worse without him.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.