Biden set to join John Glenn in the pantheon of presidents?

John Merline offers Issues & Insights readers a reality check about recent polling results.

[A] Morning Consult story that found Biden with a 42 percent to 34 percent lead over President Trump in a hypothetical matchup.

“Along with his advantage over Trump, Biden has held a consistent lead in Morning Consult’s weekly tracking among likely Democratic primary voters,” the report says.

But the only thing shocking about this poll is that anyone would put any stock in such polls so early in the race. Just ask President John Glenn.

In May 1983, a Gallup poll came out showing that then-Sen. John Glenn would do better in a matchup against President Reagan, with a far wider margin than the Biden/Trump split.

As the New York Times reported on May 19 of that year, the survey “found that Senator Glenn led Mr. Reagan 54 percent to 37 percent.”

At that point, the eventual Democratic nominee, Walter Mondale, had a 49 percent to 43 percent edge over Reagan.

A Harris survey in July 1983 concluded that “it seems certain that the 1984 presidential election will be close, with neither the President nor his most probable Democratic opponents assured of any solid lead.”

Actual result: Reagan won a massive landslide over Mondale, getting almost 59% of the popular vote and 525 electoral votes — winning every state except Mondale’s home state of Minnesota.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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